Historic Railroad Map of the United States & Canada - 1868

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Map of the country from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean.

This map of the northwest United States, which used the latest explorations and surveys, and accompanied a report of the New York Chamber of Commerce in 1868, was drawn and published in the previous year by G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. It displays relief, drainage, cities, towns, military posts, and the railroad system of 1868. The Northern Pacific Railroad is highlighted in red.

The Northern Pacific was chartered by Congress in 1864. The goal of the railroad was to connect the Great Lakes with Puget Sound in Washington Territory. By opening up access to regions in the northwest the line hoped to offer good transportation of the western region’s resources to eastern locations and permit safe passenger travel west.

This map was published as the railroad was in its planning stages. Building was not begun on the line until 1870. Work proceeded east from Puget Sound while crews in Minnesota began laying tracks going west. Completion was delayed by constant Indian attacks upon surveyors and workers, and the line went bankrupt during the economic Panic of 1873. Upon reorganization, the Northern Pacific Railroad was finally completed in September of 1883. A grand ceremony at Gold Creek, in western Montana, where the two ends met, was climaxed with the installation of a gold spike. The railroad was plagued again in 1893 with bankruptcy proceedings, but after reorganizing, began improving. Its ability to upgrade equipment regularly and offer first-class travel service enabled the Northern Pacific to become one of the most popular railroads of the early 1900's.


Archive Paper

Archive Paper

Premium fine art paper that provides accurate color reproduction with high-contrast, high-resolution print output and maximum image permanence. A high-quality print ready for framing.

  • Museum quality paper for high-quality fine art.
  • Ultra smooth, neutral white matte finish.
  • Heavy-weight 230 gsm, 9.5 mil thickness.
  • Printed with pigment inks for longer print life and enhanced fade resistance.
  • Pigment based Canon LUCIA inks provide smooth tones and rich colors in fine, precise detail.
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Our wall map products are designed and printed on demand by our small team in Seattle, WA using high quality materials and fine art giclee printing.
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