The Golden Spike
On May 10, 1869, four years after the Civil War, the world’s first transcontinental railroad was completed as the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads met at Promontory Summit, Utah.
The two engines, Union Pacific’s No. 119 and Central Pacific’s No. 60 were drawn up face-to-face. Leland Stanford, president of the Central Pacific drove the Golden Spike into the rails, officially connecting 1,756 miles of track, uniting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans across the United States.
The transcontinental railroad contributed to the rapid western expansion of the nation. Before the track was completed, it took travelers months to get from the East Coast to the West, either by land or sea. With the transcontinental railroad, the trip could be made in a matter of days. The nation was changed, and united.
No one knows how many people attended the ceremonial event in 1869; estimates range from as low as 500 to as many as 3,000. Parades and celebrations followed as telegraph operators clicked off the news that the Great Pacific railroad was finally completed.
Today, the official Golden Spike used in the ceremony is displayed in the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, founded by Leland Stanford. The Golden Spike National Historic Site, which marks the historic uniting of the lines, lies 32 miles west of Brigham City, Utah.
The Golden Spike Collection stands as a tribute to the more than 4,000 workers who participated in the magnificent feat of connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by rail.
The courses of the two engines, Jupiter (Central Pacific) from Sacramento, California and No. 119 (Union Pacific) from Omaha, Nebraska / Council Bluffs, Iowa are outlined along the cap and barrel of the pen, meeting at Promontory Summit, Utah.
Each of the seven states along the journey is marked in high relief and each is engraved with a unique guilloché pattern. The two engines are illustrated in a reverse-engraving underneath the enamel.
Central Pacific and Union Pacific are featured in high relief at the top and bottom of the pen and corresponding emblems from that era adorn the crown of the cap and bottom of the barrel.
The gripping section is engraved with start (Jan 8th 1863) and finish (May 10th 1869) dates. Between the dates are the following words that are engraved on the original Golden Spike: “May God continue the unity of our Country as this Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world”.
The Golden Spike Collection is the thirtieth in the David Oscarson™ series of Limited Edition writing instruments and will be produced in two design variations; each limited to production of 150 pieces (including fountain pens and roller balls).