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People and train on North Branch Potomac River bridge


View of a train on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad crossing the Bollman truss bridge that spanned the north branch of the Potomac River, east of Cumberland, in North Branch, Maryland. The bridge was built in 1857 by Wendel Bollman of Baltimore, Maryland, to replace a wooden bridge in the same location. His bridge design was preferred by the B&O Railroad due to its ease of assembly. The individuals standing at the front of the train and on the bridge are presumed to be from a larger group of artists and businessmen invited to make an excursion by B&O Railroad train starting from Baltimore to the Ohio River Valley and back. The trip began from Baltimore's Camden Street Station on June 1, 1859, and ended at the same station on June 5, 1859. The excursion was orchestrated by Maryland Institute board member William Prescott Smith, an officer of the B&O Railroad, and was sponsored by Harper’s New Monthly Magazine for an article which appeared in June of 1859 (No. CIX, Vol. XIX) by Porte Crayon (pen name for David Hunter Strother).




Collection Number



8 x 10 inches

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1 print

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Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


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