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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Knock Knock: 1943

Knock Knock: 1943

January 1943. "Freight operations on the Indiana Harbor Belt railroad between Chicago, Illinois and Hammond, Indiana. Locomotive coupled to caboose." Photo by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

3 short blasts of the whistle

Seeing how the smoke/steam is entering the caboose this train is/was/has making/made a reverse movement. Three short blasts of the whistle will let the crew and everyone else in the yard that she is about to make a reverse movement.

The Crawling Eye

Pretty scary picture. It looks like a sci-fi movie from the '50s, with a one-eyed monster lurking in the door.

CNW 1300 series locomotives

A reasonable guess is we’re looking into the headlight of CNW 1381, one of over 300 class R-1's (4-6-0) built for the carrier by Baldwin and ALCO. Assuming the guess to be correct, Delano was probably riding with the crew of 1381 in interchange service between Proviso and Blue Island, taking Harbor traffic to, and CNW cars from the IHB. Apparently one running R-1 (CNW 1385) survives (recently restored) at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wisconsin.

Land Train

"Candygram!"

Monsters Inc.

The beast behind the door. The atmosphere is enhanced by the steam or smoke.

Thumper

Ah the bat... I worked for Penn Central railroad and can testify that even into the 70s, those bats were standard issue for train crews.

 
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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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