Document Bank of Virginia

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The success of Southwest Virginia's coalfields—lying in Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise Counties—is inexorably linked to the expansion of railroads and to northern capital. After the Civil War, rail companies expanded…

In April of 1900,  the Seaboard Air Line Railway was chartered, consolidating several railroads into a system with twenty-six hundred miles of track from Virginia to Florida. It also offered mail service as far north as New York over other railroad…

By the early 1870s, bicycles and tricycles using wire-spoked wheels were common, particularly in England. James Starley of Coventry introduced the Ariel in 1871, and, with modifications, the design gained popularity and later became known as an…

This map of Salem focuses heavily on Roanoke College which was founded in 1853 and sat on twenty acres of land within the city. Julius Dreher, Roanoke's third president, was an early leader in seeking to increase the college's internationalism. From…

Long associated with coal mining, southwestern Virginia has an impressive list of other industries and endeavors. Salt, farming, timber, lead, tobacco, copper, gypsum, and iron have played a role in the "Mountain Empire's" industrial and economic…

Washington County is the first known locality in the United States to be named for George Washington. It was created from Fincastle County in 1776. At the time of the creation of this map, the county covered 600 square miles.  Twelve percent of the…

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This photograph depicts a corn field on a farm, close to two buildings. A staple food source, corn was and still remains one of the major crops grown in Virginia. As the population increased the demand for corn also grew, bringing about the concept…

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This photograph depicts a woman and a child sitting on a sofa. The woman is holding a book, giving off the impression that she is reading to the child. In earlier eras books were an expensive luxury only afforded by a very few. The advent of the…

This photograph depicts a trolley conductor standing on the observation deck of one of the trolleys owned by the Washington, Alexandria, and Mount Vernon Electric Railway. Standing close to him is a man wearing a suit and hat, presumably one of the…

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Tobacco has been a major part of Virginia commerce for three and a half centuries. The brands of early tobacco art usually took the form of the planters' brand that makers used to distinguish their crop. Most planters used a form of their initials to…
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