In 1897 and 1898 the Philadelphia Inquirer published a series of bicycle routes. Each route had a map and a narrative describing the trip. Most also had a route coupon, providing information on road conditions and hotels or restaurants along the way. Most of the routes fanned out from Philadelphia to the surrounding area, about a third went into New Jersey. One series of connected routes went to New York City, another to Pittsburgh.
The maps were hand drawn. The narratives are detailed with information on road conditions, businesses, historical, and cultural sites along the way, and running commentary on what the rider saw as he traveled along the route. As he frequently gives the date of his ride the route provides a snapshot of that particular day.
The digitzation process begins with the newspaper on microfilm. Working from a printed copy of the microfilmed route, one person typed the routes into a word document and another proofread. The routes are saved as a pdf document and pdf scans are made of the newspaper page, the map, and the route coupon. These documents are then loaded into the Rutgers University Libraries RUCore system.
#3: New Road to
#5: Main Outlets of
#7: Two Excellent Pikes [Bryn Mawr via Montgomery and Lancaster Pikes] (May 30, 1897, p. 36)
#8: Philadelphia to Valley Forge, A Delightful Ride Through a Historic Section (June 6, 1897, p. 22)
#9: Three Roads from
#16: A Charming Five-Mile Ramble Along the
#19: Spring House, Montgomery Co.(August 15, 1897, p. 32)
#20: The Lancaster Pike to Downingtown (with a Digression to the
#21: The Main Outlets of
#22: Cycler’s Map of Camden City [no route narrative included] (Part 1: August 29, 1897, p. 32; Part 2: September 5, 1897, p. 32)
#23: The White Horse Pike of
#24: From Schuylkill to
#26: The Towpath Along the Susquehanna [from Port Deposit, MD to
#27: The Blackwoodtown Pike and the New Road to Glassboro (October 3, 1897, p. 36)
#29: A Zizzag Ramble Through Historic Germantown (October 17, 1897, p. 36)
#32: Lewistown to
#35: A Ramble Through
#37: Location of Cycle Clubs in
#39: Improved Roads in nearby
#40: A Birds-Eye View of the Asphalted Streets of Philadelphia -- Additions made during 1897 (January 2, 1898, p. 23)
#41 The Islands at Our Gates: League Island, Mud Island, Province Island, Tinicum Island, etc. (January 9, 1898, p. 36)
#42: The Old Second Street Pike (January 16, 1898, p. 36)
#43: City Sightseeing Awheel, North of Chestnut Street (January 23, 1898, p. 36)
#44: Round the Big Bend of the Delaware (January 30, 1898, p. 36)
#45: City Sightseeing South of Chestnut Street (February 6, 1898, p.36)
route map page view
#46 A Rample up and Down Broad Street (February 13, 1898, p. 36)
route map page view
Routes 1-37 are loaded in their entirety.