DAILY FEATURE: By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (January 7, 2021) – In Issue 2021-4 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps we’re riding the rails.

7-5-1935 Oiling the Iron Horse which hauls the now speed king of the rails, The Baltimore and Ohio’s New Train – The Abraham Lincoln. (Photo B&O Railroad Archives of the Herald & Reveiw File)


The infancy of the U.S. railroads, or choo-choo’s to a young child, traces back to the latter portions of the 1820s.  The first and oldest common carrier is the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  The B&O completed its first railroad station in 1830 on this day – Baltimore’s Mount Clare station.

The first completed railroad section took one to Elliott’s Mills, thirteen miles away. Initially passenger cars were horse drawn.  The four-legged animals were soon replaced by iron horses, with the first locomotive, “Tom Thumb”, making its inaugural journey for B&O in August 1830.

It wasn’t the first rail transport by any means.  The first wooden rail system was operational in Austria starting in 1515.   A cousin of rails is trackways, which run in grooves in the ground, date back to 3838 B.C.

Here is Johnson’s colorful map of Baltimore from 1855.

City of Baltimore Map – 1855 (Credit Steve Koavacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.