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Transportation in Rural and Urban Spaces

How is life the same and different in rural and urban areas?

Transportation is about how to get from here to there. What is the route and what is the mode of travel? Walking from one place to another with whatever one could carry was the earliest form of transportation, and the first routes were paths through fields or woods. Where there were rivers, small rafts, canoes and boats provided easier and faster travel than by foot, and they were capable of carrying larger loads than a single person. People by the sea learned how to catch the wind in a boat's sails and travel to distant ports for trade and exploration.

Early Modes of Transportation

In early Iowa, rivers were the first highways. Indians, French and British fur traders loaded canoes to trading posts that sent furs to the East Coast and on to Europe. The Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and their tributaries provided an extensive system of water routes. Early Iowa settlers often arrived by sailing down the Ohio to St. Louis or up from New Orleans and then landing in one of the Mississippi River towns. Western Iowa pioneers established Council Bluffs and Sioux City along the Missouri where they could get supplies.

Stage coaches and wagons drawn by horses or oxen could take early settlers across land where there were no navigable rivers. In the 1850s, railroads extended their first lines west of the Mississippi and soon were bringing waves of pioneers seeking homes on the fertile Iowa prairies. Trains could travel in all weather, haul tons of freight on each trip and make travelers much more comfortable. Being on a rail line was so important to a town's survival that local citizens invested in them and voted public bonds to support them. In western Iowa, the railroad companies platted towns along their routes. Soon, nowhere in Iowa was more than 10 miles from a rail line.

Transportation and Iowa Families

Farm families used horses to pull wagons and buggies for travel. Livery stables in town kept horses for town families. The coming of the automobile made a huge impact on Iowa, especially farm families. Trains went from town to town on established schedules, but cars could connect farm homes to towns or other local destinations and the riders could travel when they wanted. With autos came the need for more and better roads. The responsibility for road building a maintenance shifted from the neighborhood to the county and state. Who should pay for better roads became a major political issue.

The automobiles greatly helped to end the isolation many farm families felt. While there were still many rural one room schools by 1920, more farm children started enrolling in town high school, and their families no longer made only Saturday night shopping trips into town. Trucks and busses added new forms of travel and hauling. Airplanes made their appearance in the Iowa skies in the early 20th century. The U.S. Post Office added air mail service. Airports in the larger cities connected Iowans with distant destinations, both in the U.S. and abroad. The interstate highway system made automobile travel much faster and safer.

Today, when automobiles are almost universal among Iowa families, there is not that much difference between rural and urban transportation. Urban residents often have more access to public or commercial resources, like taxis or buses, and rural residents usually have longer trips to airline terminals. However, rural trips rarely experience the heavy traffic of urban rush hour. Access to affordable, reliable and convenient transportation is a critical factor in modern life. Iowans have good roads but it is costly to maintain such an extensive system.

Just like technology changes and modes of transportation change, definitions change over time as well. For the purposes of this source set, "long ago" means anything pre-1960, and, with a couple of exceptions, the "today" sources are all in the 21st century. The U.S. Census Bureau revised the population requirement for an urban area since the U.S. population has more than tripled from 1900 to 2000. For the purposes of this source set, the "long ago" definition of urban is a population of 2,500 or more people, which was set in 1910 and remained until 1950. In the "today" category, we use the 2000 definition from the U.S. Census Bureau of 50,000 or more people.  

Supporting Questions

What was transportation like in rural areas long ago?

What is transportation like in rural areas today?

What was transportation like in urban areas long ago?

What is transportation like in urban areas today?

Transportation in Rural and Urban Spaces Teaching Guide
Printable Image and Document Guide

 

 

Iowa's Rural Public Transit Systems, 2014

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Map showing transit entities in urban areas of Iowa.

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This 2014 map showing the rural public transit systems in Iowa. Sixteen different regional transit systems exist in different regions of Iowa, along with seven city transit systems.

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Intermodal Transportation Infographic, 2016

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Infographic explaining the process of intermodal transportation.

