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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
The Praca da Lapa and Praca da Gloria
Dotombori - A Popular Amusement Quarter in Osaka
A Part of the Great Loop, Bitter Root Mountains, Idaho
Shasta Springs
Estacion de Orizaba
Klamath Lake and Mt. McLoughlin
West End of Haltwhistle Tunnel
Canal and Barges in Tokyo
General Map of the Government Railways in Japan
Victoria Regia
Back Cover
Municipal Theatre, Avenida Rio Branco
Front Cover
Front Cover
Ama no Hashidate - A Slender Bridge-Like Peninsula Bordered with Pines
Truckee River Dam, Nevada
Title Page
Offices of the Rio Tramway, Light and Power Company
Title Page
Residence of Count Paulo de Frontin, Petropolis
Puente de Metlac
Corby Viaduct
A Glimpse of the Lake at Riberao das Lages
Yosemite Valley, California, General View from Artist's Point
San Francisco Overland Limited, at Midlake, Utah
Train Arriving at American, Cal.
Ascending Cajon Pass, California
Back Cover
A Street on the Modern Plan in Tokyo
Entrance of the Railway at Edge-Hill Liverpool
Estacion de Maltrata
Elle of Ganado-Indian Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Most famous weaver among the Navajo.
Interior of a Modern Department Store in Tokyo
Cumbres de Maltrata (desde la Hacienda del Encinal)
Cantara Loop, 18th Crossing, Sacramento River
Copocabana and Leme
Lake Pepin, Minn., Upper Mississippi River
Matsushima - A Land Locked Bay Studded with Hundreds of Pine Clad Islets
Kendall's Peak, Cascade Mountains, Wash.
Cow Creek Canyon
Front View of Ferry Building, San Francisco
Avenue of Stately Cryptomerias with Buddhist Monk on His Itinerary
The Ikebana or Flower Arrangement - One of the Aesthetic Arts of Japan
Source of the Missouri River, Three Forks, Mont.
Lassen Peak - Lassen Volcanic National Park
Gelt Bridge
Mirage on the Desert, Arizona
San Francisco and Bay, Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda in Distance
Grand Shrine of Ise
Promontory Point, Salt Lake, Utah
A Bit of Rio's North Western Suburbs
Panorama de Puebla (tomado desde el fuerte Guadalupe)
The Alvarado, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe
Lake Keechelus, Wash.
Rainhill Bridge
Interior Indian Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Feudal Castle at Himeji
Residence of Mr. Frank H. Walter, Petropolis
Chiyo no Matsubara - A Celebrated Pine Grove in Kyushu with a Passing Train
Gold Ray Dam, Showing Table Mountain and Rogue River
The National Library
The Olympian Under Electric Operation in Montana Canyon
Grand Canyon, Arizona, Sunset From Hopi Point
Back Cover
Title Page
Cordoba (Tomado desde el camino de Coscomatepec)
When the Cherry Blossom Blows, Uyeno Park, Tokyo
Front Cover
A Cascade at Tijuca
Title Page
The Olympian on Short Line Bridge, Between St. Paul and Minneapolis
The Depot at Hexham
Horyuji - A Seven Century Temple near Nara
Puente de Wimer (Cumbres de Maltrata)
South Suburban Rio - Ipanema
Truckee River near Floriston, Cal.
Overlooking the Imperial Palace Moat
Crossing the Spokane River, Spokane, Wash.
Front Cover
The Brazilian Super-Dreadnought
The Bay of Guanabara
Title Page
La Penuela (Caminos para Veracruz y Alvarado)
Rio Customs Wharf
Bridge Over Columbia River, Beverly, Wash.
In Apache Land, Arizona
The Old Church, Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico
Rose Hill, Gisland
Aerial Car reaching Summit of the Sugar Loaf
Miyajima - A Celebrated Island in the Inland Sea


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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