Chapter 31: Railway Fever Spreads
This week we discuss how railroads rapidly spread across Great Britain, the United States, and Continental Europe between 1830 and 1848. In particular, we’ll focus on the unique ways railroads developed in each country, the civil engineers who built them, and the economic and social impacts of Railway Mania.
Sources for this episode include:
Allitt, Patrick N. “The Industrial Revolution.” The Great Courses. 2014.
Ferguson, Niall. The House of Rothschild: Money’s Prophets. Volume I (1798-1848). Penguin Books. 1999.
Herreld, Donald J. "An Economic History of the World Since 1400." The Great Courses. 2016.
Hobsbawm, Eric J. The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 1962.
Weightman, Gavin. The Industrial Revolutionaries: The Making of the Modern World, 1776-1914. Grove Press. 2007.
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By the end of the First Industrial Revolution, tens of thousands of miles of railways were in use across the world. They were built by hundreds of thousands of workers who used their brains and muscles to move earth, lay crossties and tracks, hammer spikes, build viaducts, and dig tunnels. It was dangerous work that left many injured or killed. They came from every nation and creed. Some chose to work on the railways for the prospect of much higher pay than they’d get in the mills or factories. Others were forced to perform this labor as slaves.
Leading the workers was a new generation of civil engineers. Among them was an orphan who learned the trade from a variety of projects he saw as he traveled the world. Some were the children of legendary engineers who came before. Others were their students.
Financing the railroads were bankers like the Rothschilds and Péreires, British capitalists, and in many places, the taxpayers too. They paid upwards of $150 billion in modern terms, often with their investments fully returned within a matter of years.
While the principles of mass production found in the factory system were slow to spread through Europe and the United States, the Transport Revolution took off swiftly. In the 20 years following completion of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, freight, passengers, and information moved faster than ever before. The success of an economy could be measured by the ratio of railway miles in a country to that country’s total square miles.
And just like we do with our modern technologies today, the people of the time felt conflicted by the railroads – excited by the prospect of progress, economic growth, and the freedom of movement; worried about dangers posed to workers, passengers, communities, local culture, and the physical environment.
Of all the changes that came with the Industrial Revolution, none had the economic, social, or symbolic impact of Railway Fever.
This is the Industrial Revolutions
Chapter 31: Railway Fever Spreads
Okay, so a quick correction from last week’s episode. I said that John Rennie, the engineer from Matthew Boulton’s Albion Mills, was also an engineer on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Not quite. John Rennie the Elder built the Albion Mills. His son, John Rennie the Younger, worked on the railway.
And that’s where our story begins today, with John Rennie the Younger.
While the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was still being surveyed, Rennie proposed a follow-up project that would be much grander – a railway from London up to Birmingham. In 1823, he formed a new company to build such a line.
Over the next ten years, the project slowly came together. Rennie merged his company with a rival’s and they raised millions of pounds in capital. They spent £32,000 in legal fees to move a bill through Parliament approving the railroad. Initially, Parliament rejected the proposed railroad because, much like with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, they weren’t crazy about an eminent domain bill when almost all of them were landowners. So, the company spent another three quarters of a million pounds making land purchases to get it done. The bill finally passed in 1833.
At 112 miles long, the Birmingham and London Railway would be by far the longest ever built. And to build it, they hired the now 29-year-old Robert Stephenson.
George Stephenson had acquired the means to provide his son the education he never got as a child. The expectation was that Robert would learn his lessons at school during the day and bring them home to teach his father at night. During his 20s, Robert managed his own locomotive-building company, more or less at the direction of his father. They built the locomotive Rocket together, and Robert not only came to possess a masterful understanding of mechanics, but business practices too.
In particular, when it came to building the Birmingham and London Railway, he understood the value of hiring good subcontractors and developing their talents. These subcontractors, in turn, would hire and manage at least 20,000 men – many of whom were unruly navvies – to dig tunnels, create cuttings and embankments, and more. The subcontractors were also responsible for handling huge amounts of money.
By this point, the principles of mass production had become widely adopted in giant mills and factories. And yet, the scale of this undertaking (managing 20,000 workers across 112 miles) was unprecedented. To do it, Robert divided the line into 6-mile sections, which he divvied-up to his various subcontractors. This way, he was also able to build all the sections simultaneously, getting the job done in a reasonable timeframe.
