1905 Walker Trolley Map and View of New England Centered on Boston

Trolley Pathfinder Birds Eye Map of Interurban Trolley Lines in New England. - Main View

1905 Walker Trolley Map and View of New England Centered on Boston


Ephemeral New England transport network.


Trolley Pathfinder Birds Eye Map of Interurban Trolley Lines in New England.
  1905 (dated)     14 x 20 in (35.56 x 50.8 cm)


This is a vivid 1905 chromolithograph bird's-eye view style pocket map of New England by George Walker issued for the Metropolitan News Company. It was issued to promote the extensive but ephemeral New England interurban streetcar network of the early 20th century.
A Closer Look
Centered on Boston and oriented with north to the right, the map reveals New England from Portsmouth to New York City and Long Island, excluding Cape Cod. It features the extensive trolley lines connecting major New England cities and towns including Boston, Providence, Brockton, Plymouth, Manchester, Springfield, Portsmouth, Worchester, Hartford and others. It also notes railway lines, parks, lakes, rivers and other geographic features.
Interurban Streetcars
At the end of the 19th century, New England was serviced by an extensive network of interurban electric and steam powered streetcars. These were not proper railroads, but rather a separate system, run by various competing companies, that extended from New York to Boston and throughout New England as far north as Bath and Lewiston, Maine. By 1919, most of the interurban streetcar lines were consolidated under the Shore Line Electric Railway. The rise of the automobile ushered in the end of interurban streetcar travel by 1940.
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 product. Chromolithograph color could also be effectively blended for even more dramatic results. The process became extremely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it emerged as the dominant method of color printing. The vivid color chromolithography produced made it exceptionally effective for advertising and propaganda imagery.
Publication History and Census
This map was created by George H. Walker and published by the Metropolitan News Company in 1905. Stylistically it is very similar to Trolley Wayfinder Birds Eye View of Trolley Routes in New England, published in the same year, also by Walker, but focused more broadly. It is held by six institutions in the United States (the Connecticut State Library, the Connecticut Historical Society, the Boston Public Library, Brown University, Harvard University, and Southern Methodist University) and is scarce to the market.


George Hiram Walker (January 4, 1852 - November 14, 1927) was a Boston based publisher of books, views, and maps active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Springfield, Vermont, Walker started his life as a dry goods merchant but developed an active interest in publishing during the early 1870s. Walker began publishing in 1878 when he partnered with an unknown New York Firm. Two years later, Walker brought the operation in house by partnering with his brother, Oscar W. Walker, in the opening of a lithography studio at 81 Milk Street, Boston. Shortly thereafter the firm expanded to new offices at 160 Tremont Street, Boston. The Walker brothers produced a large corpus of works, most of which focused on travel and tourism in New England. Walker also established the Walker-Gordon Milk Laboratory with Dr. Thomas Morgan Rotch and Gustave Gordon. This interesting investment was based on the premise that infant deaths could be avoided by providing higher quality milk. The company eventually became a great success, producing a high-quality cow milk that closely resembled human breast milk. In the process the Walker-Gordon laboratory developed many of the dairy health standards that are still with us today. Walker married Irene L. Loud on March 25, 1885. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Verso repairs to fold separations. Closed tear extending one-quarter (1/4) inch into printed area from top margin professionally repaired on verso. Reinforced where once attached to booklet. Accompanied by booklet.


OCLC 1295610993, 36486343.