Railroad History

Its all about the rails


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Rotary Engine

Andrew Jackson Beard

Andrew Jackson Beard (1849-1921) was a prominent African American entrepreneur who rose from slavery to become an inventor in the 1880s and 1890s. Largely self-educated, he invented, among other things, a specially designed the double plow, a type of rotary steam engine, and a device for the automated coupling of railroad cars. The "Jenny Coupler" has been credited with saving countless railroad workers from mutilation and death. He also founded several successful businesses in Jefferson County, including a real estate firm and a taxi company.

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