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The infographic from the Association of American Railroads shows the process of intermodal transportation. In the transportation industry, there are many ways to move commodities across the world but railroads are part of the backbone of the industry. Intermodal…

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"Compare... Cargo Capacity" Infographic, February 25, 2019

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Infographic showing the volume cargo capacity and the equivalent units of semi-trucks, rail cars, and barges.

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This infographic was produced by the Iowa Department of Transportation in 2016 to show the volume of cargo capacity and the equivalent units of semi-trucks, rail cars and barges. For example, one 15-barge tow can haul the same amount of grain as 1,050 semi-truck trailers or…

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"Iowa's Urban Public Transit Systems," 2014

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Map showing transit entities in urban areas of Iowa.

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A 2014 map showing the urban public transit systems in Iowa. Two categories are represented: areas of 0-200,000 people and areas of more than 200,000. Interstate-80 connects the three urban transit systems in areas of more than 200,000.

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Bird’s-Eye View Map of Marengo, Iowa, 1868

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A hand-drawn, not-to-scale, bird’s eye view map of Marengo, Iowa.

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This is a bird's-eye view map of Marengo, Iowa, which was created in 1868 by the Merchant's Lithographing Company of Chicago. The bottom of the map in the middle reads, "Bird's Eye View of the City of Marengo Iowa Co. Iowa 1868." The references to the left read: 1. Court…

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Bird's-Eye View Map of Marshalltown, Iowa, 1868

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A hand-drawn, not-to-scale, bird’s eye view map of Marshalltown, Iowa.

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This bird’s eye view map of Marshalltown, Iowa, was created in 1868 by the Merchant's Lithographing Company of Chicago. The words in the bottom center of the map read, "Bird's Eye View of the City of Marshalltown Marshall Co. Iowa 1868." The "references" box to the left read…

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Main Street in Elliott, Iowa, 1900

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Landscape photo of Main Street in Elliott, Iowa with many buildings, awnings, and horse-drawn wagons parked in front of buildings.

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This is the panoramic view of Main Street, showing businesses, wagons, and buggies, in Elliott, Iowa, around 1900. According to the 1900 census, Elliott had 516 residents at that time, and in the 2010 census, there were 350 people living there.

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Horse-Drawn School Bus in Webster, Iowa, 1928

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Large, horse-drawn wagon with four older and six younger students posed in front of it.  “Webster Consolidated School District” is painted on the side of the wagon.

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This photograph shows children standing beside a horse-drawn bus for the Webster Consolidated School in Keokuk County, Iowa. In 1930, 178 people lived in Webster, Iowa, and in the 2010 census, the population had declined to 88 people living there. Today, students from…

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Wooden Bus of the Renwick Independent School in Iowa, October 1937

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Motorized, wooden bus with “Renwick Independent School” printed on the side.

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The photograph features a wooden bus of the Renwick Independent School in Renwick, Iowa. The photo was taken in October 1937. In 1940, there were 470 people living in Renwick, Iowa, and in 2010, there were 242 people living there.

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Logs Hauled on a Sleigh by a Team of Horses in Seward, Alaska, between 1900 and 1930

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Six-horse team hitched to sleigh loaded with large logs.  Eight men are posed near the sleigh with one of them standing on the top of the logs.

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This photograph shows logs being hauled on a sleigh by a team of horses near Seward, Alaska, in about 1900. The population of Seward, Alaska, was 534 people in 1910 and 2,693 in 2010. In 1900, the major industries in Seward were logging and fishing. Today, tourism is the…

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Farmer Harvesting Corn with a John Deere Tractor, 1945

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Two-row corn picker pulled along with and powered by a small tractor.  Harvested ears of corn collected in small wagon also pulled along with the tractor and cornpicker.

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This farmer is operating a corn harvester with a John Deere tractor. The corn harvester was an attachment that farmers could put on their tractor when it was time to harvest and then take off again. 

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People Loading Potatoes onto a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railcar, 1903

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Two horse-drawn wagons parked near train cars.  Doors are open on train cars, and three men and a child are also seen in the photo.

