Skip to main content

Distributed for The Grolier Club

Travelers, Tracks, and Tycoons: The Railroad in American Legend and Life

From the Barriger Railroad Historical Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association

With a Foreword by John Hoover
A richly illustrated look at the multifaceted history of American railways.
It’s no exaggeration to say that, in the nineteenth century, railroads completely remade the United States: geographically, economically, and—through the advent of standardized time zones—temporally. Though today their domination on transport and freight shipping has been superseded by automobiles and aviation, the railroad remains a vital piece of the nation’s infrastructure and self-image.

Drawing on the rich and diverse holdings of the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, the St. Louis Mercantile Library, and select railroad historical organizations, Travelers, Tracks, and Tycoons showcases the profound changes the US railroad industry has wrought on the land and its people since the 1820s. The vast array of artifacts collected here includes early railroad prospectuses and reports, promotional materials from the country’s first railroad projects, technical publications by engineers, ledgers from railroads like the New York Central, conductors’ logbooks, and dispatchers’ records. A wide assortment of plans, maps, and drawings presented alongside these materials helps illuminate the technological advancements brought about by the railroad industry, while posters, sheet music, and art show how trains quickly became an indelible part of the American social fabric. Published in conjunction with a 2022 Grolier Club exhibition, this book provides a multifaceted look at American railroads in all their locomotive glory.

168 pages | 200 color plates | 11 1/2 x 12 1/4 | © 2022

The Grolier Club image

View all books from The Grolier Club

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press