said to have appeared first in Gleason's Pictorial
and reprinted in some other in later years.
The views in Barber's Historical Collection
almost always showed men and boys under tall hats
, and even the ‘first steam train in America
’ is notable therefor.
In our old-time picture the engine men wear the more sensible cap
, while the fuel shown is wood.
There were then no coal-burning engines.
Next there was
Engine Cocheco, built at Lowell, on the Branch a long time; weight, twelve tons.
And later, and for many years, the engine Camilla, that weighed twenty tons and was built in Boston.
We fancy that Mr. Crook
, the conductor, with his hat, dickey and resplendent badge would create a sensation on the Medford Branch
has not been without its fatalities, one in its early days—
James B. Gregg, a prominent business man in Medford, was killed on the Branch at Medford Junction April 28, 1848.
Up to the nineties locomotive engines bore names and were resplendent with brass, which made the fireman's task in keeping it bright somewhat onerous.
Sometimes a large, new engine would be tried out on the Branch
Such were those mentioned in the Journal
, Mr. Usher
saying, ‘General Grant
and General Sherman
were in town last week.
A large company followed them to Boston
, but on arriving there were glad to get away from their terrible power,’ etc. Of course people hurried to their business and gladly went out of the smoke and grime of the train house.
We recall that the ‘flying switch’ was discontinued at terminals at the time of the strike as a safety measure, and trains since have been ‘pulled in.’
Now the great shed re-echoes with puff and snort, and reeks with hissing steam.
Soot-laden smoke, sticky grime and cinder mud make us prefer and use the cleaner electric power.
The engine Camilla
seems to have inspired a Medford boy to poetic flight, as appears in these verses:—