Map to the Famous Train Crash Site

By The History Detectives Team
9 July 2009
Category: Viewer Mailbag

Viewer Andrew Evridge takes us to the train wreck that changed history:

Thanks for producing an interesting and informative series.

My comment is on the brief segment that ran immediately after the story on the watch fob. Elyse Luray offered a summary of railroad timekeeping in the late 19th century, with specific mention of the accident in 1891 that led to consolidation of time zones, and more importantly, uniform regulations on timekeeping equipment and maintenance for railroads.

Throughout the entire segment, no mention was made of WHERE the accident occurred.

It was in Kipton, Ohio, a small rural village in the northeast of the state, about 30 miles west of where I live. The geographic mention was merited and would have given viewers a greater sense of place.

Here's a Web link you can view to read more about the event:

Although the tracks that ran through Kipton were pulled up 30 years ago (the right of way is now a beautiful bike path), the depot still exists. In addition, the site is marked with a plaque erected by the Ohio Historical Society that describes the event.

This event is also credited with the leading to the expression, "Get on the ball," an allusion to timekeeper Webb C. Ball's efforts in instituting a reliable timekeeping system.

Again, thanks for producing a great show!

Andrew Evridge


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