R. T. Zogbaum
The Modern Ship of the Plains
This 1886 image shows the conditions for the vast majority of railroad passengers in the United States. This plain and crowded wooden car was typical of those which carried immigrants and other less affluent passengers across the country. Ventilation was poor, heating was inconsistent, and the ride was rough. Despite these conditions, trains remained the only way to travel long distances in a relatively short period of time.