The Meigs Elevated Railway

Occasionally, in my wanderings throughout the internet, I stumble across some piece of weird Victorian technology that upon first glance seems better suited for a science fiction novel of the time. Like, for example, the various steam powered contraptions I featured here a while ago that actually worked. They’re part of the larger “road not taken” as steam power was replaced with electricity and diesel.

One such invention caught me particularly by surprise, The Meigs Elevated Railway was among the first monorails to be created in the United States. An article from Scientific American published on July 10, 1886 features the Meigs Elevated Railway and explains how it was constructed and works.

I was a bit surprised to realize that the history of monorails went so far back. The images associated with this article look like they were pulled straight from a period novel, too.

If you find yourself interested in these old articles, you’ll be facinated to know that this article was pulled from a much larger Catskill Archive which preserves all sorts of information pertaining to the history of the Catskill Mountains. Be sure to visit the archives.