But Robert also had high standards. By his reckoning, he walked the entire length of the railway 15 times to closely inspect the work. It was extremely flat. There were no sharp curves. It was so well designed that, in the 20th Century, it was converted to accommodate a national, high-speed rail line without much re-engineering needed. In fact, it’s still in use today.
Now, it was over-budget. Like many other railways of this early period, it was about twice as expensive to build as anticipated. They spent a total of £5.5 million – about the same amount they raised in capital. And a major reason it went so over-budget was the railway stations they built. These elegant, stone buildings included triumphal arches and beautiful facades for its tunnels. And this would help kick-start a new architectural spirit in the 19th Century, as the Victorians experimented with different materials and styles in great public buildings, including the major railway stations in city centers.
After five years of construction, the line was finally opened in 1838, just a few months after the coronation of Queen Victoria. The first trains were able to make the journey between the two cities in under six hours.
At the same time his son was building that major railroad, George Stephenson was constructing his own. This Grand Junction Railway would extend from Birmingham up to Newton Junction, where it met with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Now the industrial centers of the kingdom would be connected to each other by rail. It would also travel through Wolverhampton and Stafford, creating an early version of suburban sprawl in the West Midlands.
Assisting George with this railroad was a young engineer by the name of Joseph Locke.
Born outside Sheffield in 1805, Locke’s father managed a local mine and was a friend of George Stephenson’s. Joseph and Robert also became friends, like their fathers. The young Locke received a grammar school education before taking an apprenticeship in a mine. Then, at age 17, he was offered a job by George Stephenson.
As a pupil engineer, he had helped Stephenson in the planning of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which we discussed last week. Soon after, he went to work at Robert Stephenson and Company, helping build locomotives in Newcastle. He was subsequently hired to conduct surveys for tunnels on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and he was probably the guy who came up with the solution to the Chat Moss bog problem. It was also probably Locke who was driving Rocket when it fatally ran over William Huskisson on the opening day of the line.
That same year though, Locke was put in charge of the survey for George Stephenson’s next big project: The Grand Junction Railway. The 24-year-old Locke created the route through the West Midlands, up to Warrington, where it joined with another railway leading up to Newton Junction.
Construction of the line was split between Stephenson and Locke, with the former taking the southern half and the latter taking the northern half. Locke outshined his master, successfully hiring subcontractors for every section of his half before Stephenson could hire even one. Frustrated by Stephenson’s lack of progress, the Railway company promoted Locke to co-Chief Engineer, but Stephenson resigned in protest. It created a longstanding rift between Locke and the Stephensons. In fact, Locke’s relationship with Robert was not mended until after George’s death.
The Grand Junction Railway was finished in 1837. And over the next 20 years Locke would build several of Britain’s most important railways: Lancaster and Carlisle; The Caledonian; Manchester and Sheffield; Lancaster and Preston Junction; London and Southampton; and more. On these lines he built impressive tunnels and massive bridges and viaducts. He was later elected to represent Honiton in Parliament and then served as President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Another great railroad builder was a guy we introduced last week: Charles Blacker Vignoles.
His ancestors were French Huguenots who escaped the religious persecution in 1685, re-settling in an English-controlled part of Ireland. Over the next hundred years they served the British military as distinguished officers. Born in 1793, Vignoles was just a year old when his father went to fight the French at Guadeloupe, taking his mother with him. While on campaign, both of his parents died of yellow fever, leaving him in the care of his father’s regiment until an uncle found him two years later.
He was placed in the care of his maternal grandfather, an instructor at the Royal Military Academy at Woolrich, who was connected to the famous Rennie brothers – John the Younger and George.
His grandfather encouraged him toward the law originally, hoping he’d avoid the army, but it didn’t work. Vignoles wound up at cadet college and later served in the Napoleonic Wars, providing weight and measurement conversions to the Duke of Wellington. After the war was done, he wound up in South America, serving Britain’s anti-Spanish interests by fighting alongside Simon Bolivar.
His post-military career began in 1817, when he headed to the United States. He took a job as deputy to the state civil engineer of South Carolina. He later went to the disputed territory of Florida where he was appointed city surveyor of St. Augustine. But he headed back to England in 1823 after the death of his grandfather to be with his grandmother. There he found work as an assistant surveyor for the London Commercial Docks under construction. But his big break was in 1825, when the Rennie brothers hired to take over for the fired George Stephenson, surveying the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.
