3¢ B&O Railroad
Issue Date: February 28, 1952
City: Baltimore, MD
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
Color: Bright blue
U.S. #1006 commemorates the 125th anniversary of granting of the charter to the B&O Railroad, which was the first common carrier railroad in America. The stamp features the 1827 Charter in the background with three stages of rail development in the center. These picture the “Pioneer Car,” the first method of passenger travel; the “Tom Thumb,” the first steam locomotive put in service by the railroad; and a streamlined diesel train.
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
In 1830, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad began service over 13 miles of track between Baltimore and Ellicott City. It was the first common carrier in the United States. As the stamp illustrates, the railroad first employed horses to pull “pioneer” cars.
In the summer of 1830, New York manufacturer Peter Cooper built the “Tom Thumb,” the first American steam locomotive to be used on a common-carrier railroad. It pulled one of the very first passenger trains. Although a history-making engineering achievement, the Tom Thumb proved to be too small. The Tom Thumb is illustrated on the middle track on the stamp.
A more modern diesel engine is also featured. In 1895, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad started the world’s first electric main line service.