It's difficult to imagine now that Michigan was once the largest state in the union. Just looking at a map and seeing behemoth states like Texas, California and Alaska tells you instantly that Michigan certainly has nothing on those states when it comes to square miles. However for 10 glorious years Michigan could claim the title that no one else in the United States was larger.

The exact date that Michigan's supremacy began was at statehood, January 26, 1837. Michigan wrested the title away from Missouri. Michigan's 56,591 square miles reigned supreme for a full decade until December 29, 1845 when Texas was grated statehood.

Michigan can, and conceivably will, always be able to claim the title of largest state east of the Mississippi River. Today, the state is only 22nd largest in area - so nearly every western state admitted after Michigan was largest that it was.

READ MORE: Incredible Distance Sign in Northern Michigan Showcases the Magnitude of America's North Country Trail

The interesting map that called out the fact of Michigan's once-largesse was shared on the MapPorn forum of Reddit.

Prior to Michigan these states where once the largest: Missouri - Virginia (which lost weight when West Virginia left during the Civil War) - Georgia - Pennsylvania - and, comically - Delaware.

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The first state, today the 49th smallest, was the first to ratify the Constitution, so, by default was the largest state until any other state completed ratification - a reign as largest (and only) state of just 5 days.

Here's another way to look at large areas in Michigan - there are several counties in the state that are larger than the entire state of Rhode Island.

Seven Michigan Counties That Are Larger than All of Rhode Island

Each of these Michigan counties has more land area than all of the state of Rhode Island.

Michigan License Plate Prototypes That Were Never Created

These Michigan license plate prototypes never made it to the back of any vehicles as an official design. However they were recently discovered as part of a Secretary of State worker's estate and drawn immediate interest from collectors.

Gallery Credit: Michigan Secretary of State via Michigan License Plates/Facebook