Vignoles was instrumental in getting that project back on track (no pun intended), only to get fired by the railway company over engineering disagreements. When the Rainhill Trials came, he backed the locomotive Novelty, which lost out to Stephenson’s Rocket. Then he was hired by our old friend Marc Isambard Brunel, who was trying to build a tunnel under the River Thames in London. But here too Vignoles couldn’t get along with the boss and fell out of the picture there.
But with the experience he had developed by this point, and perhaps with the relationship he had with the Rennies, Vignoles kept getting jobs to build railways: Wigan Branch; St Helens and Runcorn Gap; Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester; and more. For a time, he was also engineer to the royal commission on railways in Ireland, building the Dublin and Kingstown Railway.
And then there was the Grand Western Railway, built by the son of Vignoles’ old boss: Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
We’ll discuss the biography of Brunel in a later chapter, because his legacy is so extraordinary that it requires more time than we can devote to it today. And the Grand Western Railway fit that extraordinary mold.
Formed and financed by merchants in Bristol, who saw their port decline in relevance compared to London and Liverpool, they hired the 27-year-old Brunel in 1833 to construct a line there from London. Along the route would be stations in (or connections to) famous southern cities like Oxford, Gloucester, and Bath. In time, it would develop into a whole rail network connecting towns, cities, and villages across western England and Wales back to London.
But the most curious thing about this railway was Brunel’s stubborn decision to use a 7-foot gauge between the rail tracks, rather than Stephenson’s standard 4-foot, 8 ½-inch gauge. While more costly to build, the Brunel Gauge made a smoother ride possible at a time when passengers routinely complained about getting headaches and motion sickness on trains. But this caused a “Gauge War” on the railways until Parliament intervened in 1846, requiring all new railways to use the standard 4-feet, 8 ½ inches.
The surge of Railway Mania was large and came fast. By 1837 – just seven years after the first modern railway was completed – something like 80 companies had formed, and 1837 would see the first financial crisis caused by over-enthusiasm in railway stocks. But it didn’t stop, and a second bubble burst just ten years later. In 1845 alone, Parliament authorized nearly 2,170 miles of new railroad construction – nearly doubling the country’s existing rail infrastructure – at a cost of about half a billion pounds.
Another 477 bills passed through Parliament the following year, which would cost investors another £200 million.
Railway Fever had an enormous impact on the British economy. In the 20 years following completion of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, iron production tripled. So too did coal output. 6,000 miles of track had been laid by at least 100,000 workers. And the railways would employ an additional 60,000 workers to maintain the lines, collect fares, and operate the locomotives. The largest companies on the London Stock Exchange were railways.
And locomotives got faster and faster, topping 40 miles per hour by the end of the First Industrial Revolution. Had it not been for the railroads, it’s doubtful that industrialization would have been able to advance as much as it did. They allowed freight to move quicker and cheaper than ever before, and created a boom in local urban economies that the railroads passed through. The railway companies even created some new towns that had never before existed.
Beginning in the late 1830s, a reformer named Rowland Hill advocated for the use of railroads to speed up the UK’s postal service. Over the next 30 years, the postal service had increased its deliveries by more than a factor of ten.
Railway Fever even created a boom in the horse-and-buggy industry (at least until the introduction of the automobile) because after travelers got to a new city by train, they needed a ride from the station to their final destination.
The demand for railway labor far outweighed supply. As a result, wages for building the railways were as much as double the wages found in textile mills. And yet, the contractors who hired them typically emulated the behavior of the mill masters. Working conditions were dangerous and compensation was generally not offered to those injured on the job. The hours they demanded were long, and often times the pay they doled out was not the pay they promised. And there was no recourse.
But as the railways went into operation, managers needed to improve relations with the workforce, which was spread out across the miles of railway all the time. They also had to improve communications, but we’ll get to that another time.
At first, the government had a hands-off approach to the railways, at least once the authorizations were approved. But by 1844 there had been enough crashes that Parliament passed an act outlining basic safety standards for trains, brakes, and signals. They also required each railway to operate at least one cheap train per day, meant for lower-income passengers.
And just as Canal-Mania had so many years ago, Railway-Mania immediately spread to Britain’s cousins across the pond.
The story of the American railroads begins with an engineer named Horatio Allen.
