With the building of the railroads during the 1830s and 1840s, many accidents occurred. We may complain about automobile accidents today, however, train accidents and death were rather common in the old days. Why? Well, for one think, the tracks were built on streets which were also used by pedestrians. I grew up in Atlanta during the 1940s and the railroad tracks crossed five points in downtown without guard rails or platforms of any kind. Of course, terminal or railroad depots, had platforms, but irrespectively, people careless fell upon the tracks. Today, despite the fact that there are signal lights and barriers at crossings, accidents still occur because people ignore safety issues. "Will Copeland, in attempting to jump on a moving train at Big Raccoon on the East Tennessee Road, missed his foothold and fell wounded, and was carried off to Dallas (Georgia)." Source: The Washington Gazette. July 27, 1887.
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