On the rails

A railroad handcar was also called a velocipede, pump car or Kalamazoo, after the Michigan firm and town that supplied many of them.  Handcars proved essential for construction, maintenance and short hops for one or two riders.  This 4-wheeled, hand-powered model could have been photographed on either of Garland’s rail lines.  Commonly used during the Civil War, handcars gradually gave way to motorized vehicles after 1900.


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