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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Next Stop, Sleepytown: 1943

Next Stop, Sleepytown: 1943

March 1943. "Barstow, California. Conductor David L. Webb sleeping in his caboose. He works on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad out of San Bernardino." With what looks like another set of those railroad-safety posters. Photo by Jack Delano, Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Those shoes...

Personal safety equipment was virtually non-existent back then. And, trainmen and enginemen dressed for work. I've seen plenty of photos from that era of freight crew members wearing dress shirts and ties under their bib overalls!

Hitchin' a Ride

Worked a stretch for the NYCRR in Detroit, and I can tell you the guy with the shoes is definitely not part of the train crew. He's likely a railroad employee hitching a free ride - a common practice in the '40s and probably now as well.

That footwear

probably doesn't meet safety standards or maybe a stylish brogue toe-cap is on the requirements for a tail end crew of a freight.

The Santa Fe "Hump Yard"

Barstow is home to a Hump Yard, a bunch of tracks used for assembling train cars into whatever order they need to be.

Those posters however give new meaning to the name.

 
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Shorpy.com | 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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