Born in Schenectady, New York, in 1802, Allen was the son of a mathematics professor. As such, he would go on to receive one of the best educations available in those days, attending Columbia College in Manhattan. He became very interested in canals and took a job with the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, where he quickly rose through the ranks.
The canal’s construction began in 1825, in order to speed up the transport of coal from Pennsylvania to New York. During his time working on the canal (helping build its 14 aqueducts and 109 locks) Allen quickly came to master engineering principles.
Then, in 1827, his boss, John Jervis, developed a serious interest in a brand-new form of transport infrastructure – railways. He’d never seen one, but he had heard about the many railways in Great Britain, including the new ones being built for locomotives. When Allen told him that he planned to resign from the company to go travel around England, Jervis made a proposal. The company would pay him to go learn about locomotive railways.
Soon after he arrived, Allen met George Stephenson, who was more than happy to show Allen the new Liverpool-Manchester Railway he was finishing up. Observing the Industrial Revolution in full-swing, Allen became obsessed with everything happening in Britain. He made careful drawings and took meticulous notes about locomotives, the tracks used on Stephenson’s railway, the new Liverpool Docks, and more. He went to the completed Stockton and Darlington Railway to see “the only place where a locomotive was in daily operation, and could be studied in all its practical details.”
Eventually, Allen wrote back to the impatient Jervis that, yes, steam locomotives were indeed the future. Not only were they much faster than horses, but they were bound to improve still further. As he later put it, “There is no reason to believe that the breed of horses will be materially improved, but the present breed of locomotives will furnish a power of which no one knows the limit.”
Before returning to America, he placed an order for one locomotive from Robert Stephenson and Company, and another three from one of their competitors (which were pretty shoddy, but also much cheaper than Robert Stephensons’, which was the primary concern for the frugal Americans of the time.)
In May 1829, before any locomotives were in use on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, a locomotive called Stourbridge Lion was delivered to the wharf of the West Point Foundry Works in New York City. There was no rail line for the excited Americans to put it on yet. Instead, it was propped on up blocks so people could come see it. Demonstrations were held and thousands would watch its wheels move by the power of steam, even if it stayed in one place.
By July, the Delaware and Hudson company had quickly built a small track for it from the port to the canal. Allen, in particular, was worried that rail line – with wooden tracks and a wooden bridge over Lackawaxen Creek – would be crushed under the weight of the locomotive. Much to Allen’s (and everyone’s) relief, it didn’t kill anybody. The only injury that day was caused by a celebratory cannon which blew one of the workers’ legs off. (Insert eyeroll for 19th Century safety precautions here.)
But the line didn’t last long. The wooden rails quickly warped and rotted, and then twisted when exposed to the sun. The Stourbridge Lion never went into commercial operation on the line and the engine was used instead for stationary power.
But the Delaware and Hudson rail line would not be the only one to employ wood for its tracks. In fact, about half of the early American railroads were made entirely of timber – from the rails and bridges to the stations, engine houses, train cars, water tanks, even the fuel itself. Unlike in Britain, good coal and iron ore were in limited supply on America’s east coast. But also unlike in Britain, wood was everywhere, since much of the interior had still not yet been cleared for farming.
A good example was Allen’s next project, the South Carolina Railroad, spanning the 136 miles from Charleston to Hamburg. The line was promoted by cotton merchants trying to compete with the shipping outpost in Savannah, Georgia. They appointed Allen its Chief Engineer and he got to work on a survey of the land.
Unlike in England, where landowners were often up-in-arms if a railway wanted to pass through their properties (sometimes quite literally up-in-arms), the landowners of South Carolina welcomed this effort to speed up the transportation of cotton to the sea. Many also saw a more sinister economic opportunity. This railroad was built by slaves, who were rented out to the railroad company so the slaveowners could pocket some extra cash.
Despite his initial misgivings about timber for rail tracks, Allen was comfortable building the South Carolina Railroad out of wood. He built it on an elevated track, not only making for a smoother ride, but also to allow livestock and slaves to pass under (rather than over) the railroad. The line officially opened in 1833 and it used the first-ever commercial locomotive built in the United States: The Best Friend of Charleston, produced at the West Point Foundry in New York City.
