If any of my readers are insomniacs, I highly recommend the book called “The Road of the Century: The Story of the New York Central.” I noticed that one of the libraries in the state owned it, and so I requested my local library to acquire it for me. The copy of the book looks remarkably ancient, though it was only published in 1947. Old enough, I suppose. Upon checking the book out, the librarian said to me, “So… You must like railroads?” I wonder if she were to work at a supermarket, and a customer was to purchase toilet paper, would she ask, “So… You must like toilet paper?” or “So… You must enjoy going to the bathroom?” …Sorry, I went off on a little tangent there. Back to the book, this dreadful, awful book. I don’t think I’ve ever held in my hand a more boring book… hence my comment about insomniacs. Get a copy, it will put you right to sleep. The New York Central has quite a rich history, but no one could have told it in a more dry fashion. In my mind I hear Ben Stein reciting the words in complete monotone…
So why exactly would I bore my readers with stories of a horrible book? Because it had one redeeming quality. Pictures. Wow, don’t I feel like a child, saying the only good part of a book was the pictures. But the pictures, they were good, and I figured I’d share with you all. Let’s “read” this book, together. And when I say read, I mean look at the pictures, and ignore all the snooze-inducing text.
Apparently the book was a donation to the library from the New York Central itself
1876, The locomotive Columbia, lost in the Ashtabula Disaster.
…and that just about wraps up our read of “The Road of the Century” … or at least the graphically condensed version. If you ask me, that picture of the conductors made everything worth it.
Tags: abraham lincoln, ashtabula disaster, book, cornelius vanderbilt, cornelius vanderbilt II, friday's from the historical archive, grand central depot, harlem river, hudson river, metro north, michigan central, new york & harlem railroad, new york central, william henry vanderbilt, william kissam vanderbilt