Great Eastern Rail Road Route

Date: 1855
Printer: G. W. Wilson, Springfield, MA
Publisher / Location: Great Eastern Rail Road
Medium: Letterpress on paper
Credit: Gift of the New York Central Railroad
Accession Number: 1959.130.110
Comments: By the 1850s, railroads transitioned into common features of the American landscape. This colorful broadside exemplifies the eye-catching designs available from large printing companies after 1850. For this poster advertising the Great Eastern Rail Road, the Springfield, MA, printing firm of G. W. Wilson included a detailed woodcut of a steam locomotive printed over a pale grey-blue background. The smoke trailing above the engine suggests speed. In addition to the woodcut, the printer chose at least six or seven different sets of type in various sizes, triple borders with corner flourishes, and green, red, blue, black, and gold inks.