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Residents are shown standing beside wagons in the process of loading potatoes onto a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railcar. These men were likely farmers who grew the potatoes and are sending the potatoes to buyers in other places across Iowa or perhaps other states. This…

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“Sirloin Special” Hauling Cattle from Hampton, Iowa, to Chicago during Iowa Beef Month, October 1950

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Convoy of more than six identical trucks lined up on the road, all loaded with cattle.  No cattle are visible, though.

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This photograph shows a convoy of trucks known as the "Sirloin Special." They are hauling cattle from Hampton, Iowa, to Chicago during Iowa Beef Month. Chicago was a major meat-packing hub for cattle producers. The population of Hampton, Iowa, was 4,432 in 1950.

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Drivers and Delivery Trucks of the Farmers Mutual Co-Op Creamery in Sioux Center, Iowa, May 1940

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Sixteen delivery trucks lined up along with their drivers just outside of the Farmers Mutual Co-Op Creamery.

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These drivers and delivery trucks were part of the Farmers Mutual Co-Op Creamery in Sioux Center, Iowa. Creameries collected milk from nearby dairy farms and then processed the milk and cream into butter, yogurt, cheese and milk. These delivery trucks were likely…

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"Main Street Life" Essay from The Goldfinch, 1997

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Two page article featuring quotes from Iowa residents remembering the sights, smells, and sounds of main street Iowa long ago.

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In a writing contest in 1976, Iowans remember main street life in the early 1900s when main street was the economic and social center of most Iowa towns. The quotes and descriptions describe how main street looked, sounded and smelled in times long ago.

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Train Carrying Logs, between 1900 and 1920

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Single-engine train pulling multiple flat-bed railcars loaded with logs through scenic, wooded area.

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This image shows a train with multiple logging cars traveling through a wooded area in an unknown location sometime between 1900 and 1920. This image is part of the Detroit Publishing Company collection at the Library of Congress. The Detroit Publishing Company was well…

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Train with a Blade Traveling through a Snow Drift, 1905

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Snow-covered locomotive stopped on railroad tracks with mountains visible in the background.  Two men stand near the train in the foreground.

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This photograph shows a locomotive, with a snow blade, covered with snow with mountains in the background. Snow had to be removed from the tracks so that trains could go through.

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Excerpts from The Goldfinch's "The Automobile Age," November 1982

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Transcript of children’s publication with several articles about transportation and how the advances changed people's lives.

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In this edition of The Goldfinch, an Iowa history magazine for children, staff writers take a look at the evolution of automobiles in Iowa and the impact it had on the daily lives of people.

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Excerpts from The Goldfinch's "Railroads...," November 1983

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Two page article featuring quotes from Iowa residents remembering the sights, smells, and sounds of main street Iowa long ago.

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This issue of The Goldfinch focuses on the history of railroads in Iowa. 

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Tipton Consolidated School Buses, 1940

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Semi-circle arrangement of school busses and a small number of students walking on the sidewalk the busses are backed up to.  Passengers enter the bus through the back door.

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This photo is a bird's eye view of Tipton Consolidated school buses. Some school buses are made of wood, and some are made of metal. The population of Tipton was 2,518 in 1940.

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Eclipse Lumber Company Truck in Clinton, Iowa, 1913

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Old-fashioned delivery truck with box hoisted in the air.  “Lumber - Coal - Cement” printed on the side of the box, and four men are also seen in the photo.

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This photograph shows a dump truck of the Eclipse Lumber Company in Clinton, Iowa, in 1913. Eclipse Lumber Company also was a distributor of coal and cement. In 1910, 25,557 people lived in Clinton, Iowa. In 2010, 26,885 people lived there.

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Fire Truck in Shenandoah, Iowa, October 1950

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1950s motorized fire truck seen parked in a parking lot with a street construction happening in the background.

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This firetruck was relocated across street from the fire station during construction in Shenandoah, Iowa, in 1950. Also shown in image is the Page Theater with marquee and poster promoting the film "Panic in the Streets." In 1950, 6,938 people lived in Shenandoah, but by…

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Main Street Construction in Shenandoah, Iowa, October 1950

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Cement being poured to create a street after total road reconstruction and storm sewer replacement.

