"The Burlington Route" map

Connecting Chicago to rail lines in the Northwest, West and Soutwest

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The Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad was first established in 1846 to connect Chicago to towns further west and south. Commonly referred to as the Burlington Route, it rapidly expanded across the Midwest, eventually reaching as far as Denver and Billings. This map from 1892 shows the Burlington Route in black and all its connecting lines in red, illustrating how this railroad connected the sparse rail lines in Texas to the West and Midwest.

One of the map's distinctive features are the time zones and longitude markers across the top of the map. Time zones were less than 10 years old when this map was published in 1892. Prior to the establishment of time zones, clocks were set to a local time based on "high noon" in each individual city.

In 1883, North American railroads ended the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times by establishing four continental time zones. All clocks in a given time zone would strike noon at the same time. Since railroads were the primary link between an individual city and the rest of the world, the time zones caught on quickly. Congress, however, did not officially adopt the railroad time zones until 1918.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

"The Burlington Route" map Artifact from Houston
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