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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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Iron Butterfly: 1943

Iron Butterfly: 1943

March 1943. Albuquerque, New Mexico. "Lifting an engine to be carried to another part of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe shops for wheeling." Photo by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.


22 years down, 12 to go

By the number, this is a 4-8-2 "Mountain", built by Baldwin in 1921. If it was all there, it would weigh over 352,000 pounds! After this rebuild, 3733 went on to hit a "Caterpillar shovel" in 1945. It was scrapped in 1955.


When I was a little girl way back when, these types of very large behemoths scared me to grabbing my dad's pants leg and hiding behind him shaking like a leaf. I couldn't get away from them fast enough. ;D My dad was a diesel mechanic the majority of his working life and he worked on some pretty big machinery. It always scared me silly. Looking at these pictures still has a bit of that effect on me. It's almost as if it has turned it's head to look at me and say "BOO!!!" I hope the train never fell on anyone.

Not a Butterfly...

It looks like a gigantic Praying Mantis with its small head on a large body turned almost 90º to look at us.

Makes sense

Steam does tend to rise.

It certainly qualifies

as a "heavier than air" conveyance.

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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