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Maxwell Motor and the Making of the Chrysler Corporation Cover

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Maxwell Motor and the Making of the Chrysler Corporation

Anthony J. Yanik

Though usually regarded as a footnote in automotive history, Maxwell Motor was one of the leading automobile producers in the United States during the first quarter of the twentieth century, and its cars offered several innovations to buyers of the time. For instance, Maxwell's was the first popular car with its engine in front instead of under the body, the first to be designed with three-point suspension and shaft drive, and one of the earliest cars to feature thermo-syphon cooling. In Maxwell Motor and the Making of the Chrysler Corporation, Anthony J. Yanik examines the machines, the process, and the men behind Maxwell, describing both the vehicle engineering and the backroom wheeling and dealing that characterized the emergence and disappearance of the early auto companies. In this detailed history, Yanik charts the company's evolution through the early Maxwell-Briscoe years, 1903-1912; the Maxwell Motor Company years, 1913-1920; and finally the Maxwell Motor Corporation years, 1921-1925. He considers the influential leaders, including Jonathan Maxwell, Benjamin Briscoe, Walter Flanders, and Walter P. Chrysler, who executed the business decisions and corporate mergers that shaped each tumultuous era, concluding with Chrysler's eventual deal to transfer all Maxwell assets to form a new Chrysler Corporation in 1925. Yanik also discusses the aftermath of Maxwell's dissolution and the fate of its famous corporate leaders. For this study, Yanik draws on a wealth of primary sources including old automotive trade journals, the writings of Ben Briscoe and William Durant, and company records in the Chrysler archives. Maxwell Motor and the Making of the Chrysler Corporation fills a gap in existing automotive scholarship and proves that the Maxwell story is an excellent resource for documenting the development of the automobile industry in the early twentieth century. Auto buffs and local historians will appreciate Yanik's thorough and engaging look at this slice of automotive history.

The Men Who Loved Trains Cover

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The Men Who Loved Trains

The Story of Men Who Battled Greed to Save an Ailing Industry

Edited by Rush Loving

A saga about one of the oldest and most romantic enterprises in the land—America’s railroads—The Men Who Loved Trains introduces some of the most dynamic businessmen in America. Here are the chieftains who have run the railroads, including those who set about grabbing power and big salaries for themselves, and others who truly loved the industry.

As a journalist and associate editor of Fortune magazine who covered the demise of Penn Central and the creation of Conrail, Rush Loving often had a front row seat to the foibles and follies of this group of men. He uncovers intrigue, greed, lust for power, boardroom battles, and takeover wars and turns them into a page-turning story for readers.

Included is the story of how the chairman of CSX Corporation, who later became George W. Bush’s Treasury secretary, was inept as a manager but managed to make millions for himself while his company drifted in chaos. Men such as he were shy of scruples, yet there were also those who loved trains and railroading, and who played key roles in reshaping transportation in the northeastern United States. This book will delight not only the rail fan, but anyone interested in American business and history.

Milwaukee Road Remembered Cover

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Milwaukee Road Remembered

Jim Scribbins

The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific was a railroad with a big personality. For a time it offered the world’s fastest steam-powered passenger trains. Extending from Indiana to Puget Sound, it crossed five mountain ranges in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. It was also the first railroad to prove the feasibility of long distance movement of heavy trains by electricity. All-welded freight and passenger cars were pioneered in its shops, and Milwaukee Road mechanical engineers planned the first streamlined steam locomotives intended for sustained 100 mph speeds. In Milwaukee Road Remembered, eminent railway historian Jim Scribbins provides a richly illustrated history of the unique challenges and successes of this storied railroad.

The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway Cover

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The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway

A Photographic History

Don L. Hofsommer

In this photographic history of the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway (M&StL), railroad historian Don L. Hofsommer revives the memory of a storied regional railroad. The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway was created on May 26, 1870, by a group of Minnesota investors interested in establishing a railroad connection between Minneapolis and the agricultural regions to the south. While not flashy, the M&StL served Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Illinois over nine decades and was essential in opening new territory, providing freight as well as passenger carriage, and employing thousands of people. Rich in illustrations, this is not just a chronicle of a railroad but also a story and a record of a way of life in the rural upper Midwest. A must-have for readers who fondly remember the Tootin’ Louie as well as rail fans, history buffs, and model railroaders in general.

Minneapolis and the Age of Railways Cover

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Minneapolis and the Age of Railways

Don L. Hofsommer

With the recent revitalization of the Minneapolis Warehouse District and the surge in construction of condominiums and new buildings near the banks of the Mississippi, the landscape of the city seems to change almost daily. Not so long ago, however, this newly desirable area was blanketed by railroads serving the lumber and flour mills and other industries powered by the enormous Falls of St. Anthony. 

In Minneapolis and the Age of Railways, Don Hofsommer presents Minneapolis from the 1860s into the 1950s, when railroads served as a unique link between city and countryside. Rails carried wheat and helped make Minneapolis the flour milling capital of the world; brought logs to Minneapolis to be processed into lumber that built towns and farms across the prairies; and delivered coal and all manner of manufactured goods and merchandise to Minneapolis, its vast hinterland to the north and west, and beyond to the Rockies and the Pacific, making the growth of America’s northern heartland possible. Railroads also provided efficient, long-distance transportation for hundreds of thousands of people who traveled via Minneapolis. The Milwaukee Road and Great Northern passenger terminals in Minneapolis were vibrant places—the heart of the city—pumping passengers, mail, and express parcels into the nation’s steel-rail cardiovascular system. 

