The Steel Tubular Car Company, by J. W. Post (1887)
Early written railroad history is rife with graphic accounts of train wrecks and the excruciating detail of their resulting human carnage. In this 1887 stock prospectus for the Steel Tubular Car Company, J.W. Post uses similar accounting to convince prospective investors that “the sickening loss of human life, the maiming and roasting of helpless victims” would not have occurred had his indestructible steel tubular cars been on the tracks instead. The steel tubes (seen in the cross section of the parlor car pictured below) prevented the telescoping of cars during a crash, and by throwing the emergency breaks “passengers themselves can prevent the car from plunging over an embankment.” Other safety features included a separate heater car and a “fortress” car for transporting valuable materials that could resist “shots from either rifles or revolvers in the hands of train robbers or other desperadoes.” According to WorldCat, UIUC Library is the only recorded holder of this 1887 publication, now brought to any web browser near you! View the Flip Book.