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Grolier Club Exhibitions

The Railroads Triumphant Part I

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George W. Colton.
Map Showing the Lines of Railway in the United States and Canada on which the Cars of the Pullman Companies are Operated.
New York: G. W. & C. B. Colton, 1871.

This map shows the Pullman Company’s sleeping car operations before it became a monopoly. The company’s cars did not cover the entire railroad network, and passengers would have to transfer to other cars run by other sleeping car companies to finish their journey. By 1900 Pullman would have complete control over railroad sleeping cars in the United States.

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Carlton J. Corliss.
The Day of Two Noons.
Chicago: Ball Railroad Time Service, 1941.

Carlton Corliss, a manager for the Association of American Railroads, penned this short monograph on the actual establishment of time zones in 1941. While railroads accepted the idea of time zones in the 1870’s, it was not until November 18, 1883, that they were officially enacted. It was on this day that every railroad clock was reset to the proper time for its location, and in those areas where the clocks had already passed noon, experienced a second noon, hence the name of the day.

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Charles F. Dowd.
System of National Time and Its Application by Means of Hour and Minute Indexes to the National Railway Time-Table.
Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons, 1870.

Charles Dowd was the among the first to propose time zones for the railroads of the United States. He published his idea in this work in 1870 and continued to promote it to state, municipal, federal, and business leaders. The idea of time zones would improve railroad operations by eliminating local standard times that could vary by 15 to 30 minutes or more between various railroad companies. Such variances often led to missed connections for passengers.

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Northern Pacific Railroad Company.
The Charter and Amendments: The General Mortgage on Railroad and Land Grant and Copy of First Mortgage Bond.
Philadelphia: Jay Cooke & Co, 1864.

This is one of the first mortgages on the Northern Pacific Railroad’s land that was backed by Jay Cooke & Co. The line was the first transcontinental route to be built by one company, and the cost proved to be nearly ruinous. The railroad, under Jay Cooke’s guidance, mortgaged its land to pay for its construction. This would lead to the railroad’s, the finance company’s, and Cooke’s personal downfall during the Panic of 1873.

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Northern Pacific Railroad Company.
Beskrifning öfver Norra Stilla Hafs Banans Land I Minnesota.
Place of Publication Not Identified: Swedish Printing Association, 1873.

This pamphlet is a description of Northern Pacific Railroad lands in Minnesota. The Northern Pacific, along with the Great Northern Railroad, both worked to entice Scandinavian and other Northern European immigrants to settle on their lands. These railroads worked in conjunction with steamship lines and community leaders in Europe to help facilitate immigration and settlement on these lands in the hopes that rapid economic development would follow.

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New York Sabbath Committee.
Sunday Railroad Work.
New York: New York Sabbath Committee, 1869.

The New York Sabbath Committee was again continuing to push against Sunday railroad work, just as they had done before the Civil War. The railroad industry had embraced twenty-four hour, seven day a week operations to meet traffic needs during the war, and had continued it afterwards. These post-war efforts by the committee were unsuccessful at first, but they did find allies within labor who also sought a scheduled day of rest.

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G. P. Buell.
Report Made to the President and Executive Board of the Texas Pacific Railroad.

New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1871.

This innocuous looking report is evidence of the post-war railroad boom in America. The Texas Pacific was to follow the Southern Survey from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the Pacific Ocean. It would be free of snow and open to traffic all year. Tom Scott, President of the Pennsylvania Railroad, concurrently serving as President of the T&P, was hoping to build a national railroad empire with this line.

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Sandford Fleming.  
Report On The Intercolonial Railway Exploratory Survey...

Ottawa: Hunter, Rose & Co., 1868.

Sandford Fleming’s report on the Intercolonial Railway documents part of the development of one of the most important railroads in Canada. The plan to build the line was part of the British North America Act of 1867 that created the Dominion of Canada. Fleming was in charge of the construction, and despite higher costs, the railroad was a success. The railway would exist until 1918, when it would be merged into the Canadian National Railway.

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Baldwin Locomotive Works.
Illustrated Catalog of Locomotives. (Manuscript)
Philadelphia: The Company, 1871.

This is the manuscript copy of Baldwin Locomotive Works’ 1871 catalog. The company produced an annual catalog with updated designs for its products. On the left page, one can see the handwritten technical specifications for a locomotive; on the right, a company photograph has been pasted in to give customers a view of the product they were ordering.

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Choctaw Nation.
Remonstrance, Appeal and Solemn Protest of the Choctaw Nation Addressed to the Congress of the United States.
Washington, DC: Publisher not identified, 1870.

This document was one of many submitted by various Native American Tribes in protest of the encroachment of the railroads upon their lands. The Choctaw were specifically protesting the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf and Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroads attempt to get access to federally granted reservation land for railroad construction. Unfortunately, these pleas would be turned down in favor of the railroads’ requests.

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Saint Paul and Pacific Rail-Road Company.
Statement of the Saint Paul and Pacific Rail-Road...
New York: J. W. Amerman, 1862.

This booklet outlines the advantages that the Saint Paul and Pacific Railroad held due to its land grants and location. The company had been reorganized after a bankruptcy and was trying to get investments to finish its line West and potentially be a link in a Northern Transcontinental Railroad. Unfortunately, the line would once again go bankrupt. James J. Hill would take over the company in 1878, and it would become part of the nucleus of his railroad empire.