• The Beginnings of American Railroads and Mapping -- Railroad Maps, 1828-1900

    Railways were introduced in England in the seventeenth century as a way to reduce friction in moving heavily loaded wheeled vehicles. The first North American "gravity road," as it was called, was erected in 1764 for military purposes at the Niagara portage in Lewiston, New York. The builder was Capt. John Montressor, a British engineer known to students of historical cartography as a mapmaker. ...

  • Early Twentieth Century -- Railroad Maps, 1828-1900

    Not all the commercial mapping ventures of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries represented large and diversified operations. Several interesting manuscript maps of the mid-western states portray routes of the "Railway Mail Service" and locate working post offices. These maps were designed by an enterprising Chicago railway mail clerk, Frank H. Galbraith in 1897. The maps were devised to serve as memory aids ...

  • Map Publishing Firms -- Railroad Maps, 1828-1900

    Perhaps 30 percent of the commercially produced railroad maps were published by the New York City publishing house established by Joseph Hutchins Colton in 1831. This firm was known the world over for the quality, quantity, and variety of its publications, including maps, atlases, and school geographies.[19] Henry Varnum Poor, in the introduction to his History of the Railroads and Canals of the United ...

  • Notes -- Railroad Maps, 1828-1900

    Henry Varnum Poor, Manual of the Railroads of the United States for 1870-71 (New York: H.V. & H.W. Poor, 1870), p. xxviii. James A. Ward, J. Edgar Thomson: Master of the Pennsylvania (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1980), p. 11. Daniel J. Boorstin, The Americans: The Democratic Experience (New York: Random House, 1965), p. 18. Thurman W. Van Metre, Transportation in the United States (Brooklyn: Foundation ...

  • Land Grants -- Railroad Maps, 1828-1900

    The second half of the nineteenth century was the era of railroad land grants. Between 1850 and 1872 extensive cessions of public lands were made to states and to railroad companies to promote railroad construction.[18] Usually the companies received from the federal government, in twenty- or fifty-mile strips, alternate sections of public land for each mile of track that was built. Responsibility for surveying ...

  • About this Collection -- Railroad Maps, 1828-1900

    Contains 623 maps chosen from more than 3,000 railroad maps and about 2,000 regional, state, and county maps, and other maps which show "internal improvements" of the past century. The maps presented here are a selection from the Geography and Map Division holdings, based on the popular cartobibliography, Railroad Maps of the United States: A Selective Annotated Bibliography of Original 19th-century Maps in the ...

    • Date: 1828
  • Rights and Access -- Railroad Maps, 1828-1900

    The maps in the Map Collections materials were either published prior to 1922, produced by the United States government, or both (see catalogue records that accompany each map for information regarding date of publication and source). The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes and is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17 of ...

  • Mapmaking and Printing -- Railroad Maps, 1828-1900

    Technological advances in papermaking and printing which permitted quick and inexpensive reproduction of maps greatly benefited railroad cartography. Before the introduction of these new techniques early in the nineteenth century, maps were laboriously engraved, in reverse, usually on copper plates, and printed on hand presses. Although the results were excellent, this slow and costly process could not keep pace with the demand for railroad ...