This painting was created by an unknown artist in Pennsylvania, probably during the mid- to late nineteenth century. The Erie Railroad was chartered in 1832, and the first train ran from New York to Lake Erie in 1851, with President Millard Fillmore as a passenger. In this painting, the sweeping track and accompanying telegraph poles emphasize the dramatic growth of transport and communications during the second half of the nineteenth century. The man fishing in the foreground, however, evokes a simpler time when the world moved less quickly.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.