TO RAIL ROAD COMPANIES. [caption title]. Root, iley.

TO RAIL ROAD COMPANIES. [caption title]

[Galesburg, Ill.? 1857]. Broadside. 4to. 26.5 x 20.5 cm. Printed on thin, pale gray paper with an oval cut of a train beneath caption. Through a printing error (apparently a crease in the paper), the "d" in "Road" is split, causing the second part of the caption to be slightly offset. Paper creased across upper left corner, shallow chip along top margin, short tear at lower corner without loss. Still, a very good copy of a fragile piece. Signed in type by Root, dated Galesburg, Ill., Dec. 16, 1857, at conclusion. Touting a "Rotary Fan Blower" patented by Root and Samuel G. Holyoke for removing snow from railroad tracks. "In 1857 [Root] secured a patent for the first rotary fan blower - a machine for clearing the snow from the railroad tracks. The device proved successful beyond his expectations, but through lack of funds he was unable to demonstrate its usefulness to the skeptical public and the officials of the new railroad enterprise who could not grasp the importance of such a machine. The patent therefore was allowed to expire. Later the efficiency of his invention became apparent to officials of western roads, and today his principle is employed in the machines for clearing the tracks where the greatest snow blockades occur." (see: Perry, History of Knox County [Ill.], 1912) OCLC lists three copies: Huntington, Lib. of Congress, and Newberry. Byrd 2786, recording two copies, both in private collections (James T. Hickey, Streeter): "Root claimed that his blower was not only more efficient but less expensive than the snow plough. The cut was engraved by R[oswell] N. White." See Byrd 2787 for a companion broadside. One of the pioneers of Knox County, Root is well-known for "[o]ne of the best overland journals" (Galesburg 1850), it being "one of the earliest describing the California gold fields, which [Root] reached from Oregon, May 1849."--Howes R436. Item #65219

Price: $450.00

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