Back in 1800, a New York stagecoach couldn’t get outside the northeast, and a trip to Charleston, South Carolina took ten whole days of sailing—these are just two examples of just how arduous traveling in the 19th and early 20th centuries was. To visualize this difficulty, as well as to show the major advances made over a relatively short time, Quartz created this simple map that shows how far from NYC one could travel in a day between 1800 and 1934.
Quartz pulled the data from the 1932 Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, which was digitized in recent years by the Digital Scholarship Lab at The University of Richmond. They share some of their most interesting findings: “Philadelphia became a one-day trip for New Yorkers by 1830, but Washington was still more than 24 hours away. In 1930 St. Louis was just barely reachable by train in a day, but Denver was in reach that same year by plane. In 1934 TWA was able to fly three-stop service from New York to Los Angeles in 18 hours.” This certainly puts a 30-minute train ride to work in perspective…
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Tags : historic maps