Chapter

Mapping a Transcontinental Nation: Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century American Rail Travel Cartography

Jerry Musich

in Cartographies of Travel and Navigation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780226010748
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226010786 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226010786.003.0004
Mapping a Transcontinental Nation: Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century American Rail Travel Cartography

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This chapter, which surveys the universe of early railroad mapping and then focuses on the history of mapping for rail passengers up to the early twentieth century, argues that the history of railroad mapping is inextricable from the history of the rail network it portrays. We see how, for the first time, mapping was used on a grand scale as a developmental tool, promoting the creation and patronage of specific rail lines as well as the landscapes served by those lines. The character of maps used by rail travelers was very much conditioned by the geographic extent and economic status of American railroads at particular times.

Keywords: railroad mapping; rail networks; rail lines; rail travelers; American railroads

Chapter.  19017 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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