Transportation Mediagraphy-Books

Transportation: Canals, Trains & MotorVehicles History – A Mediagraphy

Books of Interest

American Railroads (The Chicago History of American Civilization)by John F. Stover (Author). 1997. University of Chicago Press. Paperback list price $17.00 on sale at Amazon for $11.56. ISBN-10: 0226776581; ISBN-13: 978-0226776583.

Summary: Few scenes capture the American experience so eloquently as that of a lonely train chugging across the vastness of the Great Plains, or snaking through tortuous high mountain passes. Although this vision was eclipsed for a time by the rise of air travel and trucking, railroads have enjoyed a rebirth in recent years as profitable freight carriers. A fascinating account of the rise, decline, and rebirth of railroads in the United States, John F. Stover’s American Railroads traces their history from the first lines that helped eastern seaports capture western markets to today’s newly revitalized industry. Stover describes the growth of the railroads’ monopoly, with the consequent need for state and federal regulations; relates the vital part played by the railroads during the Civil War and the two World Wars; and charts the railroads’ decline due to the advent of air travel and trucking during the 1950s.

Review: This book is perfect for American History buffs. It contains
an exhaustive history of the evolution of railroading in the USA.
Railroads thrived throughout the 1850s in response to the trans-
Pacific trade in gold. In 1860, Chicago was served by 8 railroads.
The Pacific Railway Bill of 1862 heralded the first Pacific line.
A bill was signed on 7-1-1862. A picture of an 1870s railroad
management gathering depicted the executives in 3-piece suits and
beards. A sign posted land for $6 to $12. per acre in Illinois.
The NY-New Haven and Hartford RR line started circa 1844.
The book would be a perfect acquisition for the student in your
house. –Joseph S. Maresca, Bronxville, NY

A Photo Album of Ohio’s Canal Era, 1825-1913 (Ohio) by Jack Gieck (Author). 1988. Kent State University Press. Paperback list price $47.00 on sale at Amazon for $35.72. ISBN-10: 0873383532; ISBN-13: 978-0873383530.

Summary: This book is a profusely illustrated interpretation of life along Ohio’s nineteeth-century canal system: the Miami & Erie Canal in the western part of the state and the Ohio & Erie Canal with its multiple feeders in central and eastern Ohio. The volume contain over 500 photographs and illustrations.

Review: Highly recommended for those interested in the history of canals, particularly in Ohio. Book is organized very nicely and contains unusual photographs. Those living in canal areas will like to compare scenes of then with now. This book gets its point across that at one time (early 19th century) canals were the best thing going for shipping goods and for transportation.–an Amazon customer.

Review: I borrowed this book from a friend a few weeks ago. For those just beginning an interest in Ohio’s canals, this is a grand book you’ll find difficult to put down. If you are already versed in the Ohio canals’ history, this is a very good book to have for a reference. The introductory chapter on the history of photography was, in itself, an education. Why? Because it examined that technology as it progressed through time. And since the book is made up of hundreds of canal photos through time, it is important to put the status of photographers into the overall understanding (and appreciation) of this era. –an Amazon customer

On the Move Great Transporation: Great Transportation Photographs from Lifeby Jennie Hirschfeld (Author), Maryann Kornely (Author), Life Gallery of Photography (Author). 2000. Bluefinch Press. Hardcover list price $35.00 on sale at Amazon for $9.99. ISBN-10: 0821226223; ISBN-13: 978-0821226223.

Summary: On the Move takes a nostalgic journey through twentieth-century transportation as documented by LIFE and other photographers and complemented by writings from the centurys authors. Airplanes, trains, bicycles, rickshaws, sailboats, ocean liners, automobiles, even the ZeppelinAlfred Eisenstaedt, Carl Mydans, Andreas Feininger, Margaret Bourke-White, George Silk, and others captured memorable images of these ingenious inventions. Now these photographs of speed and motion are accompanied by excerpts from great authors, including Antoine de Saint-Exupry, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Anne Porter, and Jack Kerouac. “Maryann Kornely is Director of th LIFE Gallery of Photography. Jennie Hirschfeld is curator at the LIFE Gallery of Photography.”

Review: Life Magazine’s photography editors chose well, and the imagery is effective still. Some, but not all, of the world’s best photographers – through the early 1960’s – are in this book. This is a comparatively small (8 x 10 and under 150 pages) assemblage of great black and white photos and brief quotations, mostly one and two-liners, relevant to various modes of transporatation. Like the original Life, you look at the fantastic pictures first, and read second….The feeling is less nostalgic than archival. And this time around, all photographers are identified. Great photos. Transportation buffs and at least several dads and grandfathers I can think of would enjoy this book a lot. –Ellen Galen, an amazon customer from the USA.



Created by Celia Bandelier ( on July 2, 2008. Celia is the Director of the Roanoke Public Library, Roanoke, Indiana.