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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Allen Company paper car wheel, 1884Allen Company paper car wheel, 1884

Invented by Richard Allen, a locomotive engineer, this railroad wheel featured a compressed paper disk that supposedly provided a smoother and quieter ride than cast-iron wheels. It was first displayed at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans in 1884-85 and collected by the Smithsonian four years later as an example of contemporary railroad technology.

See also: Locomotives, Transportation

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