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This photograph shows a bird’s eye view of construction that was underway on Main Street for installation of storm sewers and new paving in Shenandoah, Iowa in 1950. This road was paid for by the government using tax dollars. In 1950, 6,938 people lived in Shenandoah, but by…

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Main Street in Columbus Junction, Iowa, 2003

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Landscape photograph of main street with multiple buildings visible along with sidewalks, lampposts, trucks, and cars.

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This map is a bird’s eye view of Main Street in Columbus Junction, Iowa, in 2003. This image is part of the John Margolies Roadside America Photograph collection at the Library of Congress. This documentary study featured commercial buildings along main streets and highways…

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Logging Truck in California, June 2013

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Truck and flatbed trailer piled high with logs seen driving on two-lane highway in scenic, forested area.

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This truck was loaded with trees on a California highway in 2013. The logging industry in California has existed since the 1849 gold rush. Today, the industry produces 350 million board feet of wood products each year with $100 million.  

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Grain Elevator in El Campo, Texas, March 11, 2014

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Five trucks parked near a grain elevator.  Auger system used to move grain from one location to another also visible in photograph.

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This is a grain elevator in El Campo, Texas. The population of El Campo was 11,602 in 2010. Grain elevators store grain delivered by trucks and then load them into railcars. Use the "Compare... Cargo Capacity" infographic to see how many trucks of…

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Diesel Locomotive in Lamar, Colorado, May 20, 2015

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Double engine train with seemingly endless row of hopper cars behind them.

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This photograph shows a diesel locomotive and a line of hopper cars on tracks in Lamar, Colorado. In 2010, 7,804 people lived in Lamar, Colorado. Railcars are used to transport grain from elevators like the one seen in the background to factories or ports to be shipped to…

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Train Snow Plow in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, August 4, 2015

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Snow plow used to clear railroad tracks of snow in the Rocky Mountains.

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A train snow plow sits idle on a summer day in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. But it gets plenty of action in Colorado's snowy Rocky Mountains that surround the town. Glenwood Springs had a population of 9,614 in 2010.

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Dusty Scene of a Farm Truck and Equipment near Taylor, Mississippi, November 11, 2017

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Truck and covered grain trailer parked in a field.  Auger delivers crops and a lot of dust into the trailer.

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This dusty scene includes a farm truck and equipment that gather the remains of the year's crop after a harvest for use as fodder, or silage, which is used to feed farm animals near Taylor, Mississippi in 2017. Taylor had a population of 322 in 2010. According to the U.S.…

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Forklift Loads Bales of Cotton onto a Trunk near Marks, Mississippi, November 11, 2017

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Truck and flatbed trailer with two bales of cotton already loaded on trailer and third bale in process of being loaded by a forklift.

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The photograph shows a forklift loading huge bales of cotton, wrapped in plastic, onto a long flatbed truck near Marks, Mississippi, in 2017. Cotton is the fourth leading crop in Mississippi. After cotton is harvested, it is put into bales and transported to the factory to…

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Bus 12 Leaving a School in Pella, Iowa, 2018

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Two school busses in Pella, Iowa, 2018.  One bus is about to pull out onto the street and the other bus is about to turn into the school drive.  Two kids riding bicycles and another student standing on the sidewalk are also visible.

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The image captures Bus 12 leaving a school in Pella, Iowa, in 2018. There were 10,352 people living in Pella, Iowa, in 2010.

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Person Next to a Row of Young Corn Crops, June 28, 2018

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Adult man seen riding four-wheeler ATV next to rows of young corn.  Four-wheeler is still and man sits on top of it looking through binoculars.

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Farmers often use ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) like this four-wheeler to check on crops or livestock that are too far from the building site to walk but not far enough to need a truck. ATVs also can get into narrow spaces that a car or truck would be too big to enter. 

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Barge Carrying Containers near Bellevue, Iowa, Date Unknown

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One multi-compartment barge seen floating down Mississippi River with multiple buildings and trees also visible.

