Baltimore's Picturesque Jerkwaters

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Historic Neighborhoods, Notorious Beer Gardens, Serene Lakeside Pavilions, Beachsides by the Bay, Mills in the Valley & to Every Corner of the Metropolis

Published by the Baltimore Streetcar Museum

Founded in 1966, the Baltimore Streetcar Museum (BSM) is an all-volunteer organization committed to sharing the story of Baltimore's public transit past, especially the city's street railways, and operating its collection of historic streetcars.

The term jerkwater originated in steam railway vernacular, best described in the Baltimore Sun of March 7th, 1941:

In the early days of railroads, he small boilers of the locomotives required frequent refilling [of water]. [Trackside] water tanks were very few. Every train crew carried a leather bucket on a long rope with which they 'jerked water' from streams along their track. As locomotives increased in size the small 'jerk-water' engines were relegated to branch-line service. Today no train crew carries a bucket, but the name 'jerk water' still sticks... (From the Introduction)

2018, Bernard J. Sachs, 260 pages, paperback


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