Tuesday, November 10, 2020

American Time Travel

In 1890 if you wanted to travel from New York City to Ferry County in Washington the journey would take you over three weeks by train. I discovered this little piece of information using Michael Weaver's wonderful Travel Time Between Counties:1880 and 1900 interactive map.

If you click on the Travel Time Between Counties map then you can view an isochrone map showing how long it would take to travel from that location to every over location in the United States by rail in 1890 or 1900. The colors on this isochrone layer show how many days it would take to travel county to county within the country by train. The map includes the option to change the travel times shown between either 1890 or 1900. 

In 1900 the travel time between New York and Ferry County had been reduced by over two weeks, to just 5.3 days. 

The data for the Travel Time Between Counties map comes from Fernando PĂ©rez-Cervantes's analysis of travel times between every pair of U.S. counties for every year between 1840 and 1900. This analysis is based on the available railroad lines in 1890 and 1900 and uses an algorithm to find the optimal travel times between any two counties.

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