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American Heritage Center, Railroads Subject Guide: Toppan Rare Book Library

Books available in Toppan Rare Book Library

A Practical Treatise on Rail-roads. And Interior Communication in General, Nicholas Wood, 1832 – A technical book describing railroads and railroad-related concepts by English railroad engineer and coalminer Nicholas wood. The book describes the engineering of railroad locomotives, tracks, etc. and their uses. At the time of this books publication, railroads and railroad technology were still in their infancy. The first several pages are period advertisements, mostly for other books of a similarly technical nature. Included at the end are nine foldout plates with technical diagrams of locomotives, tracks, and other mechanical devices. (Toppan Rare Books Library: Coe Pre 1850 Collection: TF 144 .W7 1832)

Die Santa Fe und Südpacificbahn in Nordamerika, Robert von Schlagintweit, 1884 – A German language book describing the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads. Robert von Schlagintweit was a German professor and explorer, who was most notable for having explored India and the Himalayas with his two brothers, but he also wrote several books on the American west. This book features high quality illustrations of railroad and nature scenes including a few foldouts. (Toppan Rare Books Library: Fitzhugh Collection: F 786 .S33 1884)

The Great Union Pacific Railroad Excursion to the Hundredth Meridian: From New York to Platte City, 1867 – An account of a railroad journey from 1867 that was written for those who were on the trip. The small book describes the route and the sights along the way. Also included is a large foldout map, reproduced documents and speeches given relating to the journey and the railroad, and other miscellanea such as dinner menus, lists of those involved in the party, etc. Please note that this book contains descriptions and depictions of Indigenous people and their culture that are considered offensive today. (Toppan Rare Books Library: Special Collection: F 594 .G82 1867)

Kansas and the Country Beyond on the Line of the Union Pacific Railroad, Josiah Copley, 1867 – An account of a railroad journey along the Union Pacific with a heavy emphasis on the railroad in Kansas reported through a series of letters to the Pittsburgh Gazette newspaper. The author describes the route of the railroad and the scenery as well as potential economic factors of regions along the railroad route. (Toppan Rare Books Library: Special Collection: F 686 .C67 1867)

Laramie, Hahn’s Peak, and Pacific Railway System, 1910 – An informational book produced by the Laramie, Hahn’s Peak, and Pacific Railway Company highlighting their infrastructure development on a railroad that was to run from Laramie to Centennial and southwest into Colorado. The book is mostly high quality black and white photographs that depict locations beginning in Laramie and running along the route of the railroad. Several photos depict downtown Laramie and its environs. (Toppan Rare Books Library: Fitzhugh Collection: HE 2791 L373x L3)

Locomotive Fireman’s Magazine, assorted issues, 1893-1897 – Several issues of the magazine of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Fireman, a mutual aid society and trade union comprised of railroad workers. Several issues are edited by Eugene V. Debs, a prominent American socialist and labor activist. The magazines’ content includes articles and essays on social and political issues (especially relating to railroad working conditions), technical articles related to railroads, narrative stories, poems, and (occasionally bizarre) advertisements. (Toppan Rare Books Library: Coe Deacc. Collection: Locomotive Fireman’s Magazine)

The Pacific Tourist: Williams’ Illustrated Guide to the Pacific RR and California and Pleasure Resorts across the Continent, Henry T. Williams, 1879 – A guidebook for traveling across the country by railroad from 1879. The book describes in detail the routes one can take as well as advice for traveling by train. The route descriptions include detailed (and optimistic) descriptions of the towns along the route. Beginning on page 84 is one such description for Laramie which predates the University of Wyoming. There are six editions of this book in the Toppan Rare Books Library, ranging from 1877-1886. (Toppan Rare Books Library: Special Collection: F 594 .W55 1879)

Tom Swift and His Electric Locomotive, Victor Appleton, 1922 – A book from the “Tom Swift” series, which featured the eponymous character’s adventures with a focus on science and inventing. The Tom Swift series was one of several book series published by the Stratemeyer Syndicate which were aimed at young readers, such as “Nancy Drew”, “The Hardy Boys”, and others. In this entry Tom works to invent an electric train carriage that goes 120 miles per hour and must strive to prevent an enemy from getting ahold of his invention. (Toppan Rare Books Library: Ryland Collection: PS 3501 .P63 T45 c1922)

LibGuide written by Marcus Holscher