Our History

2013

In anticipation of the coming Electronic Logging Device mandate for professional drivers, Rand McNally launches a small, low-priced HD 100 device that pairs with Rand McNally’s TND™ 720 to create an electronic logging solution.

2013

In partnership with Good Sam, the largest organization of RV owners, Rand McNally launches a branded RV GPS, printed Road Atlas, and online Trip Planner to the RVing market. Also, for the outdoor market, the Foris™ 850 handheld GPS device is launched for hikers, bikers and geocachers.

2013

As the revered print Road Atlas celebrates its 90th edition, Rand McNally launches iPad app and eBook versions.

2012

The second Best of the Road® competition is featured in a Travel Channel special.

2011

In partnership with USA Today, Rand McNally launches the Best of the Road® competition in search of the best small towns across the country.

2011

Leveraging its TruckPC technology, Rand McNally revolutionizes mobile fleet management by releasing the TND™ 760, the first single box, single cable in-cab device priced below $800. With the launch, Rand McNally immediately becomes a top-tier player in the market.

2011

Rand McNally becomes the first company to launch a GPS device designed specifically for RVers.

2010

Rand McNally enters the mobile fleet management segment of the commercial transportation market with the launch of TruckPC.

2009

IntelliRoute® TND™ 500, the first GPS device built from the ground up for truckers with integrated business tools, launches using proprietary truck data. It becomes the market leader and standard for truck-attributed devices.

2009

Rand McNally launches MileMaker® Global software for the commercial transportation market, taking the industry standard worldwide.

2007

Rand McNally launches Rand McNally Classroom, an interactive subscription service for schools.

2006

Rand McNally celebrates its 150th birthday.

2003

Time® magazine names randmcnally.com as one of its "50 Best Websites."

2003

The company releases Mobile Travel Tools®, a full-color, richly rendered maps-and-directions application for wireless phones.

2002

Rand McNally launches a new site: trucking.randmcnally.com, a repository of i nformation for the commercial transportation market.

2000

Rand McNally launches a Road Atlas on an expansion card, making the Road Atlas available on Palm® OS handhelds.

2000

The randmcnally.com website is revamped with personalized trip planning and an enhanced online Travel Store with more than 4,500 products.

1999

Rand McNally acquires Thomas Bros. Maps®, the mapping standard in California and the west coast

1999

Rand McNally introduces a new software program for commercial trucking called IntelliRoute® and featuring the most advanced trucking database in North America

1997

The Rand McNally Travel Store, the world's most comprehensive online travel store, is launched on the company website

1997

The company's website, randmcnally.com is launched, offering up-to-date information on road construction and weather, online reservations, shopping, and other services

1996

Building on the success of TripMaker®, the company introduces StreetFinder® street navigation software

1995

The company develops and patents EasyFinder® laminated maps that are easy to unfold and refold

1994

Rand McNally introduces TripMaker® software for travel planning on personal computers. It becomes a market leader and wins a host of awards

1993

Rand McNally acquires Allmaps Canada Limited, a leading producer of consumer and business-to-business maps and atlases

1993

The Road Atlas becomes the first Rand McNally product created using an all-digital method

1984

Rand McNally acquires the assets of Denoyer-Geppert Company, a leading school map and globe publisher.

1980

Rand McNally acquires a small company called Transportation Data Management (TDM). TDM marries Rand McNally's enormous map database to an electronic system for delivery of routing and mileage information to the trucking industries.

1980

Thomas Bros. Maps relocates to Irvine, California.

1974

Andrew McNally IV succeeds his father as president.

1969

The first edition of The New International Atlas is published by a historic cooperative project of an international group of mapmaking firms led by Rand McNally; the atlas includes maps utilizing the Robinson Projection, created for Rand McNally by renowned cartography professor Arthur H. Robinson.

1969

Rand McNally's Book Manufacturing Division automates the process by which thumb indexes are cut and labeled for dictionaries and encyclopedias.

1960

The first full-color Rand McNally Road Atlas premieres.

1958

Rand McNally revolutionizes the industry by becoming the first commercial mapmaker to adopt the scribing process to make maps. The ticket division produces the first pressure-sensitive railroad and airline tickets, which eliminate messy carbon copies.

1952

Having outgrown its Chicago offices, the company moves its corporate headquarters to Skokie, Illinois.

1948

Andrew McNally III becomes company president.

1947

Rand McNally takes a chance on a little known, maverick Norwegian scientist named Thor Heyerdahl and publishes his book Kon-Tiki; it becomes a best-seller around the world.

1945

Rand McNally creates a new carbonized ticket book that eliminates the bulky accordion-fold airline and train tickets.

1939

Within 24 hours of Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939, stores across the United States sell out of Rand McNally's map of Europe.

1937

Rand McNally opens its first Map & Travel Store in New York City.

1933

Andrew McNally II becomes company president.

1927

Noted aviator Charles Lindbergh uses Rand McNally railroad maps for navigation over land during his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

1924

On April 15, the Rand McNally Auto Chum is published; it is the first edition of what will become the best-selling Rand McNally Road Atlas.

1923

Rand McNally publishes the first edition of Goode's World Atlas (named after its first editor, Dr. J. Paul Goode); it becomes the standard geography text for high schools and colleges and continues today.

1917

On a map of Peoria, Illinois, the company debuts a new highway numbering system that will become the model for the system used across the United States today.

1917

The Real Mother Goose, which became one of the all-time best-selling children's books in the United States, is published.

1915

Thomas Bros. Maps is founded in Oakland, California. Their distinctive page-and-grid system will help to make Thomas Guides® the "bible" for drivers on the West Coast.

1907

Rand McNally assumes publication from G.S. Chapin of the Photo-Auto Guides, which combine maps and photos with overlaid arrows to indicate correct turns; Andrew McNally II (grandson of the original Andrew McNally) personally takes the pictures for the Chicago-to-Milwaukee edition while on his honeymoon!

1904

Rand McNally's first automobile road map, New Automobile Road Map of New York City & Vicinity, is published.

1899

William Rand leaves the company to pursue other interests; Andrew McNally becomes President and his family runs the business for the next century.

1880

The company ventures into educational publishing, offering a line of globes, maps, and geography textbooks.

1873

Rand McNally is incorporated with William Rand as president and Andrew McNally as vice president.

1872

The first-ever Rand McNally map appears in the December 1872 issue of the Railway Guide; Rand McNally uses a new wax engraving method, which significantly reduces the cost of printing maps.

1871

As the Great Chicago Fire races through the city, Rand and McNally rescue two ticket printing machines by burying them in the sand! Three days later, the machines are up and running in rented space.

1870

Rand McNally expands from printing into publishing with the introduction of business directories, railroad guides, and an illustrated newspaper.

1869

The first railroad guide, the Western Railway Guide, is published.

1868

Andrew McNally and William Rand begin their partnership and establish Rand McNally & Company; they take over the Chicago Tribune's printing shop and agree to print tickets and timetables to serve Chicago's booming railroads, which are the nation's premier railroad hub.

1858

Irish immigrant Andrew McNally takes a job in Rand's printing shop for $9 a week.

1856

William Rand opens a small printing shop in Chicago's Loop, forming the precursor of Rand McNally.