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This photograph shows a barge pushing 15 containers likely filled with grain on the Mississippi River at Bellevue, Iowa, in 2013. Lock and Dam Number 12 is pictured just behind the barge. The mighty Mississippi River connects Minneapolis, Minnesota, with New Orleans,…

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Snow Plow in Rural Iowa, Date Unknown

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Large, orange snowplow removing snow on a paved road somewhere in rural Iowa.  The only person in the photo is the driver of the snowplow.

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According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, there are 114,486 miles of roads in Iowa, and when it snows, they all have to be plowed. This large, orange snow plow is removing snow on a paved road somewhere in rural Iowa. The only person in the photo is the driver of…

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Panoramic Map of Chicago, 1857

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A hand-drawn, not-to-scale, bird’s eye view map of Chicago, Illinois.

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A bird’s eye view, this is a panoramic map of Chicago, Illinois. Even though this perspective map is not drawn to scale, it shows the buildings, streets and general layout of downtown Chicago as of 1857. The population of Chicago was 112,172 in 1860 and was 2,695,598 in 2010…

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Panoramic Map of Davenport, Iowa, 1888

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A hand-drawn, not-to-scale, bird’s eye view map of Davenport, Iowa.

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This map is a bird's-eye view map of Davenport, Iowa. While this map primarily shows the major buildings and streets of Davenport, Iowa, it also shows major landforms and how the streets layout had to be adjusted around them. The population of Davenport was 26,872 in 1890…

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Elevated Railroad in New York City, 1896

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Elevated train and four passenger cars seen on the left side of the photo.  Pedestrian and vehicle traffic seen on the street between the inbound and outbound elevated rail lines.

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This photograph shows elevated railroads in the Bowery, a neighborhood in the southern part of Manhattan, New York City. On the ground level, street cars, automobiles, horse-drawn wagons and pedestrians are all moving people and goods from one place to another. The…

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South Water Street in Chicago, Illinois, 1899

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Black-and-white photo of many horse-drawn wagons moving in and out of wagon-lined street.  Multi-story buildings have very large awnings on front.

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The street market is crowded with horse-drawn wagons and carriages in Chicago, Illinois. The population of Chicago in 1910 was 2,185,283, and in 2010, the population was 2,695,598.

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Marine Terminals in New York, between 1900 and 1910

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Very busy scene with many vehicles and pedestrians seen outside of buildings on both sides of a very wide roadway.  One building in the foreground has “Lackawanna & Western R.R.” painted on the side.

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This image is a view down Cortlandt Street in New York with the Hudson River seen in the background. Many companies set up on terminals as a changing station for modes of transportation from truck/rail to ship and from ship to truck/rail. From this location, ships could go…

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"Excavating for a New York Foundation," 1903

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The scene is an excavation pit at an unidentified New York City construction site. A crew of six men can be seen shoveling dirt into a four-wheeled wooden cart. Then a full cart is slowly lifted out of the pit to street level by a steam-powered crane. These carts are similar…

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Express Trains in Subway at Spring Street, New York, 1905

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Three subway tracks visible along with many structural support poles.  One inbound and one outbound subway train are visible.

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The New York City subway system - a railway network in tunnels under New York City - opened in 1904. It cost five cents to ride the subway in 1904, and 150,000 people rode the subway on opening day. The population of New York City was 3,437,202 in 1900 and had grown to 8,175…

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Lumber Steamer Being Loaded in Gulfport, Mississippi, 1906

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Lumber seen on a loading dock next to a moored ship awaiting being loaded onto the ship.

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This photograph shows dimensional lumber ready to load onto cargo ship in Gulfport, Mississippi, in 1906. Lumber products were a major export for Mississippi around 1900, especially yellow pine. A few years later when the yellow pine trees had been mostly cut down, bananas…

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Fire Station No. 1 in Waterloo, 1908

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Fire Station Number One is an ornate brick building with three horse-drawn fire wagons and one early automobile firetruck all displayed in the front of the building along with firefighters.

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Fire Station No. 1 and its response teams are shown in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1908. In 1910, 26,693 people lived in Waterloo, Iowa, and by 2010, the population had grown to 68,406.

