The Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (PW&B) was an American railroad that operated from 1836 to 1881. Formed because of the merger of four small lines dating from the earliest days of American railroading in the late 1820s and early 1830s. It was purchased by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1881, becoming part of their main line in 1902.
From the 24 June 1871 edition of the Cecil Whig:
The case of Solomon Weaver, late of Perryville, against the P. W. & B. Railroad Company, for the price of three firkins of butter, was decided in the Circuit Court for this county in favor of the plaintiff, and the case taken to the Court of Appeals by the Company, which Court confirmed, at its April term, 1871, the decision of the County Court. J. T. McCullough, Esq., was counsel for Weaver, and Hiram McCullough, Esq., for the Company.
Judge Brent states the case as follows, in the opening of the decision of the Court of Appeals:
“This suit is brought to recover the value of three firkins of butter, alleged to have been purchased by Richardson for the use of a boarding-house of the Railroad Company.”
“Great oaks from little acorns grow,” and large law-suits from little balances often rise. A corporation worth millions carrying a case to the Court of Appeals, involving the price of three firkins of butter, is contending for an idea with a zeal worthy la belle France.
A “firkin” is a unit of dry measure. 1 firkin = 9 US gallons.
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