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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Map: How Fast You Could Travel Across the US in the 1800's

These maps from the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (1932) show how long it took to travel across the United States in the 1800's, with a starting point in New York City.

In 1800: New York City to New Orleans took about four weeks.

Here's 1830 - train travel was available in part of the country:

By 1857, railroads had improved significantly:

And here's 1930:
 For more maps, check out Mother Nature Network.  via Laughing Squid.


  1. Fascinating . . . great work as always!

  2. Fascinating. It would be interesting to see comparable maps of world travel. For example, how long from New York to China in 1800.

  3. Interesting question. If you were heading from China (or elsewhere) to the US, it probably took weeks just to get to a disembarkation point, then weeks on a ship (pre-steam engines, anyway). Leaving from NYC would cut out the first part and just leave the ocean part. If you run across any answers, please send them along!