National Geographic : 1952 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine tion and landing. In roaring contrast to Washington's flat-bottomed boats is a Navy jet-propulsion experiment station a few miles east of the New Jersey park (map, page 5). At the site of the crossing the river is only 1,000 feet wide. But one gets a thrill stand ing where the boats put off on their perilous journey, and it looks a long way to row through floating ice. Washington had been thoroughly routed by the British in 1776 and chased from one side of New Jersey to the other. As he crossed the Delaware to take refuge in Pennsylvania, he gathered in all the Durham boats, chief means then of transporting fresh provisions on the river. Col. Johann Gottlieb Rall, Hessian com mander in Trenton, could have built boats or brought them from the Raritan River to pur sue the retreating Colonials, but he had too much contempt for Washington's "farmers" to make the effort or even to fortify the town, despite urgent warnings from his own staff. General Washington planned to recross with three columns, one at Trenton, one south at Bristol, and his own eight miles north of Tren ton. His alone got over. Washington's column of 2,400 men marched the eight miles to Trenton, took the Hessians completely by surprise, killed and wounded a number of the enemy, and took about 1,000 prisoners without loss of a man killed. Colonel Rall was mortally wounded. This thrilling victory, a turning point in the Rev olution, put new life into the colonial cause. "Trenton Makes, the World Takes" It is a curious fact, not generally realized, that Washington as Commander in Chief spent a fourth of his time in New Jersey and moved his army across the State four times. To this day, indeed, New Jersey is the most traveled State in the Union, being the natural corridor between the first and third largest cities. Benjamin Franklin described it as a cider barrel tapped at both ends. Crossroads of the Middle Atlantic States, it is crisscrossed by 13 major railroads and has more track per square mile than any other State. On the main line of through travel across New Jersey stands Trenton, its capital, and each day 170 passenger trains cross the Penn sylvania Railroad bridge which spans the Delaware at this point. Millions of passengers see a sign that reads, "Trenton Makes, the World Takes," appro priate because Trenton is among the most highly industrialized of American cities (page 28). Despite this fact, it has been singularly fortunate in being able to retain as park three miles of river frontage wholly free from fac tories of any kind. In this riverside park are the Capitol Building and other State office buildings. Several persons deserve credit for saving Trenton's water front, Governor Wood row Wilson among them. Near by is the historic section of the city, with its old churches, its tablets and monu ments, as well as banks, stores, and hotels. Perhaps the most striking relic is the Old Bar racks, built for troops in the French and Indian War and later occupied at various times by Washington's forces and by the British and Hessians who opposed him. New Jersey is such a small State that no legislator can live more than 100 miles from Trenton or require more than three hours to reach it by rail or automobile. From Steel Bridges to China Cups Possibly the best known single industry in Trenton is the John A. Roebling's Sons Com pany, builder of bridges and the country's largest specialty wire manufacturer. It makes more kinds of wire rope than any other firm. After more than a century the firm is still owned and operated by the same family, now in the fourth generation, and, unlike many large manufacturers, has all its plants in or near its headquarters, Trenton. John Augustus Roebling was educated in engineering at the Royal Polytechnic Institute in Berlin. He got his start in this country by persuading the State of Pennsylvania to use ly 4 -inch-diameter wire rope, in place of the clumsy, weaker, 3-inch hempen rope, to pull canal boats up the inclined portage railway across the Allegheny Mountains. Of all Trenton's varied industries, the aver age visitor would probably find most of in terest in the potteries, of which there are some forty in the city. Their wares are used not only in dining room, kitchen, and bathroom but in many different industries. In the showroom of Lenox, Inc., makers of fine china, may be seen samples from dinner sets made for Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt, for a son of King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Cardinal Spellman, and other celebrities (page 26). Wilson was the first President to order a state dinner set of American-made china, 1,700 pieces. Roose velt re-ordered in 1932. New York Shipbuilding Corporation S.S. President Jackson Slides > into the Delaware at Camden New York Shipbuilding Corporation in June, 1950. launched the liner for peace or war. Complete with air-conditioned staterooms and decks strengthened for gun platforms, she was designed to carry 204 first class passengers or 1,550 GI's. Requisitioned, the Jackson was renamed the Barrett. In April. 1952, she completed her sea trials as the first fully air conditioned troop transport.