What is most striking about the arrival of the 1st steam engine in the US on this day in 1753 is that it was not imported from the United Kingdom to be used as a mode of transport in the United States.
In 1760 a young John Adams wrote in his diary that he was “struggling to understand the English fire engines,” as trains were then called.
These “fire engines” were not used for transport but to evacuate water from coal and metal mines in England. In America mining was in it’s infancy at this time. Surface deposits of coal and iron meant that mining wasn’t deep or prone to flooding like the metal and coal mines of England.
Colonel John Schuyler’s copper mine in Passaic New Jersey was the reason the first steam engine was brought to the colonies. The copper mine due to it’s depth was prone to flooding…
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