This map of the Middle West United States was published in 1881 by G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. It features portions of Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Tennessee. Shown are counties, cities, towns, waterways, coal fields, and the railroad and steamboat network of the 1880's. Included is an inset map of the lower U.S. states and Mexico.
The Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad was a narrow gauge (3 foot) line that began as a subsidiary of the Toledo, Delphos & Burlington Railroad, which had earlier merged with the 4 ft 10 in gauge Iron Railroad. The two lines merged in 1881 retaining the Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis name. A third rail was installed within the larger gauge rails of the portion that had been the Iron Railroad to accommodate the narrow gauge locomotives of the Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad. Two years later the railroad was forced into bankruptcy and later was split up, converted to standard (4 ft 8 ½ in) gauge, and sold in portions.
Between the Little Miami and Great Miami rivers on the north shore of the Ohio River, Cincinnati began as a small settlement called "Losantiville" in 1788. Losantiville faced the mouth of the Licking River. Its name was changed in 1790 to Cincinnati.
Construction began in 1825 on the Miami and Erie Canal. The canal began operations in 1827 linking Cincinnati to Middletown, and then later Toledo, Ohio.
Toledo was founded along the west bank of the Maumee River in 1833. The city grew fast with the addition of the Miami and Erie Canal, as well as other connecting canals. Toledo boasted furniture manufacturers, carriage makers and breweries. Toledo became a major glassmaking town, producing windows, bottles and glass art. When the railroads began to replace the canals as the preferred mode of transportation, Toledo became an important center for several railroad companies.
After the American Civil War, Cincinnati prospered with the production of iron. It also was an important meatpacking, woodworking and millinery town. The Little Miami Railroad began serving Cincinnati in 1836. The first road and railway bridge crossing the Mississippi River was completed at St. Louis in 1874. The bridge was the longest arch bridge in the world at that time with a length of 1,964 meters. It was the first time true steel had been used in bridgework.
In 1881 Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell formed the Oriental Telephone Company of New York. In that same year the Canadian Pacific Railway was incorporated.
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