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1890 Poole Brothers View Map of the Great Lakes

Map of the Duluth South-Shore and Atlantic Ry. And Connections. / Duluth 'Zenith City' Short Line. - Main View

1890 Poole Brothers View Map of the Great Lakes


Stunning view and railroad map of the Great Lakes.



Map of the Duluth South-Shore and Atlantic Ry. And Connections. / Duluth 'Zenith City' Short Line.
  1890 (undated)     21.5 x 36.5 in (54.61 x 92.71 cm)     1 : 1710000


A stunning c. 1890 chromolithograph railroad map and view of the Great Lakes region. Issued to illustrate the route of the Duluth South-Shore and Atlantic Railway, the map covers from Montreal to the Dakotas, including all five Great Lakes, and most of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The map takes unusual view/map form, commonly seen in New England and European maps, but uncommon in maps of the American Midwest. While the map itself is presented on a uniform scale, the cartographer uses shading and a horizon line to suggest view-like qualities.
Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway
The Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway was founded in 1886 by the Detroit tycoon James McMillan. The railroad followed the development of hematite mines in the Upper Peninsula in the 1850s. This led to the construction of numerous small private railroads and spur lines. McMillan consolidated and merged many of these lines starting the early 1880s. Two years after its founding, in 1888, the DSSA was acquired by the Canadian Pacific Railroad, who financed additional trackwork as far as Duluth. The DSSA is still owned by the Canadian Pacific. Parts have been integrated into the Soo Line Railroad, while other sections are operated as a heritage line. Running through the stunning Upper Peninsula, the DSSA is one of the most beautiful railroad lines in the United States.
Chromolithography is a color lithographic technique developed in the mid-19th century. The process involved using multiple lithographic stones, one for each color, to yield a rich composite effect. Oftentimes, the process would start with a black basecoat upon which subsequent colors were layered. Some chromolithographs used 30 or more separate lithographic stones to achieve the desired effect. Chromolithograph color could also be effectively blended for even more dramatic effects. The process became extremely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it emerged as the dominate method of color printing.
Publication History and Census
This promotional map was issued by the railroad publisher Poole Brothers, probably on behalf of the railroad itself. It is a 2-color chromolithograph. The map is uncommon, with the OCLC identifying only 5 institutional holdings.


Poole Brothers (fl. c. 1880 - 1968) were a Chicago based firm active in the late 19th and early 20th century with an initial focus on promotional railroad maps. Poole Brothers was founded by George Amos Poole, one of the original four partners in the firm that would become Rand McNally, and his brother William H. Poole. Poole started his own firm, Poole Brothers, as a direct competitor to Rand McNally for the lucrative railroad business. Like many of its competitors, Poole Brothers maintained an office on Chicago's Printer's Row (downtown Loop district). Nevertheless, the two firms, along with Cram and Company, seem to have come to an accord, at least with regard to price-fixing, for which they were cited by the Federal Trade Commission in 1948. Their earliest known work is an 1880 map of Yellowstone National Park. Afterward they went on to produce a vast range of maps and other print products including tickets, cards, coupons, and restaurant menus. In time Poole Brothers merged with Newman-Randolph, which was then acquired by the American Can Company in the early 1960s. The American Can Company liquidated its printing concerns later in the same decade.


Backed on archival tissue. Some wear on original fold lines.


Newberry Library, G 909 .73. OCLC 35065115.