See 116 Years of NYT Electoral Infographics

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Tuesday night was a night for political decision-making, but it was also a night for political news-making. News sites experienced one of those increasingly rare things: a moment when the eyes of a nation are collectively focused on the same small collection of screens.

When it comes to the that are gracing many of those screens, is one of the most impressive outlets there is. And that’s in part because the paper has a long — a very, very long — tradition of creating images that inform and explain and inspire.

Below are just some of the electoral maps as printed in The New York Times — from the McKinley/Bryan race in 1896 to the Obama/McCain contest in 2008. Not only do those graphics illustrate the outcomes of the elections that shaped America, but they also offer insight into the evolution of news delivery itself. Every four years, we learn from the past and improve.

For more graphics, check out graphics for each election on The New York Times‘s Tumblr, here.

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