N. P. Willis in a recent letter, detailing a trip over the Baltimore & Ohio Road, thus mentions a novelty in keeping swine:
“And by the way, there is another novelty of railway sustenance, which I learned upon this route, and which I will mention while I think of it, viz: the support of a large army of pigs, extending from the Chesapeake to the Ohio, by sucking the grease from the wheels of cars and engines at the different stations. The Irish laborers who work on the road, have discovered that the four thousand engines and cars, each with from four to eight wheels well greased, bring daily along an amount of dripping and licking upon which the loose pig will thrive remarkably. As there have been some “strikes” among the pick-axes and shovels, and the Directors would think twice before interfering with Paddy’s long established privileges of pig and cow, the free grazing of all unenclosed grease or grass is tacitly conceded. At every stopping place on the route, accordingly, the approaching whistle puts the surrounding swine into an unanimous gallop for the station; and the three minutes that the long train is motionless, the pig-tussle for the well oiled hubs and axletrees is lively indeed! The only part of it that the Paddy does not like, I understand is the keeping clean of other folk’s carriage wheels by his family, for no pay at all.”
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