|Jerusalem train station (circa 1900, Library of Congress)|
1. Ehud wrote, "You might note that the first train in the Holy Land was a Jewish initiative."
Ehud, you're right. Here's an abstract of the article you recommended. Already in 1838, Jewish financier Moses Montefiore raised the idea of a train. He lobbied the British prime minister and the Ottoman grand vizier in 1856. A year later he brought a British engineer to Palestine to survey a route. After his wife died in 1864, however, Montefiore gave up his dream.
But the idea was kept alive by a Jewish businessman from Jerusalem, Joseph Navon, who in 1885 lobbied the Ottoman authorities to build the train line and secured funds to finance the construction.
|Enlargement from the picture above|
|The sign today (Credit: Jerusalem|
History in Pictures)
Special feature: An earlier posting of the First Motion Picture taken in the Holy Land -- Filmed from a Train in Jerusalem
|Scene from first movie|
|Railroad Station (1900)|
The Frenchmen's first footage was recorded in March 1895. In 1897, they produced the first motion picture made in the Holy Land, a 51-second film from a train leaving Jerusalem station.
Click on the picture to see the film or view an annotated version of the film which answers the question, "Who were the residents of Jerusalem when the film was made?"
[Do not adjust the sound on your computer; this is a silent movie.]
Note in the background the windmill in the Jewish neighborhood of Yemin Moshe built by Moses Montefiore in 1860.