Jerry Borrowman, author of "How 4 Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon"

In today’s world, the internet is a vital invention that has completely changed the face of communication and commerce—it’s hard to imagine the world without it. But the completion of the transcontinental railroad in the west desert of Utah had a similarly revolutionary effect on 1869 commerce and communication, dropping travel costs from $1,000 to $65, eliminating the need for dangerous maritime passages via Panama and Cape Horn, and increasing wealth and resources. It was celebrated in every major city in America: the Liberty Bell pealed in Philadelphia, 100 cannons were fired in New York City, and a parade three miles long wound through Chicago. Even the former Confederate States of America joined in the celebration of the East joining the West.
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