Make no mistake, this railroad was generally a failure. The wooden structure began rotting almost immediately and iron rails had to be brought in. The Best Friend of Charleston blew up within a year of operation when an engineer accidently held down the safety valve. But for what it’s worth, this failure taught American engineers some crucial lessons.
And at least 15 other engineers also crossed the Atlantic to learn from the British. Among them was William Strickland, a well-known civil engineer of his day who had first studied and worked under Henry Latrobe (shout out Chapter 11!). The Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Internal Improvement gave him a $3,000 stipend to go to England with a draftsman assistant and study the railways being built. They asked for working plans – specifically, not for any theoretical nonsense – so such railways could be executed in Pennsylvania. He came back with practically a textbook for building railroads.
Another was Moncure Robinson, who came from a well-off merchant family in Richmond, Virginia. Like the aristocratic boys of England, he put together a Grand Tour of Europe for himself (at his father’s expense) to study the sciences in the Old World. He spent most of his time in Paris, soaking in the culture. But he also made a point of it to go to Britain and learn about the canals, steam engines, and new machines of the Industrial Revolution. Robinson wrote home that, “In practical Mechanics the French must be at least one hundred years behind the English.”
Robinson would go on to become an influential promoter of railroads across the Antebellum South. And for the most part, the US railroads were built from the north to south, connecting the larger populations of the Eastern Seaboard. It wasn’t until after the Civil War – during the Second Industrial Revolution – that railroads starting being built westward, toward the upper Midwest, to the plains, and to California.
In the 1830s, the amount of railroad track laid in the U.S. increased 100-fold, a whopping 3,000 miles. By the time of the Civil War, the U.S. had 36,000 miles of track, compared to just 13,000 in Great Britain. Now, mostly this is because there was more ground to cover – America’s a bigger country – but also because it was cheaper in the U.S., where the industrialized workforce was only beginning to take off.
As Charles Dickens noted while traveling by train in Massachusetts in the 1840s, the railway culture was different too. For one thing, Americans were all saying “railroad” rather than the more English “railway” – a difference that persists to this day. (I use both interchangeably.) The seating layouts on trains was different. Most amazing, Americans needed something called a “cowcatcher” to be placed on the front of their locomotives – a big grate to knock away and/or carry large animals on the tracks. Frequently on arriving at a station, the passengers would look to see badly wounded deer or dogs or pigs – or even cows – in the cowcatcher.
And despite lagging behind the British, the French too would experience Railway Fever as it spread to the Continent.
Outside of the English-speaking world, the first country to contract Railway Fever was Belgium, where the government foot the bill to build a line funneling traffic in and out of the port at Antwerp. It would span much of the country, all the way to the Prussian border. This railway opened in 1835.
Getting railroads up and running in France proved more difficult. As early as 1833, Charles Blacker Vignoles invited the young but rising French statesman Adolphe Thiers to join him on a whistle-stop tour of England. First they went to the Thames Tunnel under construction as well as the Chatham Dockyard. They proceeded to the factory where the Stourbridge Lion was made, saw Thomas Telford’s work on the Birmingham Canal, checked out a number of impressive bridges, and finally came to the new Liverpool and Manchester Railway.
The tour was meant to promote a new railroad scheme Vignoles had in mind, linking London to Paris with a steamer over the English Channel. But unlike the Americans, Thiers declared he was unimpressed by Britain’s industrialization. According to a frustrated Vignoles’ recounting of the conversation, Thiers stated, “As to railways, I do not think them suited to France.”
But French views toward rail weren’t unanimous. That same year, a French traveler named Michel Chevalier visited Liverpool, taking the train from Manchester. He noted the sensation of being moved at thirty miles an hour “with the utmost feeling of security.” Chevalier believed that his home country needed to build its own railways, connecting its still-growing industrial centers, otherwise France will soon have “fallen behind all Europe in manufacturers and commerce.”
But the initial French railways weren’t connecting industrial centers. Instead, the first two – one of which was financed by the Péreires and Rothschilds – linked Paris to the now-tourist attraction of Versailles. One such line probably wouldn’t have been very profitable (at least not compared to a line up to Rouen) but two lines was absurd. As a result, the French largely soured on rail development for the next decade or so.
It wouldn’t be until 1839 that another banker named Charles Lafitte was fed up with the lack of railway progress and surveyed a route from Paris to Rouen and on to Le Havre.
