USA: Bird's eye view of the city of Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky 1871. Mediadrumimages/PublicDomain

By Alex Jones


FASCINATING antique maps show how cities and towns across the USA looked as the country was finding its feet as a global superpower.

Incredible maps and drawings, many of which are over 120 years old, show a burgeoning New York City in 1875, Seattle surrounded by virgin forest in 1878, and a stunning photochrom of Philadelphia in 1876.

USA: Los Angeles in 1909. The film industry is starting to get underway. Mediadrumimages/PublicDomain

Following the conclusion of the American Civil War in 1865, the United States embarked upon a path which would eventually see it sit on top as the most powerful nation on Earth.

A little over 50 years after US President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous address in Gettysburg, the United States was a critical player in ending the Great War and building the League Of Nations, the first supranational body of its type.

USA: Houston, Texas in 1891. The oil boom would take place ten years later, drastically expanding the community. Mediadrumimages/PublicDomain

Although the League of Nations collapsed, the fact president Woodrow Wilson was present at the peace talks following the First World War and was allowed to introduce his bold new policy is testament that the USA was now a force to be reckoned with and no longer simply concerned with its own affairs in North America.

The vital role the US played in the Second World War just a few decades later would cement their place as a superpower.

USA: Birmingham, Alabama in 1885. The town had only been founded 15 years prior. Mediadrumimages/PublicDomain

From 1870s onwards, the introduction of railroads and the mechanisation of industry helped the US economy grow relentlessly.

This new found money and power culminated in the Spanish-American war in 1898, which ended with America acquiring a whole lot of different territories around the globe. America was officially a global power, one that intervened in a number of countries and made major diplomatic moves in East Asia.