Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : Globalization: Chicago and the World
Globalization: Chicago and the World
Essay: Introduction
Essay: Chicago in the Middle Ground
Map: Chicago's World—Within a Day's Travel
Essay: Global Chicago
Governing From a Distance
American Settlement
Mapping and Selling Land
Built Environment of Nineteenth-Century Chicago
Networks of Rails
World's Columbian Exposition of 1893
Industrialization and the Metropolitan Region
Suburbanization and the Metropolitan Region
An Upstart Behemoth
Manufacturing and Mailing To the World
The World in Chicago
Twentieth-Century Culture in Chicago
"The Whole World Is Watching"
Corporate Headquarters and Industrial Relics
Map: Changing Origins of Metropolitan Chicago's Foreign-Born Population

Chicago's World——Within a Day's Travel

Chicago's relations with the wider world changed as its transportation links extended its geographical reach. The white areas on these four maps show how far a person could travel from Chicago by scheduled service in a 24-hour period, calculated for four dates at 50-year intervals since early in the city's history. In 1850, travel was restricted to lake and canal boat, stagecoach, and a single railroad line west of the city. Consequently, the zone of access with a day's travel reached little farther than Peoria, Milwaukee, and some other local centers within the region. By 1900, railroads had supplanted all other means of fast long-distance travel, and Chicagoans could reach most of the remainder of the United States and some parts of nearby Canada and Mexico within a day. In 1950, air service had joined railroads to extend 24-hour travel from Chicago (often in combination) to much of North and Central America, as well as some localities in Western Europe. By 2000, this combined reach, together with road service, had effectively expanded Chicago's reach to much of the rest of the well-populated world.