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Building the Trans-Continental Railroad - As the middle of the 19th century loomed, there was no good, efficient way to cross North America from coast-to-coast. An overland trip using horses and wagons across the Great Plains was long, arduous and dangerous. Going by ship meant a six-month trip around South American's Cape Horn, risking storms and ship wrecks. A combination of the two, a ship to the Isthmus of Panama with a land crossing there of the jungle and another voyage to San Francisco, was fraught with the possibility of contracting malaria or yellow fever. What was needed was to build a railroad across America, but that seemed an impossibility. > Full Story

Ask the Curator: Behind Wonder Door Number Two - Which is the Second Wonder? >Full Story - Have a question? Click here to send it to us.

 
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