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Wagons Removing Snow in New York City, January 1908

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Six, horse-drawn, snow-piled wagons lined up outside of brick buildings and next to streetcar tracks in New York City.

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A line of horse-drawn wagons are shown hauling snow in New York City, 1908. The job of snow removal in a place like New York City is a big task. In the mid-1800s, individual citizens in New York City would clear the streets after a snowfall. There was simply no one else to…

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Madison Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, between 1910 and 1920

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Skyscraper-lined street with pedestrians on both sides, parked cars, and moving vehicles also visible.

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Madison Avenue is a "main street" of Chicago, Illinois. Most buildings had stores and other businesses on the main floor and apartments in the stories above them. The population of Chicago in 1910 was 2,185,283, and in 2010, the population was 2,695,598. This image is part…

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Automobiles Parked on a Street in Des Moines, Iowa, 1913

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Four “Model T” roadsters and one Peerless Truck parked on a Des Moines street.  Electrical poles and brick buildings are also visible.

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Service vehicles (four Model T roadsters and one Peerless truck) of the Des Moines Gas Company are parked on the street near the Thresher Company. At that time, gas powered many streetlights, businesses lights and home lights. The population of Des Moines in 1910 was 86,368…

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Horse-Drawn Wagon Filled with Flynn Farm Dairy Milk Cans in Des Moines, Iowa, 1915

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Horse-drawn wagon filled with milk cans in a residential section of Des Moines.

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The image shows a delivery wagon of Flynn Farm Dairy on a residential street in Des Moines, Iowa. A driver handles a team of four horses pulling a wagon full of milk cans. Milk was delivered from the farm to the creamery in milk cans like these. At the creamery, some of the…

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Western Union Messengers in Des Moines, Iowa, August 1918

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About 35 messengers with bicycles and a couple of motorcycles posed on the steps in the front of a brick building.

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This photograph shows the Western Union messenger team with bicycles and motorcycles in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1918. Western Union started out as a telegraph communications company with operations across the United States by 1861, and it added money transfers in the late 1800s…

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Ford Commercial Airplane, 1925

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Small, propeller airplane with “Ford” painted on the side.

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In 1925, airplane travel was still very young. Airplanes were not very big and still working on efficient and safe designs. Yet, this was one way to move people and a small amount of goods from one place to another. Location likely near Detroit, Michigan, with a population…

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Roadway in Des Moines, Iowa, 1928

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Roadway in Des Moines lined with large, brick buildings and with five visible automobiles along with one man standing on the sidewalk.

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This photograph has a view of West 7th Street, which shows automobile traffic and commercial buildings (signs such as Sheruman Brothers, International Farm Machinery, etc.) in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1928. Notice the buildings, sidewalk and street in this nearly "main street"…

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Fire Truck in Waterloo, Iowa, May 1938

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Waterloo Fire Department displays their new fully enclosed fire truck.  The new truck is parked outside the fire station, along with two men standing near it.

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Fire Chief Ray Tiller with new city fire truck that was one of the first completely enclosed factory-built models of its type in the country. In 1910, 51,743 people lived in Waterloo, Iowa, and by 2010, the population had grown to 68,406. In 2016, the Waterloo Fire…

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Workers Repairing a Streetcar in Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1945

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Parked streetcar seems to wait for workers to finish repairs to rails and roadway in front of it.  Four story buildings seen in the background, and two story buildings on either side of the streetcar along with parked cars and a few pedestrians.

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Workers are shown repairing streetcar tracks on a downtown street in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1945. A rail system connected Council Bluffs with nearby Omaha, Nebraska. Council Bluffs, Iowa had 45,429 people in 1950 and 62,230 people in 2010.

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Construction of Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, July 1957

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A crane and dump truck seen at construction site of an addition to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Construction is underway in the photograph on new South wing for Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, during July of 1957. Mercy Hospital was started in 1893 by the Sisters of Mercy, a Catholic charity. The population of Des Moines in 1960 was 208,982, and the population in…

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Aerial View of Downtown Chicago, Illinois, between 1980 and 2006

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Dozens of skyscrapers seen near the shore of Lake Michigan in this photograph of downtown Chicago.  Navy pier visible in the foreground.  Photo is too high up to see any vehicles or pedestrians.

