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Railroads Collection

History Archive - Railroads Collection

Railroads played a large role in the development of the United States from the industrial revolution in the North-east (1810-1850) to the settlement of the West (1850-1890). The American railroad construction began with the founding of the first passenger and freight line by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1827.

With the "Laying of the First Stone" ceremonies the race to build railroads across the nation began. This long period of construction headed westward over the obstacles of the Appalachian Mountains eastern chain the following year of 1828, and flourished with continuous railway building projects for the next 45 years until the financial Panic of 1873 followed by a major economic depression bankrupted many companies and temporarily stymied and ended growth.

Although the antebellum South started early to build railways, it concentrated on short lines linking cotton regions to oceanic or river ports, and the absence of an interconnected network was a major handicap during the Civil War (1861-1865).

The North and Midwest constructed networks that linked every city by 1860 before the war. In the heavily settled Midwestern Corn Belt, over 80 percent of farms were within 5 miles (8 km) of a railway, facilitating the shipment of grain, hogs, and cattle to national and international markets.

A large number of short lines were built, but thanks to a fast developing financial system based on Wall Street and oriented to railway bonds, the majority were consolidated into 20 trunk lines by 1890. State and local governments often subsidized lines, but rarely owned them. The system was largely built by 1910

Available Books


Image Name
A Typical Landscape Garden
The Tunnel
The Old Church, Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico
A Bit of Rio with the Ilha das Cobras and the Ilha Fiscal
Playing the Koto, a Japanese Music Instrument
Feudal Castle at Himeji
Kittitas Valley, Wash.
Newcastle, from Redheugh Station
Front Cover
Cow Creek Canyon
Juan Capistrano Mission, California
A View of Mt. Fuji (Height: 12,370 ft.)
A Rich Display of Chrysanthemums
Title Page
Interior Hopi House, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Arizona Afterglow, After Painting by Fernand Lungren
The Beira Mar Drive
Mystic Maze of the Mojave Indians near Needles, California
Map of Brazil with Railways
Southern-Pacific Lines
The Temple of Kiyomidzu at Kyoto
Warehouses &c. at the end of the Tunnel towards Wapping
The Hopi House, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Mt. Aso - An Active Volcano in Kyushu
Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico
One of the Many Graceful Curves, Montana Canyon
Excavation of Olive Mount four miles from Liverpool
Aerial Car reaching Summit of the Sugar Loaf
Iris Garden near Tokyo
Front Cover
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway
Huamantla (tomado desde el Puente de San Lucas)
Front Cover
Back Cover
"Old Baldy" From Smiley Heights, California
Spanish Peaks, Colorado
A View of Rio and the Bay, showing Messrs. Walker's Wall
International Hotel, Santa Thereza
The Kinkakuji, Golden Pavillion, Kyoto
Civil Police Headquarters
Back Cover
Steamboat in the Jaws of the Dells of the Wisconsin River
Ama no Hashidate - A Slender Bridge-Like Peninsula Bordered with Pines
Front Cover
Apache Canyon between Las Vegas and Lamy, New Mexico
San Francisco and Bay, Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda in Distance
Chiyo no Matsubara - A Celebrated Pine Grove in Kyushu with a Passing Train
Canal and Barges in Tokyo
Cordoba (Tomado desde el camino de Coscomatepec)
Entrance to the Kasuga Shrine at Nara and Group of Consecrated Maidens
View of the Railway across Chat Moss
Title Page
Paradise Inn, Rainer National Park, Washington
The Cowran Cut
Enjoying the Cool of a Summer Evening on the Kamogawa in Kyoto
Caixa de Amortizacao
The No - A Dramatic Performance of a Classical Nature
On the Road to the Inn, Rainer National Park, Wash.
Grand Canyon, Arizona, Sunset From Hopi Point
Indian Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Cantara Loop, 18th Crossing, Sacramento River
Title Page
Near Liverpool, looking towards Manchester
Residence of Mr. Joseph Walker, Petropolis
Panorama de maltrata
Title Page
Residence of Count Paulo de Frontin, Petropolis
Crossing Salt Lake at Sunset
A Part of the Great Loop, Bitter Root Mountains, Idaho
A Corner of the Hall of Honour, Cattete Palace
A Glimpse of the Lake at Riberao das Lages
Interior Indian Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Coaches &c. employed on the Railway. (No.1 The Northumbrian Steam-Engine &c. No. 2, 3 5 Carriages for Passengers. No. 4 Private Carriage. No. 6, 7 Carriages for Cattle)
Entrance of the Railway at Edge-Hill Liverpool
Hotel dos Estrangeiros
Puente de Metlac
The National Library
When the Cherry Blossom Blows, Uyeno Park, Tokyo
Redlands, California, View from Smiley Heights
Rose Hill, Gisland
Cattete Palace
Plano Orografico de la Zona Recorrida por el Ferro-Carril Mexicano de Veracruz a Mexico
Title Page
Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe
Warden Bridge
Back Cover
The Alvarado, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Railway Office Liverpool
Back Cover
Canyon Diablo, Arizona
In Apache Land, Arizona
A River Picnic in Spring under the Plum Blossom
Needles Mountains and Colorado River, California


Map Name
Sights and Scenes in Fair Japan - General Map of the Government Railways in Japan (1910)
Album del Ferro-Carril Mexicano - Plano Orografico de la Zona Recorrida por el Ferro-Carril Mexicano de Veracruz a Mexico (1877)


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