Interesting and probably salient bit o' info: it was _really_ hard for the California -> east leg of the first transcontinental railroad to hire laborers, well, actually, it was easy to hire and tough to keep 'em, because they'd use it as an opportunity to get close to the Comstock Lode and then hike over the ridge to stake a mining claim. The reason why so many Chinese laborers were hired? The mining camps wouldn't let the Chinese in until it was more or less played out.
Did GM _really_ instigate depreciation rules in modern accounting/tax treatment? Or were they just a big early participant? And was this an explicitly anti-railroad thing, or was that just boneheaded regulators focused on the short term gain?
How common was it to name boats (especially smaller ones) after fictional characters in the 19th century (ran across the Artful Dodger delivering the first locomotive to California -- I'm assuming this is a Dickens reference, but perhaps I am wrong)? Is it still common?