Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Underground

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Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Underground

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:28 am

Tonight the Boston Public Library is having Doug Most talk about his latest book The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America’s First Subway.

"As cities like Boston and New York rapidly expanded in the late 19th century, streets became increasingly clogged with horse-drawn carts. When the great blizzard of 1888 brought New York City to a halt, a solution had to be found. Two brothers – Henry Melville Whitney of Boston and William Collins Whitney of New York City – pursued the same dream: to have his city become the first American metropolis to build a subway. The great race between Boston and New York was on. Doug Most chronicles the science of the subway system, explores the public fears and perceptions about this new form of travel, and tells the saga of two rival American cities, the powerful interests within, and the invention that changes the lives of millions. Most is the deputy managing editor for features at the Boston Globe. He has written for Sports Illustrated, Runner’s World, and Parents, and his stories have appeared in Best American Crime Writing and Best American Sports Writing." bpl.

http://www.bpl.org/programs/author_series.htm#20140204
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby highgreen215 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:26 pm

A couple of weeks ago there was a summary of this book in the Sunday Globe magazine. I found one possible error. There was a picture of the destruction from a gas explosion at the corner of Boylston and Tremont. In this picture was the remains of the dash of streetcar that had destroyed. The dash had what appeared to be an electric headlamp. I believe that when the building of the subway was well underway, virtually every streetcar in that area was electrically powered. The author said this streetcar was blown upward and came down to land on its horses. Huh?
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:48 pm

I have the the article at work and do recall the picture. Did he say that in the article, or at last night meeting? Which I also attended.
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby Type7trolley » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:13 pm

From these pictures it looks like the dash was indeed from an electric car, but there was a horse drawn car involved as well (there's even a shot of what appears to be one of the horses).
http://www.bostonfirehistory.org/slides ... 041897.pdf
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby highgreen215 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:15 pm

After reviewing those pictures I stand corrected that there was, indeed, horse cars still in that area. The first picture shows a horse car next to an electric, and of course a dead horse is depicted in another shot. But I still question whether the Mt. Auburn car was drawn by a horse.
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby Leo Sullivan » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:16 pm

The Mount Auburn car has a K controller on the platform, that's pretty final.
The car with the old fashioned roof is however, definitely horse.
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby highgreen215 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:41 pm

Agreed, Leo.
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby dmost » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:49 pm

Hey everyone, saw the little debate about my book, thought I'd chime in. As you all correctly concluded, there were most definitely horse-drawn cars at this time, though the West End Street Railway Co. had aggressively phased most of them out. There were still a few dozen remaining. The book has a photo from that explosion and shows the dead horse, but does not explicitly say which car that horse was from, because it was impossible to know for certain. But I think it's safe to say it most likely was pulling one of the 2 cars involved because of its proximity to the explosion. Anyway, thanks for keeping me on my toes, appreciate the attention to detail!
Doug Most
dmost68@gmail.com
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby Cosmo » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:46 pm

Hi Doug! Welcome aboard. :-D
"It belongs in a MUSEUM!"
-Indiana Jones
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby highgreen215 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:05 am

This finicky knitpicker will be buying your excellent book, Doug.
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Re: Author Talk with Doug Most, author of The Race Undergrou

Postby saulblum » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:28 pm

The author will be at the Brookline Booksmith tomorrow, Tuesday, February 18.

http://www.brooklinebooksmith-shop.com/ ... nderground
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