Posts Tagged ‘locomotive’

Trains! It’s almost a year away – but worth getting excited about now!  The “Steampunk unLimited” event is going to be held in November this year.

A juxtaposition of art and invention, creativity and technology while paying homage to the Victorian Era and Industrial Revolution, an unprecedented weekend at the Strasburg Rail Road is announced.  Train rides behind a massive steam locomotive, delicious eats and treats, steampunk handiwork, photo opportunities galore, an insider’s look through a shop tour, music reflective of days gone by, and so much more are just a snippet of the weekend’s events. 

From the Strasburg Rail Road website!

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When I wrote about the Winans Steam Gun back in October 2011, I had no idea how popular the post would be, and I certainly had no idea that there was a new book about the subject by John Lamb! I will post more in the coming weeks, but I wanted to let you know about this event well in advance.

Steam at Harper’s Ferry will be hosting a book signing and historical presentation on the legendary Winans Steam Gun from the Civil War, 2-4 p.m., Sunday, May 6, with John Lamb, author of A Strange Engine of War: The “Winans” Steam Gun and Maryland in the Civil War.

Hope to see you there! If you can’t make the event, get your hands on the book.

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Harper’s Ferry visitors have a unique opportunity to walk alongside two historic canals. One, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which extends from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD for a distance of about 185 miles and the other, the Shenandoah Canal also known as the Shenandoah Navigation, which is often overlooked even  though its construction began twenty-two years earlier than that of the C&O. 

The canal became obsolete for use as a canal once the C&O was completed, however, the water siphoned from the Shenandoah fed industries, such as the paper mill on Virginius Island, through the early 1900s. If you take the Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park bus from the Park entrance at Cavalier Heights, you can still see lock ruins, especially during this time of  year.

The train tracks along this portion of the Shenandoah were once owned by the Winchester & Potomac Railroad, considered a Confederate railroad system during the Civil War. In 1867, the Winchester & Potomac Railroad was renamed the Winchester & Strasbourg Railroad.

A few weeks ago, Harper’s Ferry experienced some excitement as !!Snow Panic!! set in, although short lived. Here is a photo showing the Shenadoah Canal lock still on the job managing the Shenandoah in the midst of the fearsome flurries.

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Here is a piece from the New York City Department of Education Community School District 28, Gotham Center of New York City History. It starts out with “The Great Uprising” of workers which began in Martinsburg, WV in July, 1877 when the B&O announced a 10% pay cut.

“Already reeling from the faltering economy, the workers in Martinsburg, West Virginia responded with a strike. The railroad countered by requesting assistance from the state militia, violence ensued, and the work stoppage spread to Baltimore. Determined not to take further losses, B & O took the dispute to the federal government. The new administration of then President Rutherford B. Hayes responded by sending the US Army to West Virginia to prevent what he called “an insurrection.” Enraged by the collusion between big business and the government, thousands of other Americans of many different back grounds—German immigrants in Chicago, African-American militias in Pennsylvania—demonstrated in support of the railroad workers, setting off clashes with law enforcement and additional strikes in Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis, Buffalo, and elsewhere. In New York State, the governor declared martial law. Within two weeks, the strikes had spread to fourteen cities. 100,000 people were on strike; half the freight on the railroads had stopped moving.” [emphasis added.]

Sound familiar? Click on the image for the full newsletter.


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An extras casting assistant sent me an email with additional casting information. Based on the email, it looks like they need people ASAP for these roles.

“I am forwarding this information to you for the roles that need
to be filled for the upcoming filming that will be held in the Harper’sFerry
area.  They can reply to the below address if they are interested in being part of the production.

Individuals can reply with images to periodextras@gmail.com.”

Young Teddy Roosevelet age 24-26  5’9ish preferably with period wardrobe
(holster, has to ride horse)
Emma Goldman
Morgan’s Mother dark hair 30 nice looking
Ida Tarbell
Leon Csolgosz

Period prostitutes – bar ladies

The character links are mine – don’t blame the production crew!

Good luck!

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Little did I know that a steam gun captured on its way to Harper’s Ferry not only existed, but was the subject of a Mythbuster’s episode!

The steam gun’s inventor was Charles S. Dickinson of Cleveland, Ohio.  A patent was awarded to him for an “Improvement in Centrifugal Guns” where the gun barrel moves “by means of steam  or other power”.

Here is the drawing:

Dickinson Patent Centrifugal Gun

Here’s how it appears in Harper’s Weekly, May 25, 1861-

Winans Steam Gun

It was the subject of much controversy as it was ultimately built by Ross Winans of Baltimore, Md, a wealthy inventor and designer for the B&O railroad, who had the gun shipped from Baltimore to Harper’s Ferry in May 1861 in order to further his secessionist goals.  It was intercepted by a command under Brigadier General Benjamin F. Butler.  Butler captured Winans in Baltimore and Winans would have been hung for treason were it not for the intercession of Secretary of State Seward.

Here are a series of Civil War era contemporary articles for you. Interesting stuff!

Thanks for reading!

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Railroad! Serialized Steampunk Adventure.

TOR.COM Steampunk 101

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