Fertilizer by rail – PEIR 1872 aspirations

I found this neat book on archive.org: “An inquiry into the nature and value of the various shell muds used in Prince Edward Island as manures and improvers of the soil”. It was published in 1872. I had been searching for books that would have described mussel mud on PEI as a fertilizer and this book does seem to be a grand example. It’s an interesting read. Given that the PEIR was still a year away when this was published there are a couple of references to the railroad.

From page 24: “It is hoped that when the railway is opened guano, superphosphate of lime, and other manures will be constant freights.”

Page 32 contains some neat notes about burning shells for lime: “…especially for the upper portion of railway embankments…”

I expect as I continue to map out freight traffic on the 19th centruy PEIR books like this will continue to increase in value to me to help me to understand not only what the railway carried, but then also how those commodities were employed so in the hopes that it may highlight other industries to become aware of. Most of the railway’s sidings during this time were public sidings that could receive any cars or freight and being able to identify trends for these commodities will really help me to eventually design car routing and operating sessions on the layout.

Here’s a link to the book:

Categories: How I think

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