This Month In County History

1830: the supremacy of steam power

August 12, 2005

This month 175 years ago, Howard County was the site of a milestone in American transportation history. It was on Aug. 28, 1830, that "Peter Cooper ran his locomotive, the 'Tom Thumb,' along the Patapsco at the unbelievable speed of 18 miles per hour," according to Barbara W. Feaga's article in Howard's Roads To the Past.

"A short time later, Mr. Cooper raced his locomotive with one of horse-drawn coaches between Relay House and Baltimore. Although the locomotive lost the contest, the supremacy of steam power was firmly established over horse power."

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