Stephen Harriman Long

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Stephen Harriman Long (December 30, 1784 - September 4,1864) was a U.S. engineer, explorer, and military officier. As an inventor, he is noted for his developments in the design of steam locomotives. As an Army officer, he led a pioneering scientific expedition throughout a large area of the Great Plains, which he famously described as the "Great American Desert." Longs Peak in Colorado is named for him.

Long was born in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, the son of Moses and Lucy (Harriman) Long. He received A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1809 and an A.M. from Dartmouth in 1812. In 1814, he was commissioned a lieutentant of enginners in the United States Army. In March 1819 he married Martha Hodgkins of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The following month, as a brevet major in the U.S. Army, he was appointed to lead an expedition through the American West, in areas acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. The specfiic purpose of the voyage was to the find the sources of the Platte, Arkansas, and Red rivers. For a time in the summer of 1823, his expedition was joined by Italian explorer Giacomo Beltrami.

After the expedition, he spent several years helping to survey and build the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1826 he received his first patent for his work on railroad steam locomotives. Long received many more patents for locomotive design and worked with other Army engineers in planning and building the railroad.

In 1832, along with William Norris and several other business partners, he formed the American Steam Carriage Company. The business was dissolved in 1834 due to the difficulties in placing Long's locomotive designs into production.

In 1838 he was appointed to a position in the newly formed U.S. topographical engineers corps. He died in Alton, Illinois in 1864.

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