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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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Marcella and Viola: 1943

Marcella and Viola: 1943

April 1943. Clinton, Iowa. "Marcella Hart and Viola Sievers, wipers for the Chicago & North Western Railroad, cleaning one of the giant H-class locomotives." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. View full size.


Engine wipers

I wonder if they fell in love with steam, as so many of us are. I helped wipe down N&W 611 a while back when it came to Danville IL and stopped overnight, it was a thrill for me to work on her and my way of thanking that beautiful loco for all the rides I had behind her.

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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