It wasn't Rocket science by Mike Norman

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It wasn't Rocket science - book cover

A story of a grandson's quest to uncover the truth about one of the pioneers of the locomotives that swept the Industrial Revolution into the pages of history, told against the backdrop of the famed Chicago World's Fair


Timothy Hackworth Young's story
- When I came to America I had no idea how my life would turn out. I stayed with my cousin Sam in New York. He had made his way as a shipping agent, had married and lived in a smart house in the suburb of Elizabeth. I joined him for a while but then I too found a wife, my Leonor, and we moved to Chicago. It wasn't long before I was back following the family tradition of working with locomotives.
All that was settled until 'Major' Pangborn came onto the scene. A call from the illustrious Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company was not something to be ignored. He opened up a Pandora's Box of puzzles for me. All in the name of the Columbian Exposition and the exhibits of the Transportation Department.
I was always a practical man and I found my eyes being opened to the drama of my grandfather's pioneering times.

Samuel Holmes' story
- Uncle John Wesley Hackworth came to visit me in New York a short while before he died. That's how, as the eldest grandson of Timothy Hackworth, the family papers came into my custody. He was angry for the way his father had been set to one side as the heyday of the locomotive approached.
He made no friends in the establishment as he pushed for recognition, yet alone reward. The family's Methodist roots had room for the former but Timothy Hackworth had little regard for the latter.
Now cousin Tim has a god-sent opportunity to put the record straight. To salvage the reputation and put those who would hold him back into their place.
The Stockton and Darlington Railway was where it all came together under grandfather's watchful eye and inventive skill. This could be the moment to challenge the Stephensons and the Chieftains of the North of England

Major J G Pangborn's story
- This was the culmination of all that I could accomplish for the company that employed me. Setting the experience of the exhibition by the Baltimore and Ohio firmly in front of the millions who would visit. Ours was the first in America. I had brought together enough locomotive history to make sure we stayed that way in the mind of the public.

Vice President Charles Lord's story
- Pangborn persuaded me about the talent of Timothy Hackworth. He also persuaded me to stump up the dollars for his exhibits. We had done well to get the Columbian Exposition awarded to Chicago. There was an important story to tell about Hackworth, one that we ought to move heaven and earth to tell.

Prudence Hackworth's story
- My father should be given due credit. The family had struggled for years with the mistakes and misdeeds of others. Young Timothy persuaded me to help. Recalling the family history was a contribution I could make.