American railroad history is filled with accounts of misadventure. Steam boilers blew up. Bridges collapsed under the weight of heavy engines. Locomotives crashed head-on because of signal failures. Passenger cars derailed, often with dire results. Lightly built wooden coaches splintered on impact, and the debris often ignited from the coals in the iron stoves used for heating. In the mid-nineteenth century American railroading was burgeoning -- a growth too fast for safe operations. Despite the grim statistics of 19th and early 20th century train wrecks that resulted, one cannot help but find the photographs and public prints of the day interesting. When you pick up this wondrous book, you will have a hard time putting it down.