Beginning with the earliest days of the railroad, transportation of livestock was an important for farmers, businesses related to agriculture and to the railroads themselves. At first, livestock was transported in boxcars to packing plants at major terminals. Once herd books were established for purebred livestock, shows and fairs became an important way of promotion. From the 1890s until the late 1960s, show cattle were transportation of rail. It was common for as many as 30 carloads of cattle to arrive at larger shows. Many of these herds came from distant places. In all cases, show cattle were accompanied by skilled herdsman who often traveled many weeks and sometimes months with the animals. Boxcar Boys: Riding the Rails with Bovine Beauties tells the stories of dozens of men and sometimes women who cared for many of the finest cattle in the world. It is a history of a bygone era that made a huge contribution to the development of North American agriculture.