Stunning chromo broadside for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad

Cameron, Amberg & Co., Printers, TAKE THE FAVORITE / ROCK ISLAND ROUTE / CHICAGO, ROCK ISLAND RAILWAY. Chicago, ND but ca. 1880.
Broadside, 21 ¼"h x 13 1/8"w plus margins, printed in colors. Housed in a folding cloth portfolio.

A spectacular and very rare display broadside, touting the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific line and its connections with the newly-completed transcontinental railroad.

The Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad was formed in 1866 through the merger of the Chicago & Rock Island and Mississippi & Missouri Railroads. Just three years later the Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines completed the first rail link between Omaha and San Francisco, and by 1870 it was possible to traverse the entire continent by rail. The C.R.I. & P.R.R. was a key link in the route, connecting with the Union Pacific at Omaha and Kansas City.

The focal point of the broadside is a vibrant three-color panel at top bearing the title and a 4 ¼” x 6″ map of the C.R.I. & P.R.R. network (The map bears a Rand McNally imprint.) Below this many lines of headline type in blue and red list destinations served by the railway and its connections. These surround a large cutaway view of a Palace Dining Car, where “meals are served, from bill of fare, at seventy-five cents each.” In all, the varied and energetic design elements combine to convey the excitement about the possibilities of comfortable, high-speed transcontinental travel.

The broadside can be dated to 1882 or earlier, as that was the year in which Ransom Reed Cable was promoted to President. He is listed here as Vice President and General Manager.

Very rare. OCLC #54147801, recording but a single example held by Yale.


Gently toned, a couple of minor edge tears, and small triangular loss to upper-right corner