Thursday, November 14, 2013

Travel Guides for Time Travelers to the 19th Century

About 20 years ago at a used bookshop in Seattle, for $10 I bought an 1859 tourist guide to New York City. The signature of the previous owners (from 1864 and 1950) were inside (click images for full-size view):

It includes a history of New York, the sights a tourist would want to see: government buildings, parks, churches (including reviews of the clergy), etc. Also, hotel and restaurant recommendations, and, of course, information about all the omnibus routes.

A number of these "Stranger's Guides" have been scanned and can be found on the Internet Archive.

The cover page for the London guide is quite entertaining:

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