Cram's railroad map of Texas is one of the rarest of Cram's early maps of the region west of the Mississippi and one of the earliest maps of Texas to focus on its railroads.
The map is constructed on a very large scale and shows towns, counties, railroads, proposed railroads, stations and many other early features. Perhaps most interesting is the massive Territory of Young and Territory of Bexar in the west. The map also includes excellent detail in Indian Territory.
The map is very rare in this wall map format and more commonly appears in pocket map format.
It has been opined by some commentators that the map was possibly inspired by E. H. Ross ( Ross' New Connected County & Railroad Map of Texas and Indian Territory, issues in 1871, 1872, and 1873).
George F. Cram (1842-1928), or George Franklin Cram, was an American mapmaker and businessman. During the Civil War, Cram served under General William Tecumseh Sherman and participated in his March to the Sea. His letters of that time are now important sources for historians of the Civil War. In 1867, Cram and his uncle, Rufus Blanchard, began the company known by their names in Evanston, Illinois.
Two years later, Cram became sole proprietor and the company was henceforth known as George F. Cram Co. Specializing in atlases, Cram was one of the first American companies to publish a world atlas. One of their most famous products was the Unrivaled Atlas of the World, in print from the 1880s to the 1950s.
Cram died in 1928, seven years after he had merged the business with that of a customer, E.A. Peterson. The new company still bore Cram’s name. Four years later, the Cram Company began to make globes, a branch of the business that would continue until 2012, when the company ceased to operate. For the final several decades of the company’s existence it was controlled by the Douthit family, who sold it just before the company was shuttered.