Philosophy of Railroads and Other Essays: Railroad Promotion and Manipulation in the 19th Century (Heritage) (Paperback)

Philosophy of Railroads and Other Essays: Railroad Promotion and Manipulation in the 19th Century (Heritage) By T. C. Keefer, H. V. Nelles (Editor) Cover Image

Philosophy of Railroads and Other Essays: Railroad Promotion and Manipulation in the 19th Century (Heritage) (Paperback)

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T.C. Keefer's Philosophy of Railroads is one of the greatest hymns of praise to the age of iron and steel ever written in North America. Better than any other document it shows why railroads were seen as the arteries of the Canadian nation during the nineteenth century, This volume brings four of Keefer's works together with a brilliant introduction by H.V. Nelles. It includes Philosophy of Railroads, originally published in 1849; a lecture in which Keefer outlines his hopes for the development of the Montreal region and in passing reveals the philosophical foundation upon which they rest; the Sequel to the Philosophy of Railroads, a fascinating illustration of the problems the first engineers faced in raising their trade from a scramble for money and prestige into a legitimate profession; and a final essay on railways written in the early 1860s - expressing Keefer's disillusionment at the failure of railways to fulfill their promise.


At one level these essays say a great deal about railroads and about Canadian society in the nineteenth century; at another they represent a cycle, from enthusiastic idealism to realism, in one man's thought; and at yet another they introduce us to the historian's problem of establishing relationships between ideas and the material conditions within which they appear.

T.C. Keefer (1821-1914) was a prominent civil engineer and eloquent polemicist for technological progress. H.V. Nelles is the L.R. Wilson Professor of Canadian History at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, and a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, York University.
Product Details ISBN: 9780802061577
ISBN-10: 0802061575
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Publication Date: December 15th, 1972
Pages: 250
Language: English
Series: Heritage