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Transcontinental Railroad Historic Engravings

[Click on an Image or Link to see enlarged engravings.]

High Quality Mass Printing of Nineteenth Century Engravings and Woodcuts
"A Visitors' Guide to Harper & Brothers' Establishment"
from the 1878 Harper's Catalog
Harper's 1878 Catalog

Issues of Harper's Weekly Newspaper, 1869
Harper's Weekly Newspaper - Issues from 1869
Photo courtesy of Anthony Fratantoni.

Snow Drift "A Snow Drift on the Pacific Railroad"
Hand colored wood block engraving from Harper's Weekly, March 19, 1870
Stagecoachs at Cisco Station "All aboard for Virginia City" (Stagecoaches at Cisco)
German wood engraving c. 1873, 6 1/4" x 9 1/4", from the original
painting by L. J. Bonnat.  After Hart stereoview #217.
Completion of the Pacific Railroad "Completion of the Pacific Railroad, May 10, 1869—
The Great Link Connecting Europe with Asia Across the American Continent."
Harper's Weekly Newspaper, May 29, 1869.


Explorations and Surveys for a Pacfic Railroad
The following four pages are taken from the spectacular 12 volume (13 book)
Pacific Railroad Surveys reporting the work of the Army Topographical Engineers 
in the mid-1850's.  Illustration Courtesy Normand Pichette, Vortex Books.
Birds Pacific Railroad Surveys, c. 1855 
John Mix Stanley — Engravings of Birds 
The Pacific Railroad Surveys included extensive investigation of wildlife along the routes studied.  Color Lithographs by John Mix Stanley 1814-1872 from the 12 volume survey report of proposed routes for the Pacific Railroad have incredible detail and beauty.
Scenery (Pacific Railroad Surveys) Pacific Railroad Surveys, 1855 
John Mix Stanley — Engravings of Scenery
Additional Pacific Railroad Survey Engravings of Scenery Pacific Railroad Surveys, 1855 
John Mix Stanley — Additional Engravings of Scenery
USPRR
Pacific Railroad Surveys, 1861
Additional Wood and Steel Engravings, Panoramas, & Maps, including Utah, Nevada, & California

Currier & Ives - Through to the Pacific Currier & Ives Railroad Lithographs:
"Westward the Empire, 1870-1871"
Currier & Ives was a lithographic firm in New York City from 1835 to 1907.  Self-described as "Publishers of Cheap and Popular Pictures," but better described by collectors and admirers as "The Printmakers to the American People," their works captured the pulse of 19th century American life and remain among the most collectible pieces of Americana.
The Last Spike

"The Last Spike"  by Thomas Hill

from Johnstone, E. McD. Pacific Coast Souvenir. Oakland, California, E.S. Denison, 1888

Completion of the Pacific Railroad "Completion of the Pacific Railroad—
Meeting of Locomotives of the Union and Central Pacific Lines: 
The Engineers Shake Hands"
Harper's Weekly Newspaper, June 5, 1869.
Summit Station "Nelsons' Pictorial Guide-Books: Central Pacific Railroad." 1871.
Yosemite "Nelsons' Pictorial Guide-Books: Scenery of California
The Yosemite Valley, and The Mammoth Trees and Geysers of California" c. 1871.
Yosemite

Nob Hill Mansions, San Francisco

from "Historical Souvenir of San Francisco, Cal." View Book by C. P. Heininger, San Francisco, Cal., c. 1887.

Completion of the Pacific Railroad Locomotive at Cape Horn "View on American River"
Harper's Weekly Newspaper, December 7, 1867.
Completion of the Pacific Railroad West Portal, Tunnel No. I, C. P. R. R. and other Engravings from the
"Specimen Book of Electrotypes" Engraved Illustrations of Pacific Coast Scenery, etc., for use by Publishers and Printers, 1885.
Across the Continent "Across The Continent.  — The Frank Leslie Excursion To The Pacific. —
Side-Scenes On The Central Pacific Railroad."
Night Train
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, February 9, 1878.
Railroad Story Book: A Thousand Miles by Rail. McLoughlin Bros, New York, 1907. "Railroad Story Book: A Thousand Miles by Rail." McLoughlin Bros, New York, 1907.
Excursion Train Rounding Cape Horn "Across The Continent. — The Frank Leslie Transcontinental Excursion. — 
The Excursion Train Rounding Cape Horn at the Head of the Great American Canon, with a View of the South Fork of the American River, where  Gold Was First Discovered in 1848."
Frank Leslie Transcontinental Excursion Train, hand-colored engraving, 
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 27, 1878.
Excursion Train Rounding Cape Horn Long Ravine Bridge and Donner Lake
Illustrated London News, 1868.
Stereoscopic Camera Scovill Stereoscopic Camera
Donner Lake "Donner Lake, from the Snow-Sheds" 
from Appleton's "Our Native Land," 1886. 
CPRR Warf - San Francisco "Central Pacific Warf - San Francisco"
"Cape Horn" and
"Snowsheds on Donner Peak"
from "Our Native Land"  D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1886
Building the Pacific Railroad "Beyond the Mississippi" by Albert D. Richardson, 1869
Building the Pacific Railroad
Excursion Ticket 1870 "A Souvenir of the Transcontinental Excursion of Railroad Agents, 1870."
Excursion Ticket
Snow Sheds Constructing Snow Sheds, Sierra Nevada Mountains, C. P. R. R.
From a series of engravings in "Crofutt's Trans-Continental Tourist's Guide"
Snow Sheds "California"  By Charles Nordhoff. 
"I.-How to Go There,  and What to See by the Way."
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, May, 1872.
Summit Tunnel "Between The Gates"
 One Man's Colorful First Person Account of 1870’s Travel on the Pacific Railroad
Summit Tunnel
Lightning "Lightning on the Prairies"
The Pacific Tourist, 1882.
Timetable Engraving, UPRR 1881

"Overland Route" 1881 Timetable with UPRR Engravings (First Panel)
... (Second Panel)

Woodcut Stereoviews of the Central Pacific Railroad

Woodcut Stereoviews of the Central Pacific Railroad

Railway Review

Selected Engravings from the Illustrated history of the Panama Railroad. by Fessenden Nott Otis, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1861

(Supplies for building the Central Pacific RR had to go via the Panama RR or entirely by ship around Cape Horn.)
Railway Review

Advertisements from Railway Review, 1882
Portfolio of American Locomotives

Portfolio of American Locomotives, c. 1870-1880
Portfolio of American Locomotives

The Tiger, M.W. Baldwin & Co. Locomotive Builders, Philadelphia.
Portfolio of American Locomotives

Cabin of Central Pacific Railroad Ferry Piedmont, 1884
New Map of the Union Pacific Railway, the Short, Quick and Safe Line to All Points West, Rand McNally and Company, 1883. Courtesy Library of Congress. New Map of the Union Pacific Railway, the Short, Quick and Safe Line to All Points West, Rand McNally and Company, 1883. Courtesy Library of Congress.
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