200 Years Ago, It Took 6 Weeks To Go From NYC To Chicago

Now it takes less than two hours — that’s 600x faster. The map below, from the 1932 Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States shows how long it took to get from New York City to the various parts of the country.

 

This was before railroads were an option. By 1830, the trip from New York City to Chicago was halved to three weeks, and by 1857, it was down to two days. Sixty years later, it was halved again to one day — still by rail. Now, you can get to any major city in the world in less than a day, and to almost any point on the planet. Back in 1800, that day would get you to New Jersey. In fact, now, you could theoretically get to the moon in just a couple of days — something literally unimaginable when Thomas Jefferson was alive. Whereas 200 years earlier than that, in Shakespeare’s time, the top speed was exactly the same: the speed of horse.

Mother Nature Network has a couple of more maps from the atlas.

 

See also:

 

From Mother Nature Network, via Laughing Squid

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