Catalog Archive

Auction 157, Lot 756

Manuscript Railroad Atlas Depicting the Petroleum Rich Region of Northwestern Pennsylvania

"A.V.R.R. Right of Way Through Venango County, PA. ", Railroad Companies, (Various)

Subject: Manuscript Atlases, Railroads

Period: 1880 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

26.3 x 18.6 inches
66.8 x 47.2 cm

This fascinating manuscript atlas is a unique and important working document showing the Allegheny Valley Railroad line from Oil City, Pennsylvania south to Emlenton and Red Bank. There are a total of 56 maps in Venago County (Oil City to Emlenton) and 37 maps in Clarion County (Emlenton to Red Bank) following the Allegheny River for approximately 67 miles. Each map shows the extent of right of way, deed purchases and dates, and the names of grantors. Many of the maps are enhanced with red and blue hand coloring.

The original Allegheny Valley Railroad was constructed to transport the newly discovered oil in the vicinity of Oil City and Titusville in Venagon County. The nearby Edwin Drake well, drilled in 1859 near Titusville, was the first commercial oil well in the United States and attracted the first great wave of investment in oil drilling, refining and marketing of petroleum-based products.

Oblong elephant folio. Hardbound, quarter calf with tips over brown cloth-covered boards.


Condition: B

The majority of the maps are good to very good with flaws typical from a working example including light to moderate soiling, light to heavy pencil notations, and several minor edge cracks and tears. Approximately a dozen maps near the center of the atlas are heavily chipped, torn and soiled resulting in some loss of image (C+ to D condition). The binding has completely perished and thus this should be considered a collection of loose maps. Covers are present and in fair condition with some edge chips and staining.

Estimate: $700 - $900

Sold for: $500

Closed on 5/4/2016