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Map, Long Island, Railroad Systems Prior to 1876, Blueprint Cyanotype, Antique 1918
Competetive [sic] Railroad Systems on Long Island Prior to Consolidation in 1876
American: October 1, 1918
12.5 x 32.75 inches, ruled border
13 x 33.25 inches, overall
Cyanotype map of Long Island, New York, featuring the former railroad routes of various railroads serving Long Island and Queens, labeled with the years in which they were built. The cartography is simple, with towns, rivers, streams and small surrounding islands. Beneath the title in the upper left corner is a map key and list of the length in miles of each of three lines: the Long Island Railroad Co., the South Side Railroad Co. of Long Island and the Flushing, North Shore & Central Railroad Co. In the lower right corner is hand-lettered text about the history of the railroads, dates of consolidation and a table of the three main railroads’ gross earnings as well as earnings per mile in 1875. The opposite shore of New York State and Connecticut on Long Island Sound is outlined but not labeled. This map is printed in cyanotype, commonly referred to as “blueprint,” as a reversal, with the lines the white tone of the paper, and the surrounding shapes in blue.
During the third quarter of the 19th century, several railroads vied to serve the growing population of Long Island, but there was not enough business for all of them to survive. During the 1870s a number of them consolidated. The ultimate survivor in 1880 was the Long Island Railroad, but not before first entering bankruptcy and then being acquired by August Corbin, owner of the rival New York and Manhattan Beach Railway.
Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, with minor remaining overall toning and wear.
“History of the Long Island Rail Road.” Wikipedia. 8 May 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Long_Island_Rail_Road (12 June 2015).