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[p. 60]

A second engine was imported from England, and set up as was the first, but with much less difficulty, and was placed in charge of the workman who prepared it for use. This was little to the liking of the English engineer who was in charge of the first ‘locomotive,’ and who was anxious to bring over from England one ‘who was competent.’ He foresaw only trouble and disaster should it continue in such inexperienced hands. And sure enough the grim prophecies were realized in due time. With many ‘I told you so’s the imported engineer repaired the difficulty, adroitly concealing the real trouble and process of repair by various useless maneuvers. The difficulties becoming chronic, the suspicions of the Yankee engineer were aroused. Concealing himself in the engine house over night, he saw enough to warrant all his suspicion. As usual his associate repaired the difficulty, and commented on the folly of entrusting such an intricate machine to unskilled hands. A little later two men witnessed the night tampering, and the next day and thereafter there was a different man in charge of the first locomotive and the former engineer was in search of a situation. In a few years good locomotives were built in the Lowell machine shops, a vast improvement over those imported, whose cylinders lacked three-eighths of an inch of being circular in form.

Those first imported locomotives would contrast queerly with the great steel monsters that thunder along the tracks today and whose boilers are entirely above the driving wheels. Equally great would be the contrast the cars would present both in size and design, while style of finish and convenience is hardly to be compared. The first engines had no cabs to shelter the engineer or fireman. After a time a sash or framework with glass was placed before them, which was some protection from the draught formed by the rapid movement of the engine.

The fuel burned was wood (mostly pine), and the tender or watertank attached, though piled high at the start had to be replenished on the way with both wood and water.

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