He calculated the costs and came up with a scheme to raise the capital – one quarter of the investment would come from the French government, a bit could come from French investors, the rest could be raised from British capitalists. (To get them on board, extensions would be made to Calais or Boulogne for a short Channel crossing.)
The government approved the proposal and Lafitte met with Joseph Locke.
But when he agreed to take on the project, Locke soon discovered that there was no workforce in France that could handle this kind of labor, at least not at the right price. So, he contracted two fellow Brits – Thomas Brassey and William Mackenzie – to divide up the work of the project and bring as many as 5,000 workers from back home to France.
Over the next few years, they built the initial route of the railway, digging four tunnels and constructing several viaducts. And everyone in France seemed amazed by the productivity of British labor. “My God, these English: How they work!” exclaimed one French onlooker, according to Locke’s memoirs.
Much of their ability to move earth and raise tracks was due to their experience with their tools – experience that came from decades of civil engineering projects across Great Britain. But the French also had another explanation: The English diet. The British laborers consumed huge quantities of roast beef and beer, giving them the calories needed to do the hard work – calorie quantities to which the French were unaccustomed. But as one French journalist noted, “Place a Frenchman in the same circumstances with regard to food and tools, and he will very soon be equal to the Englishman.”
The British laborers came from every part of the island – England, Scotland, Wales. There were Irish laborers too. Plus, they did pick up work from Frenchmen and even enlisted some workers from Germany, Belgium, and northern Italy. And this cross-cultural interaction informed later railway development through the rest of the Continent.
Across the Continent, railways were laid down on routes that were the easiest to engineer, even if they weren’t the most direct. Unlike in Britain, where travelers had an air of independence – carrying their own bags, sitting wherever they wanted, etc. – Continental customs were more managed. In France, the traveler would hand over his or her luggage and get herded onto the train.
Rail development was even slower in Germany, due to the political fragmentation there in the 19th Century. Not only did building the railways require cooperation between multiple German states, it also required capital that was more difficult to mobilize. Much like in America, different German states financed their railroads in different ways. In some, the taxpayers would foot the bill to construct new rail lines, in others it was left to private investors, like the Rothschilds.
The first was a short run in Bavaria, from Nuremberg to Fürth. It opened as a passenger railway in 1835, moving travelers between the city and suburb, behind a Robert Stephenson-built locomotive: The Adler or “Eagle.”
By the end of the First Industrial Revolution, the Germans had built more extensive railways than even the French – about 5,800 miles compared to France’s 3,000 miles. And much of the iron and steel for these rail lines was coming from their top industrialist, Alfred Krupp. Demand for iron skyrocketed during these years, not only because of the railroads, but also for the steamers operating on the Rhine and Elbe rivers. Between 1837 and 1849, the number of steam engines in Prussia alone tripled. Coalfields were now linked up with cities and manufacturing centers, rapidly increasing the rate of industrialization in the not-yet-unified German nation.
Even in countries where industrialization was otherwise virtually non-existent, railroads were built – short lines in Italy and Spain went up, as did longer lines in Russia and Austria. These included some impressive feats, like a 222-arch bridge built across the Laguna Veneta to Venice.
At one point in the 1840s, there was even a scheme to built a railway from Calais all the way to Calcutta – a 5,000 mile journey across Europe, the Ottoman Empire, Persia, and India. It promised incredible views along the way, as well as the speediest-ever means of getting Brits to their Indian colony.
And even though it didn’t come to fruition, the British were also beginning to see the value in building railroads everywhere. Thomas Brassey’s company went on to build lines across the Alps, in Argentina, and Brazil. Railways were built in British colonies like South Africa, Canada, and Australia, but nowhere more than India – especially during the U.S. Civil War, as cotton imports were disrupted.
Next week, we’re going to leave the U.K., the U.S., and Continental Europe to the side. And we’re going to explore what was happening elsewhere – particularly, the effects of industrialization on the colonial world.
Just a reminder, if you haven’t listened to it yet, there was a great bonus episode late last week where I interviewed the Director of the California State Railroad Museum – so if you’re interested in learning more about the impact of railroads in the United States, check it out.
Also, there’s going to be another bonus episode this Friday for National Manufacturing Day. I’ll be interviewing Thomas Lichtenberger, the CEO of Festo Didactic, a company training the workforce of the future – so, again, come back Friday to hear all about it. Thank you!