The Transforming Railroad

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The West the Railroads Made

Washington State Historical Society/St. Louis Mercantile Library • Traveling Exhibition • 3,000 sq. ft.

The “iron road” that made its way from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean caused wholesale changes in nearly every aspect of the American West.  This transformation is the subject of a traveling exhibition titled “The West the Railroads Made.”  Buttressed by a wide-ranging selection of artifacts and ephemera from the height of the railroad era, the exhibition demonstrates the far reach of the transcontinental railroad’s impact through a highly robust traveling show that looks and feels much more like a permanent exhibition. The project was co-commissioned by The Washington State Historical Society and the St. Louis Mercantile, and designed by Storyline Studio. The project, a companion exhibition to the book of the same name (by Carlos Schwantes and James Ronda, published by University of Washington Press), was fabricated by Pacific Studio right here in Seattle.

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