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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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

In the Shop: 1942

In the Shop: 1942

Chicago & North Western railroad locomotive shops at Chicago. December 1942. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

RR shop

Dreimer, Lucky for you to have experienced working on these magnificent iron machines. I managed to help clean & polish N&W 611's main rods when she came through my town of Danville IL. It was my way of paying her back for all the great trips I had behind her in the previous yrs. And I was really happy to get a chance to work on her.

I was lucky enough to learn

I'm fairly young to have that knowledge, but I worked as a teenager in a "Locomotive Works" shop that specialized in maintaining the last of these machines. I worked in the foundry, and also learned how to cast all manner of things in brass, iron, copper, etc...

One of the main customers was the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway...in fact ALL of the "Journal Box Covers" were made by me, as well as a good portion of the luggage rack brackets in the passenger cars...all brass.

Steam Tech

Another great Delano photo. Notice all the blurred ghost men tending the engines. There used to be thousands of them...now there are only a handful of men in the country with the knowledge to maintain steam locomotives. Amazing how quickly the technology vanished.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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