12mo., (7 ⅜ x 5 ⅛ inches). Half-title (some spotting throughout). Full-page engraved map “Pennsylvania Rail-road, with its connecting lines,” fine engraved frontispiece, 9 engraved plates, 81 in-text illustrations (spotted). Original publisher’s blind-stamped cloth, the smooth spine decorated and lettered in gilt (spine leaning slightly, a bit faded and rubbed).
Provenance: With contemporary manuscript ownership inscription to flyleaf “Mary B. Chace.”
First edition. Includes a Table of Distances between Philadelphia and Cincinnati via Railroad, a Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Passenger Train Time Table, and Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Passenger Fares and Distances table. Sabin gives the author as William Bromwell; however, other sources attribute the work to Eli Bowen, as this title is often included in Bowen’s larger work, “The Pictorial Sketch-Book of Pennsylvania or Its Scenery…” The introduction is signed “E. B.,” likely Eli Bowen. From the Introduction: “In her physical aspect and resources, Pennsylvania is pre-eminently the most interesting State in the Union – yet, for the want of popular descriptions and references, her real character is comparatively obscured from the public view. The most intelligent individual may make the tour from the Delaware to the Ohio by railroad, and yet be unable to identify one-half the towns, or mountains, or streams, or otherwise explain correctly the prominent local characteristics of the route traversed. Thousands of persons, of fortune and leisure, owing to this evil, are intimidated from travelling; while many proceed direct to Europe, before visiting the objects of interest in their own immediate land” (Eli Bowen [“E. B.”], “A Word Before We Go”). Sabin 8224 and 41760.