How Fast Could You Travel Across the USA in the 1800s? (Check Out These Old Maps)

1 of 8

credit: Public Domain

There's no doubt that improvements in transportation are world-changing, both in positive and negative ways. But in this age of fast travel and instant digital communications, we tend to forget that not so long ago, distances were subjectively very different. In the 1800s, for example, traveling a few hundred miles in the USA meant taking a steam-powered train and the trip could sometimes take days, and going from coast to coast - something that now takes less than a day - could take weeks.

I thought it would be fun to look at some old maps showing how far you could get across the USA in a day, and the evolution of the speed of travel over the years. Click here to keep going to page 2 (the navigation arrows are on the top right of the images).