Wet Britches and Muddy Boots
A History of Travel in Victorian America
By John H. White Jr..
Cloth with dust jacket, 544 pages, 7x10, 280 b/w images. 2012.
"What was travel like in the 1880s? Was it easy to get from place to place? Were the rides comfortable? How long did journeys take?
"Wet Britches and Muddy Boots describes all forms of public transport from canal boats to oceangoing vessels, passenger trains to the overland stage. Trips over long distances often involved several modes of transportation and many days, even weeks. Baggage and sometimes even children were lost en route. Travelers might start out with a walk down to the river to meet a boat for the journey to a town where they caught a stagecoach for the rail junction to catch the train for a ride to the city.
"John H. White Jr. discusses not only the means of travel but also the people who made the system run-riverboat pilots, locomotive engineers, stewards, stagecoach drivers, seamen. He provides a fascinating glimpse into a time when travel within the United States was a true adventure.
"John H. White, Jr., is author of 13 books, including American Railroad Passenger Car, a nominee for the National Book Award. White was Curator for the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History from 1958 to 1990."
"This book provides a holistic (i.e., by mode of transport) perspective of the realities of the human experience of travel as the technology and operational supply of transport service evolved during the Victorian era and the years immediately preceding and following. I know of no other extant publication that provides this perspective." —John Spychalski, Professor Emeritus of Supply Chain Management, The Pennsylvania State University