Historical Map: The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, 1956

A simply gorgeous mid-1950s map of the AT&SF’s passenger routes, taken from a promotional brochure produced in conjunction with Disneyland, which is shown prominently to the right of the map.

The brochure was ostensibly an introduction to the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland, then only a year old. Understandably, the AT&SF — who had basically bankrolled construction of the 5/8th scale railroad — were keen to get some return in their investment. As a result, much of the brochure is actually given over to advertising their “new and modern” rail services.

The whole brochure opens out to display this fantastic map, where Texas and Oklahoma are represented by scratchily drawn cattle,  oil derricks and chemical plants, while the Grand Canyon becomes a large hole in the ground that a careless Native American is about to walk into. On top of these charming little drawings is a simplified route map of the AT&SF’s lines, stretching from San Francisco to Chicago.

Our rating: Gorgeous 1950s design sensibilities, although definitely more an advertisement than a practical, useful map. Four stars.

4 Stars!

(Source: Vintage Disneyland Tickets website)


From Oaklandish: an ambitious 1956 BART prototype map.

Some might say a little overly ambitious!