Map of the Reading Railway System and Connections.
11.5 x 15.5 in (29.21 x 39.37 cm)
1 : 1300000
This is a rare c. 1925 Reading Railroad promotional tourist map of Pennsylvania and New Jersey highlighting the Reading Railroad's network. Thick red lines trace the Reading's routes through the region, and every stop is labeled. The map was likely created to promote railway tourist, as large type marks tourist destinations such as Atlantic City, New York, and Philadelphia, with a spur line to Gettysburg. Vignettes illustrating the Statue of Liberty and Independence Hall brighten the piece, but Locomotive 2009 acts as the focal point. 2009 blasts its way toward the viewer on the bottom right of the page, promoting the Reading's newest and fastest service.
The Reading RailroadThe Reading Company, known as the Reading Railroad and branded as Reading Lines, operated in Pennsylvania and the surrounding region from 1924 until 1976. The Reading Company succeeded the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, founded in 1833. Most of the Reading's cargo was anthracite from Pennsylvania's coal region, but they did offer some short-haul passenger services. The Reading Company filed for bankruptcy in 1971 after years of dwindling profits due to the rise of the interstate road system and the cheap cost of truck shipping.
Dating the MapThe presence of Locomotive 2009 allows us to place this map's publication to within a few years. Per our research, Locomotive 2009 was an I-10-S A locomotive built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Baldwin built twenty-five of these locomotives for the Reading Railroad in 1923, and they were the heaviest locomotives ever constructed up to that time, tipping the scale at 314,950 pounds. Based on this information, and the knowledge that railroads usually promoted their newest equipment, we believe that a date of c. 1925 is reasonable for this piece.
Publication History and CensusThis map was created for and published by Reading Lines c. 1925. This is the only known example.
Good. Minor repairs to left and right sides and at top center where old framing caused slight damage.