Editor's note: We celebrate Scientific American's 165th anniversary on August 28 with this reproduction of what amounts to the cover story. Interestingly, the story states that passengers would comfortably be "flying" at 30 to 40 miles per hour; contrast that with the last line of the "Morse's Telegraph" story in the same issue, which described railroad cars as "slow and tedious."
There is, perhaps, no mechanical subject, in which improvement has advanced so rapidly, within the last ten years, as that of railroad passenger cars. Let any person contrast the awkward and uncouth cars of ‘35 with the superbly splendid long cars now running on several of the eastern roads, and he will find it difficult to convey to a third party, a correct idea of the vast extent of improvement. Some of the most elegant cars of this class, and which are of a capacity to accommodate from sixty to eighty passengers, and run with a steadiness hardly equalled by a steamboat in still water, are manufactured by Davenport & Bridges, at their establishment in Cambridgeport, Mass. The manufacturers have recently introduced a variety of excellent improvements in the construction of trucks, springs, and connections, which are calculated to avoid atmospheric resistance, secure safety and convenience, and contribute ease and comfort to passengers, while flying at the rate of 30 or 40 miles per hour. We purpose to give a particular description of these improvements, accompanied with suitable engravings, in our next number that our readers may be enabled to appreciate more fully the progress of improvements in this important branch of mechanism.