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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Vanishing Point: 1921

Vanishing Point: 1921

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "Union Station tracks." Receding in a haze of soot, steam and mildew. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.


Their Majesty

I have always been exposed to trains. Born in Brooklyn, under the EL, raised in Queens, home of the LIRR, and now living a mile from the GE Alco plant, where more coal and diesel locos were built than anywhere else. Pictures cannot convey the awe experience savored at the side of one of the industrial age's most perfect mobile power houses'.

The locomotive

It's a Pennsylvania Railroad class E6s 4-4-2 Atlantic.

Unit number

5218 or 5318 - On whose roster? Anyone?

The Pennsy E6

looks very archaic for an engine running in 1921. It still has a box headlight and tailrods - which means its not yet superheated, so its an E6, not an E6s

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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