Sunday, February 26, 2012

Passenger Insurance for Railroads

This entry is not on the actual war itself, but on an issue very important in that time - train safety.This is the first time I had seen the idea of any kind of insurance provided for families of the victims of railroad accidents, but it makes sense that such an idea did occur to people.

I wonder if steamboats considered or had anything similar.

The Covington Journal of February 22, 1862 printed this brief piece.

Insuring the Lives of Railroad Passengers 
A bill has been introduced into the New York State Legislature enabling railroad companies to form associations for the compensation of the relatives of those who lose their lives in railroad traveling. The bill allows the companies to make a slight addition to their rates of fare for this purpose, and to insure the lives of their passengers in any good life insurance company if preferred. 

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The below photograph, courtesy of www.centerforhistory.org, is of an 1859 train wreck in Illinois. According to the link, 60 bodies of deceased passengers were removed immediately, but others were not found until days later. Dozens of people were also injured in the accident. (See the link for more details.)



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