Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Plate


In the classic 1946 Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart’s character, George Bailey, asks Uncle Billy “You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are?” While Uncle Billy has decidedly different ideas, traveler at heart George’s answer was, not surprisingly, “anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.” Like George, the imaginations of many a would-be traveler have been stirred by the haunting sounds of a train speeding through the night.

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Portrait of Charles Carroll III.

Maryland was home to one of the first train systems in our nation—the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad—a claim to fame that inspired this first Maryland by the Object post. Ground was broken in Baltimore for the B&O on July 4, 1828, when Charles Carroll III, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, helped lay the cornerstone for what was to become America’s first Common Carrier Railroad. Continue reading