Take the Favorite Rock Island Route, Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R’y. Rock Island Chicago, Pacific Railway.
Take the Favorite Rock Island Route, Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R’y.
Take the Favorite Rock Island Route, Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R’y.

Take the Favorite Rock Island Route, Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R’y.

Chicago: Cameron, Amberg & Co., Printers, [ca. 1880]. Illustrated chromolithographic broadside with map, 21.25” x 13.125” plus margins, inset map measuring 4.5” x 5.875”, illus. measuring 3.25” x 12.5”.

A rare and striking broadside issued by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway, advertising the Rock Island through-express route and promoting the railroad’s numerous destinations, connections and amenities.

Featuring the eye-catching mix of typefaces and colors that characterised railroad advertising in this era, this attractive broadside promotes the numerous mid-western stops and destinations accessible via the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R’y. At this time, two through-express trains for Kansas and Nebraska ran daily in connection with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads. As noted here, meals were served in palace dining cars for seventy-five cents each, and 150 pounds of baggage were allowed on each full ticket and seventy-five pounds on each half ticket free. The line’s various destinations included Iowa City, Council Bluffs, Denver, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco, as well as “all points in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Montana and California.”

Showing the Rock Island R.R. in bold, the inset map spans from Chicago and Lake Michigan in the east to Omaha and Council Bluffs in the west, and reaches from St. Paul in the north to St. Louis and Kansas City in the south—with Lake Michigan lying in the upper-right corner. One axis of the line extends from Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin to Leavenworth, Kansas, and another stretches from Chicago to Omaha. Various spurs connect to both.

The lower section of the broadside features a marvelously detailed illustration of the interior of a palace dining car showing numerous fashionably dressed passengers seated and dining among African American waiters who are shown in the small kitchen and serving food. In the far-right end of the train, men are depicted in drawing rooms—reading newspapers and smoking—and various railway operators and ticket-men appear at the ends of the car. Also included is a table of connections with various railroads that could be made in “Union depots.” Through-tickets via this route could be found on sale at all coupon offices in the U.S. and Canada. Those seeking additional information, folders, maps, and times-tables, are encouraged to contact any of the ten agents and managers of the Rock Island R.R. listed at the bottom, who were based in New York, Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc.

Established in 1847 as the Rock Island & LaSalle R.R., the company was reincorporated in 1851 as the Chicago & Rock Island R.R. Co.—its rails during this period reaching to Morris, Illinois and later Ottawa. After acquiring the Mississippi & Missouri R.R. in 1866, the company was renamed Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R.R. Co. Expanding between 1873 and 1882, the company built more branch lines that reached into Iowa as well as Kansas City. In 1880, the firm was reorganized under the name Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific R’y Co., and by 1883 extended nearly to the southern boundary of Kansas. After Congress granted passage across Indian Territory in 1887, the Rock Island R.R. began developing through Texas to Galveston as well as New Mexico Territory. During the 1920s the railroad enjoyed considerable success. In 1926 the company began constructing a freight line between Amarillo, Texas, and Liberal, Kansas which was finished in 1929 and served to make accessible a country of rich grain. While the railroad industry continued fairly steadily through 1930, between 1931 and 1935, the Depression took a toll on the Rock Island R.R. and went into decline. The company ceased operation in 1980.

WorldCat records just one copy, held at Yale.

REFERENCES: Kansas Historical Society. Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Records at kshs.org

CONDITION: Very good, loss to margin in upper right corner.

Item #5510

Price: $3,500.00

See all items in Broadsides & Ephemera, Maps