This abstract American PennCentral map is a 20th c. route map showing the line's extent east-west from St. Louis, Missouri to Hyannis on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and north-south from Montreal, Canada and Mackinaw City, Michigan to Cairo, Missouri and Norfolk, Virginia. The publisher's primary color choices for the PennCentral map, electric jade green and blue and especially the choice of red for the rail lines expresses the view that the PennCentral railroad is the lifeblood of the country. The American capital city, Washington, D.C. is denoted with a star and state capitals with circles. Connecting lines owned by other rail carriers are shown in white with no identification. The PennCentral logo, as it appears on the train cars, is part of the map's title. The year 1970 is the unfortunate date of the PennCentral bankruptcy filing that ended an era.
States are labeled, and all towns in the vicinity of the rail line are located and labeled. Only as much of the United States is shown that contains rail lines of the PennCentral R.R. giving this map some of the cartographic profile of 19th c. pre-transmississippi maps. The scale on this map of the blue waters of the Great Lakes viewed with the Atlantic Ocean suggest visually that the American Mid-West is encompassed by water from the East Coast to the Great Lakes - America as an island!
For collectors of American transportation maps, the PennCentral map presents a 20th c. graphic vocabulary and a dynamic representation of the railroad as America's contemporary economic engine.