"Geographically Correct Map of the United States, Issued by the Union Pacific Railroad" by Rand, McNally & Company, circa 1940

This large map of the United States was issued by Rand McNally and Company on behalf of the Union Pacific Railroad. The map embraces the whole of the United States, illustrating the routes of the Union Pacific Railroad and its many subsidiaries. This scarce railroad map was issued exclusively for company use at larger stations. 

Railroad routes for the Union Pacific Railway are boldly printed in red and white. Indian reservations and National Parks are also marked. In the lower left corner is an inset map showing the Pacific Ocean and principal steamship lines, while an inset map showing the Atlantic Ocean and the principal steamship lines can be found in the lower right. Sun Valley Resort appears on this map. It was founded in 1936 by the chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad, primarily to increase ridership on U.P. passenger trains in the Western United States and can be seen in the heavily tracked area of Idaho.

The Union Pacific Rail Road was founded in July of 1862, during the second year of the American Civil War.  It was incorporated under an act of Congress, the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862. The act was approved by President Lincoln and provided for the construction of railroads from the Missouri River to the Pacific as a war measure for the preservation of the Union. The Union Pacific was constructed in two parts, westward from Council Bluffs, Iowa to meet the Central Pacific Railroad line, which was constructed eastward from Sacramento, California. The railroad tycoon Leland Stanford drove the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory on May 10, 1869, connecting the lines and creating the first transcontinental railroad. 

Combined, the Union Pacific-Central Pacific Railway line became known as the Overland Route. By the late 1800s, the Union Pacific was not the only fully linked line leading westward, as both the Northern Pacific and the Southern Pacific were in operation, and appear in this map. Even so, none of the competing routes offered the size and flexibility of the Union Pacific. By the early 20th century the Union Pacific had merged with or absorbed many competing lines and still operates today as one of the world's largest railroads.


Offset lithograph, presented with original color. Published by Rand McNally & Company, Chicago, circa 1940. Originally mounted to two large display sticks, since removed. Light toning, stains in the lower margins. Paper is healthy and color is still bright. Map has been archivally framed in a custom-built wooden burl frame. Framed dimensions: 47" H x 69" W x 2” D.

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