The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has uploaded, to their website, a historical document that charts the path the United States economy took from 1861 to 1935. Titled “75 Yrs. of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861 to 1935“, this pre-PowerPoint era presentation was published in 1936 by L. Merle Hostetler, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. The time period covered by Hostetler is of particular national interest because it presages the dawn of the American era in global history. This detailed record of economic and financial development in the United States takes the viewer through the dramatic booms and busts that were typical of the age, including three American depressions (1870s, 1890s and 1930s). Hostetler begins the journey at a point in time when the United States could have been viewed as an emerging market and ends it just as the United States was becoming an economic superpower.
The Year 1888 from 75 Yrs. of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861 to 1935
Using gross domestic product (based on purchasing power parity) as a measuring stick, the size of the United States economy supplanted the three largest economies, respectively China, India and the United Kingdom, during the final 30 years of the 19th century. According to Angus Maddison, an economist who focused on analyzing historical economic growth in countries around the world, the size of the United States economy passed Great Britain in 1872, India around 1880 and finally, the largest economy of its day, China during the late 1880s.
Source: The World Economy: Historical Statistics Angus Maddison