Ramblings  on a Steam Horse 1855

A railroad runs through this gap from Cumberland to Mount Savage, and Frostburg, the latter about ten miles, and the former about six miles distant. Mount Savage is situated on the Savage creek, and has long been known for its extensive manufactories of iron. There are two or three blast furnaces, and a large rolling mill for the production of railroad and bar iron. There are also several machine-shops, and fire-brick are manufactured extensively. There are several hundred houses for the operative- built principally of stone, and situated in parallel rows on the hill-sides; nearly every house has a small yard in front, enclosed with a thick stone wall, which gives to the village a peculiarly picturesque effect. Although it has a population of from two to three thousand, it affords no accommodations for transient visitors or travelers. There is not an inn in the place, and we shall sympathize with the unlucky wight who, " from the inevitable force of circumstances," may find himself compelled to remain over night within its inhospitable limits. One reason—and it is entirely satisfactory to us—why no hotel accommodations are provided is, that the village and all its inhabitants being dependants of the Mount Savage Company, who have hitherto been involved in all sorts of embarrassments and failures, gives the place a character entirely too unreliable and evanescent, to justify any one in embarking in an enterprise of that kind; for, if iron goes down, the Company, and all of Mount Savage go down, too—the works are stopped, and the village depopulated. Several instances of this have hitherto occurred, and it has the effect at least of depriving the town of a respectable inn. The Mount Savage Iron Works, including all the houses, lands, railways and appurtenances, were sold a few years ago, during the depression in the iron market, to the present Company, at a great sacrifice. We do not remember the sum paid, but it was comparatively insignificant. Erastus Corning, Esq., of New York, it is understood, is one of the active proprietors, and his associates are nearly all citizens of that State. Shortly after the purchase, the present revival in iron took place; and such has been the prosperity in that branch of American manufactures ever since, that the works must have realized princely profits, while there is no immediate prospect of their diminution. These works were probably the first ever erected in the United States for the production of the T railway bars. All the railway bars of that pattern previously laid down in this country, were imported from Europe. Such is the superiority of our manufactures, obtained from an experience of twelve or fifteen years, that we now produce a better quality of railroad iron than is furnished by Great Britain. The compound rail, as it is called, is now principally, if not exclusively, manufactured at these works. It is a T rail, in two sections, which are subsequently riveted Frostburg.—The cool formation together when laid down on the track. The only merit claimed for it ia, that it obviates the jointure of the other rails, and thus makes a smooth road ; for the fracture, instead of occurring at the place of meeting of the two rails, is divided, so as to make the iron-way continuous. Instead, however, of one fracture, as in the ordinary T rail, there are in this rail, two—one on each side so that while the jars of the car are not quite so violent in passing over it, they are more numerous, and upon the whole, we cannot see that any particular advantage is secured. In point of economy, however, a more important feature is obtained; for, as the friction is principally on the inner rail, this can be removed, and another substituted ; whereas, in the case of other rails, the whole of it would be lost. Portions of the New York Central Railroad are laid down with this description of rail. The road from this place to Frostburg, some four or five miles distant, is also equipped with it. This road ascends the hill at Mount Savage, in a peculiar way. Running along its side with an ascent of at least one hundred feet to the mile, it terminates in an angle, and then, switching off, the track returns, but higher up, upon the slope of the hill, and thus finally overcomes the summit without the aid of stationary steam-power. The Railroad thus describes the letter Y, and we shall have occasion to illustrate the plan more particularly when we arrive at the Board Tree Tunnel on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.