American Experience | Clip | Liquid Nitroglycerin and the Transcontinental Railroad
The Central Pacific's best hope was a dangerous gamble: liquid nitroglycerin. Nitro was the most powerful explosive ever made, and the least stable. Transportation of liquid nitro was made illegal in California in 1867, but a British chemist came and mixed the compound on site. Liquid nitro helped the workers by blasting more rock in much less time.