Open main menu

Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/217

This page has been validated.


LETTER XIX.

THE ENGINEERING OF MEN.

Chicago, August 12, 1911.

My Dear Boy:—As the old order changeth, yielding place to new, the last of the feudal barons among the chief engineers are passing. Bold have been their conceptions, faithful their performances and great their achievements. Their work has developed those splendid types of manhood which are characteristic of the futile struggle of nature against art, of the wilderness against civilization.

Partly because of better intellectual training, partly because of the rush to complete additions and betterments and partly because of the inborn tendency of human nature to over-specialize, the construction men of most railways have frequently put it over on the so-called operating men. Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war. As civilization advances the struggles of a railroad are less against physical nature and more against sociological and political conditions. This ad-

205