Fact Check: Clip from Buster Keaton movie shared as video of first steam train from 1809

A black and white video of a train journey has gone viral with the claim that it is the world’s first train that was launched on 24 December 1809, about 211 years ago.

By Satya Priya BN  Published on  1 July 2021 2:07 PM GMT
Fact Check: Clip from Buster Keaton movie shared as video of first steam train from 1809

Hyderabad: A black and white video of a train journey has gone viral with the claim that it is the world's first train that was launched on 24 December 1809, about 211 years ago.

The video shows the train hurtling across roughly-laid tracks. A dog, running faster than the train, can also be seen in the video. When a donkey refuses to make way for the train, the passengers move the tracks and go on traveling. We can also see animals come out of the tunnel and stop the train.

The video is being circulated on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/897904980564752/posts/1409275602761018


Archive links:

https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.facebook.com/groups/897904980564752/posts/1409275602761018

https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.facebook.com/veerababu.gollapalli.52/videos/334370921606530

Fact Check:

The claim that the video shows the first steam train in 1809 is FALSE.

When observed carefully, we can see that the video shows comic instances resembling silent comic movies of the past. A Google reverse image search led to a YouTube video with the title "TRAIN HISTORY IN CINEMA 1 Our Hospitality Buster Keaton 1923" published in 2011.


Taking a cue from the video, we searched for the movie 'Our Hospitality' by Buster Keaton, 1923, and found the full movie on YouTube. The viral clip appears at the 15-minute mark.


'Our Hospitality' was a full-length silent comedy movie directed by Buster Keaton and John G. (Jack) Blystone. Find details about the movie here.

https://silentfilm.org/our-hospitality-2/

Though the first steam locomotive was discovered in 1804, the first operative steam locomotive was opened only in 1825. So, the claim made here is invalid.

According to Britannica.com, the combination of the steam locomotive and a permanent travel way of metal rails resulted in the first steam locomotive. It said, "Experiments in this conjunction in the first quarter of the 19th century culminated in the Stockton & Darlington Railway, opened in 1825, and a further five years of experience with steam locomotives led to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which, when it opened in 1830, constituted the first fully timetabled railway service with scheduled freight and passenger traffic relying entirely on the steam locomotive for traction."

England's Stockton and Darlington Railway was the first railway in the world to operate freight and passenger service with steam traction. On 27 September 1825, the first engine ran from Darlington to Stockton, preceded by a man on horseback carrying a flag that read "Periculum privatum utilitas publica" (The private danger is the public good). When the horseman was out of the way, Stephenson opened the throttle and pulled his train of wagons carrying 450 persons at a speed of 15 miles (24 km) per hour.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Stockton-and-Darlington-Railway

The video that claims to show the first train travel in 1809 is actually a clip from a silent movie named 'Our Hospitality'. Hence, the claim is FALSE.

Claim Review:Video of first steam train from 1809
Claimed By:Facebook User
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Facebook
Claim Fact Check:False
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