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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
Map of the Railways of Brazil
Grand Canyon, Arizona, Sunset From Hopi Point
Grand Shrine of Ise
Haydon Bridge
Sisson at the Base of Mount Shasta
Looking down from the Eastern Edge of Cocovado
The Royal Mail Steam Packet
Hell Gate, Rogue River
Residence of General Pinheiro Machado
Penetrating the Amazonian Forest
When the Cherry Blossom Blows, Uyeno Park, Tokyo
San Francisco Overland Limited, at Midlake, Utah
The Ikebana or Flower Arrangement - One of the Aesthetic Arts of Japan
Entrance of the Railway at Edge-Hill Liverpool
Paradise Inn, Rainer National Park, Washington
Gaunabara Palace
San Francisco Overland Limited, Palisade Canyon, Nevada
Orizaba (desde el puente de Paso del Toro)
Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, Minn.
The Snowy Range near Trinidad, Colorado
The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company's Offices, Avenida Rio Branco
Valle de Mexico (tomado desde el cerro del Risco)
Arizona Afterglow, After Painting by Fernand Lungren
Railway Office Liverpool
Redlands, California, View from Smiley Heights
The Dalbutsu or Gigantic Bronze Statue of Buddha at Kamakura
Blenkinsopp Hall
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)
Illustrated Title Page
The Olympian on Short Line Bridge, Between St. Paul and Minneapolis
Map of Brazil with Railways
Back Cover
Aerial Car descending from the Sugar Loaf Mount
A Bit of Rio's North Western Suburbs
Back Cover
Gelt Bridge
Matsushima - A Land Locked Bay Studded with Hundreds of Pine Clad Islets
Truckee River near Floriston, Cal.
Entrance to the Mausolea of the Tokugawa Shoguns in Tokyo
Canal and Barges in Tokyo
Indian Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Panorama of Mount Shasta
Armour and Weapons of Ancient Warriors
Jute Mills of the Cia. Nacional de Tecidos de Juta
Cordoba (Tomado desde el camino de Coscomatepec)
Crossing the Missouri River, Lombard, Mont.
Entrance into Manchester across Water Street
Southern-Pacific Lines
The Olympian Under Electric Operation in Montana Canyon
San Francisco and Bay, Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda in Distance
Title Page
Bird's-eye View of the ancient Carioca Viaduct
Allerwash or Fourstones
The British Bank of South America
Donner Party Cross near Donner Lake, Cal.
Barranca de Metlac (II)
A Typical Landscape Garden
Front View of Ferry Building, San Francisco
Prefecture of the Federal District
Enjoying the Cool of a Summer Evening on the Kamogawa in Kyoto
Kittitas Valley, Wash.
Residence of Mr. Frank H. Walter, Petropolis
Back Cover
Title Page
The Odori - A Dramatic Dance in Old Time Costume
Puente del Atoyac
Avenue of Royal Palms, Botanical Gardens
Offices of the Jornal do Commercio
Yosemite Valley, California, General View from Artist's Point
Hotel dos Estrangeiros
Kintai Bashi - A Bridge of Unique Construction in Southern Japan
Typical Reception Room in a Wealthy Home
A View of Mt. Fuji (Height: 12,370 ft.)
The Higashi Honganji - A Buddhist Temple at Kyoto
Garden of the Itamaraty Palace
Rose Hill, Gisland
Apache Warrior, Rio Navaho, Arizona
"Villino Nair"
Chiyo no Matsubara - A Celebrated Pine Grove in Kyushu with a Passing Train
Puente de Wimer (Cumbres de Maltrata)
Mossbrae Falls at Shasta Springs
Giant Gap, American River Canyon
Apache Canyon between Las Vegas and Lamy, New Mexico
British Legation, Petropolis
Orange Grove near Colfax, Cal.
Promontory Point, Salt Lake, Utah
Back Cover
Residence of Senator Ruy Barboza
State Capital, Sacramento, Cal.
Front Cover
Ridley Hall, from near Bardon Mills
The Kinkakuji, Golden Pavillion, Kyoto


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


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