“The one hundred and forty-one persons flew on the wings of wind at the speed of fifteen to twenty-five miles per hour, annihilating time and space… leaving all the world behind. On the return we reached Sans-Souci in quick and double quick time, stopped to take up a recruiting party – darted forth like a live rocket, scattering sparks and flames on either side – passed over three salt creeks hop, step and jump, and landed us all safe at the Lines before any of us had time to determine whether or not it was prudent to be scared.”
On this date in 1831, she became the first locomotive destroyed in the USA.
180 years ago today, her fireman became annoyed by the sound of steam escaping from the safety valve, and tied the valve shut. According to some accounts, he placed a board atop the valve and sat on it. The resulting explosion killed the fireman, scalded the engineer, and destroyed BFOC.
Southern Railway constructed a replica of BFOC in 1928, using the original blueprints. That replica now belongs to the Charleston chapter of National Railway Historical Society. It is currently displayed at Norfolk Southern’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.