This map came down to me from Uncle John Zabowski’s daughter Gail. He was in the Merchant Marines during WWII so maybe that is how this map came into his hands. The map was made by the Union Pacific, printed in 1943, gives a complete list of military bases on back, and doesn’t have any sort of Government stamp or secret level listed. It’s a bit worn and you can see the tape running across the middle. Though overall it is in decent shape.
My one question is “Why did they make this?” Now I know that these bases weren’t by any means Top Secret. Yet still it does seem a bit reckless to put them all on one map, along with major roads and rail lines. Yes, the war was pretty much on the other side of the globe, but you have to remember that German subs were found off the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. On the other side of the country there were anti-aircraft guns up and down the coast. So really, was it worth making a map with everything in one nice package?
This is exactly what it looks like, a bus transfer, except this wasn’t from a bus but from a street car line that ran on the north side of Chicago. I couldn’t figure out the name of the company from their initials so I contacted a guy named Bob that runs his own fan page of Chicago transit history. He told me that the N. C. ST. R.R. CO. was the North Chicago Street Railroad Co. They were a private company that held the charter to run rapid transit (a term that apparently existed even back then) on the north side. They went through a few different mergers and eventually were swallowed up in to the modern day CTA.
The N. C. ST. R.R. CO. was a cable car line founded by a guy named Charles Yerkes who had a big influence on public transportation. He was quite the entrepreneur back in his day. Besides this company he also acquired the Lake Street Elevated RR Co. and formed the Union Elevated RR Co. which built the Union Loop in downtown Chicago. The Union Loop eventually became known simply as the Loop, which of course is the foundation of the “L” that still runs today. He eventually sold pretty much everything and moved to London, where he became the backing arm and developer of what became the London Underground. Today his name is all but forgotten, which is rather odd being that he founded both the L and The Tube. The only remnants that I can find are the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin (run by the University of Chicago) and the Yerkes crater on the Moon. I did find this old brochure from 1889 that has a great art cover showing one of the North Chicago cars along with some photos of how the cable system worked.
I made an attempt to figure out why my Grandpa George put this transfer in his scrapbook. He wasn’t alive in 1899 so most likely he came across it in one of his ancestor’s belongings (much like how his stuff came down to me). I looked up January 26 and it was a Thursday that apparently nothing of interest happened. Most likely one of my relations used this coming home from work and it just by chance was saved. So now, 114 years later, it has managed to end up in my hands.