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This image was taken from an airplane flying along the downtown skyline of Chicago, Illinois, in 1980. Chicago's business district is the second largest business district in the United States, second only to Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Navy Pier, a popular tourist…

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Red Line Metro in Washington, D.C., between 1980 and 2006

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Red Line Metro subway train going one way arrives to join a train about to head to another direction at Metro Center Station, a transfer station to other lines beneath downtown Washington, D.C.

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This image shows the Red Line Metro subway train going one-way as it arrives to join a train about to head to another direction at Metro Center Station, a transfer station to other lines beneath downtown Washington, D.C. The population of Washington, D.C., in 2010 was 601,…

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Bus in Georgia, September 14, 2001

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Large, modern school bus driving on street pictured with school building in background.

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School buses are specially designed transportation for getting students safely to and from school each day. This image shows a Cobb County school bus traveling on a city street. Cobb County is in the Atlanta, Georgia, metro area and had a population of 607,751 in 2010.

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Busy Street in New York City, May 8, 2010

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Skyscraper-lined streets of New York City with four taxis, a few personal vehicles, and many pedestrians visible in the photograph.

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New York City has some of the busiest streets in the world. Even with a large public transit system, the 12,000 yellow taxicabs can be seen transporting people throughout the city. This image shows the intersection of 6th Ave. & Central Park South in New York City and…

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Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Train in Texas, May 24, 2014

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Above-ground passenger train at a stop with a roadway in the foreground.  Electrical lines visible above passenger train.

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A DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) train arrives at the Deep Ellum station in the artistically-rich neighborhood of eastern Dallas, Texas. As one of Dallas’ first commercial districts for African Americans and European immigrants, Deep Ellum is one of the most historically-…

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Aerial View of Boeing Passenger Aircraft in South Carolina, May 1, 2017

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Very large 787 passenger aircraft seen under construction at Boeing factory.

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This photograph is the aerial view of Boeing Corporation's Commercial Airplanes division, located in North Charleston, South Carolina. The site is the major manufacturing, assembly and delivery site for Boeing commercial aircraft in the eastern United States and is one of…

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Massive Container Ship in Savannah, Georgia, May 20, 2017

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Color photo of a loaded cargo ship navigates the Savannah River.  “MOL” is visible on the side of the ship.

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A massive container cargo ship travels on the Savannah River in Savannah, Georgia. Savannah is the third-largest seaport on the American East Coast. These containers can travel on cargo ships like this one, railcars or truck. The Port of Savannah is the fourth largest…

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Fire Trucks and Firefighters in New York, Date Unknown

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Three emergency vehicles parked outside multi-story building with lights flashing.  Pedestrian and vehicle traffic also visible in the photograph.

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The Fire Department of the city of New York (FDNY) is the largest fire department in the United States even though it started as a volunteer fire department in 1737. The FDNY has more than 15,000 workers serving a population of more than eight million people. The department…

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Fleet of Snow Plows in Iowa, Date Unknown

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Multiple orange snow plows parked in a line on a gravel lot.  The trees in the background show that it’s late spring or summer.

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According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, there are 114,486 miles of roads in Iowa, and when it snows, they all have to be plowed. But in the summer, these trucks undergo maintenance and then sit and wait for the snow to fly.

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Additional Resources

 

 

Iowa Core Social Studies Standards (2nd Grade)

Listed below are the Iowa Core Social Studies content anchor standards that are best reflected in this source set. The content standards applied to this set are elementary school-age level and encompass the key disciplines that make up social studies for second grade students.

No. Standard Description
SS.2.12. Identify how people use natural resources to produce goods and services.
SS.2.13. Describe examples of the goods and services that governments provide.
SS.2.16. Using maps, globes, and other simple geographic models, evaluate routes for people or goods that consider environmental characteristics.
SS.2.17. Explain how environmental characteristics impact the location of particular places.