Illustrated with more than 200 period photographs and maps detailing the city and the tracks that crossed it, this remarkable book reflects a time not so long ago when the locomotive dominated the landscape and set the tempo for the nation—the age of railways. 

Don L. Hofsommer is professor of history at St. Cloud State University. He is the author of many books on railroad history, including The Tootin’ Louie: A History of Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway and The Great Northern Railway: A History, both published by Minnesota.

November's Fury Cover

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November's Fury

The Deadly Great Lakes Hurricane of 1913

Michael Schumacher

On Thursday, November 6, the Detroit News forecasted “moderate to brisk” winds for the Great Lakes. On Friday, the Port Huron Times-Herald predicted a “moderately severe” storm. Hourly the warnings became more and more dire. Weather forecasting was in its infancy, however, and radio communication was not much better; by the time it became clear that a freshwater hurricane of epic proportions was developing, the storm was well on its way to becoming the deadliest in Great Lakes maritime history.

The ultimate story of man versus nature, November’s Fury recounts the dramatic events that unfolded over those four days in 1913, as captains eager—or at times forced—to finish the season tried to outrun the massive storm that sank, stranded, or demolished dozens of boats and claimed the lives of more than 250 sailors. This is an account of incredible seamanship under impossible conditions, of inexplicable blunders, heroic rescue efforts, and the sad aftermath of recovering bodies washed ashore and paying tribute to those lost at sea. It is a tragedy made all the more real by the voices of men—now long deceased—who sailed through and survived the storm, and by a remarkable array of photographs documenting the phenomenal damage this not-so-perfect storm wreaked.

The consummate storyteller of Great Lakes lore, Michael Schumacher at long last brings this violent storm to terrifying life, from its first stirrings through its slow-mounting destructive fury to its profound aftereffects, many still felt to this day.

On Railways Far Away Cover

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On Railways Far Away

William D. Middleton

In this lavishly illustrated memoir, William D. Middleton invites readers to climb aboard and share with him 60 years of railroad tourism around the globe. Middleton's award-winning photography has recorded events such as the final days of American Civil War locomotives in Morocco and the start up of the world's first high-speed railway in Japan. He has photographed such great civil works as Scotland's Firth of Forth Bridge and the splendid railway station at Haydarpasa on the Asian side of the Bosporus, while closer to home he has been recognized for his significant contribution to the photographic interpretation of North America's railroading history. On Railways Far Away presents over 200 of Middleton's favorite photographs and the personal stories behind the images. It is a book that will delight both armchair travelers and those for whom the railroads still hold romance.

Rail and the City Cover

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Rail and the City

Shrinking Our Carbon Footprint While Reimagining Urban Space

Roxanne Warren

The United States has evolved into a nation of twenty densely populated megaregions. Yet despite the environmental advantages of urban density, urban sprawl and reliance on the private car still set the pattern for most new development. Cars guzzle not only gas but also space, as massive acreage is dedicated to roadways and parking. Even more pressing, the replication of this pattern throughout the fast-developing world makes it doubtful that we will achieve the reductions in carbon emissions needed to avoid climate catastrophe. In Rail and the City, architect Roxanne Warren makes the case for compact urban development that is supported by rail transit. Calling the automobile a relic of the twentieth century, Warren envisions a release from the tyrannies of traffic congestion, petroleum dependence, and an oppressively paved environment. Technical features of rail are key to its high capacities, safety at high speeds, and compactness -- uniquely qualifying it to serve as ideal infrastructure within and between cities. Ultimately, mobility could be achieved through extensive networks of public transit, particularly rail, supplemented by buses, cycling, walking, car-sharing, and small, flexible vehicles. High-speed rail, fed by local transit, could eliminate the need for petroleum-intensive plane trips of less than 500 miles.Warren considers issues of access to transit, citing examples from Europe, Japan, and North America, and pedestrian- and transit-oriented urban design. Rail transit, she argues, is the essential infrastructure for a fluidly functioning urban society.

Railroad Empire across the Heartland Cover

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Railroad Empire across the Heartland

Rephotographing Alexander Gardner's Westward Journey

James E. Sherow

Best known for his Civil War photographs, Alexander Gardner also documented the construction of the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division (later the Kansas Pacific Railroad), across Kansas beginning in 1867. This book presents recent photographs by John R. Charlton of the scenes Gardner recorded, paired with the Gardner originals and accompanied by James E. Sherow’s discussion. Like most rephotography projects, this one provides fascinating information about the changes in the landscape over the last century and a half.

The book presents ninety pairs of Gardner’s and Charlton’s photographs. In all of Charlton’s photos he duplicates the exact location and time of day of the Gardner originals. Sherow uses the paired images to show how Indian and Anglo-American land-use practices affected the landscape. As the Union Pacific claimed, the railroad created an American empire in the region, and Charlton’s rephotography captures the transformation of the grasslands, harnessed by the powerful social and economic forces of the railroad.

Railroad Noir Cover

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Railroad Noir

The American West at the End of the Twentieth Century

Narratives by Linda Grant Niemann. Photographs by Joel Jensen

Culled from the 20 years she spent traveling the American West as a freight brakeman and conductor, Linda Grant Niemann's Railroad Noir delves into the darker side of railroading. The 1990s were a time of crisis for workers caught in the breakup of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Niemann's tales of exhaustion, alcoholism, homelessness, and corporate blundering present a revelatory account of railroading life. Photographer Joel Jensen realizes Niemann's vision of the working West with images of cowboy bars, blue motels, and railroaders working in electrical storms, white-outs, and desert heat waves. The result is an honest, gritty, and striking collaboration.

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