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The Angola HorrorThe 1867 Train Wreck That Shocked the Nation and Transformed American Railroads$
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Charity Vogel

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449086

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449086.001.0001

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Chapter:
(p.207) Chapter 16 Changes
Source:
The Angola Horror
Author(s):

Charity Vogel

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449086.003.0017

This chapter discusses the changes that occurred in 1868–1893 after the Angola Horror. It begins with George Westinghouse Jr.'s invention of the air brake that could stop railroad trains quickly and reliably by harnessing compressed air. Westinghouse, a young mechanic, received the first patent on his air brake on April 13, 1869. Within the next few years, this air brake became a standard appliance on passenger trains in the United States. Writers began to use air brakes when crafting plot points in their novels and stories. This chapter also considers some of the changes to state and federal legislation aimed at making railroad travel safer for the American public in the wake of Angola, along with pleas to members of Congress and other lawmakers by people whose lives had been affected by the condition of the country's railroads.

Keywords:   railroads, Angola Horror, George Westinghouse Jr., trains, compressed air, air brakes, legislation, railroad travel, Congress

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