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Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper Celebrates a National Reunion

This cartoon from the May 29, 1869 issue of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper celebrates the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad linking the eastern and western halves of the United States, but its caption also hints at the hope for a [...]

An American Railway Union Strike Halts Cross-Country Trade

In 1894, the American Railway Union organized a national boycott and strike against all trains hauling Pullman Cars in response to a strike called by workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company. The strike spread across the nation. Strikers were met [...]

The President of the B&O Railroad Announces Wage Cuts

After the Panic of 1873 plunged the U.S. economy into a severe and lasting depression, corporations such as the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company found themselves cutting costs, usually by reducing employees' wages, as this letter from the [...]

The Stride of a Century

In 1876. the United States marked its centennial (or one hundredth birthday) with a World's Fair held in Philadelpha. The fair celebrated American technological progress and expansion. In this print, created by Currier & Ives, "Brother Jonathan" (a [...]

"A Philadelphia Poster Protests the Coming of the Railroad"

An 1839 poster urges citizens to rally against the coming of the railroad to Philadelphia. As the poster suggests, industrial technology and "progress" have not always been greeted with universal acclaim. The anonymous author(s) of this broadside [...]

Tags: railroads
Item Type: Poster/Print
Across the Continent: 'Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way'

From 1835 to 1907, the Currier & Ives printmaking company produced over a million lithograph illustrations of events, portraits, and scenes from American life. In the era before photography and the widespread use of illustrations in newspapers, [...]

"Union Pacific Announces the Opening of the Transcontinental Railroad"

An 1869 poster announces the grand opening of the first Transcontinental Railroad. In an elaborate ceremony in Promontory Summit, Utah, the Union Pacific met with the Southern Pacific, linking the eastern United States with California for the first [...]

Calvary Escorting Meat Train Protected by Infantry from the Chicago Stock Yards During Strike

The Pullman Strike began on May 11, 1894, when Pullman Palace Car Company workers walked off the job in response to severe wage cuts; members of Eugene V. Debs' American Railway Union soon joined in by refusing to work in Pullman cars. U.S. Army [...]

"American Progress"

During the nineteenth century, the U.S. greatly expanded its territory by purchasing land from other countries, taking land from countries it defeated in war, and adding independent territories that wanted to become part of the United States. This [...]

"To A Locomotive in Winter" (Excerpt)

Walt Whitman ardently depicted scenes and objects of modernity in the mid 19th century, seeing beauty in the power and invention of the machine age. This set him apart from a slightly earlier generation of artists, poets, and writers like Henry [...]