According to folklore, John Henry was an ex-slave who worked as a steel driver.
Helping to blast the Big Bend Tunnel through the Allegheny Mountains for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad in West Virginia in the 1870s.
His job was to hammer steel into rock to make holes for explosive charges.
In the folk song “The Ballad of John Henry,” he matched his strength against a mechanical steam drill.
He won the competition but died in the process.