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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Light Cleaning: 1943

Light Cleaning: 1943

March 1943. "Needles, Calif. Electrician B. Fitzgerald cleaning the headlight of a locomotive at the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe yard. All engines operating west of Needles are equipped with hooded headlights in accordance with the blackout regulations." Photo by Jack Delano, Office of War Information. View full size.

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He'll get busier

When the war is over, railroads will continue their mad dash to replace the steam locomotive with diesels and diesels need electricans, which will make them busier than ever and other trades, such as boilermakers, no longer needed.

Other Electrical?

Lights in the cab, gauge lights, and possibly Cab Signals or Automatic Train Stop also need electricity on a steam locomotive.


Used primarily on West Coast locomotives, it was used to prevent a wayward Japanese eye from seeing it at night!

Also, this guy was an "electrician" on a steam engine, besides the headlight, and markers (if equipped) and the steam-driven generator, what else did he fix? ?

Love the photos of old timers and trains, together in a photo. It's a bit different today oddly enough...when the hair turns white, you retire (e.g., not many OLD TIMERS in any profession for that matter, but especially in RR'ing).

A "Santa Fe" locomotive

This 3891 locomotive is classed as a SANTA FE 2-10-2 type first used by AT&SF in 1903, it had 85,486 lbs of tractive effort, you convert it to horsepower.

3891 in 1933

Original pic available here.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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