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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Somewhere in New Mexico: 1956

Somewhere in New Mexico: 1956

On the road back to California from Florida, May 28, 1956. Cropped left side of image as it had the "end of roll" light leak. I'll bet the train was long enough for my dad to stop the car, get out the camera and have my mom pose. View full size.

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Camp Train

The train in the background is a "camp train" made up of bunk cars and an a possible former "Troop Kitchen" car from WW2. The bunk cars are converted from old wooden-sheathed box cars. A track crew would live in such a train while working on a large project in a remote area.

The kitchen car matches this except it has had hinged sun awnings added over the windows.

The identification as this particular model of kitchen car is not quite 100% certain, but the car with the stove pipes visible on the roof is certainly a kitchen car of a similar type if not identical.

Camp cars

No rush to catch that train, it's a set of camp cars used by a production track gang, parked on a siding. These itinerant track maintenance crews would move around the railroad, working a few weeks at each location before moving on. They would replace every N-th tie, change out rails, clean ballast, and realign the track. Every tie used to have a date nail driven into it giving the year the tie was installed, and all rails still have the year of manufacture marked on the side. The tank cars contained water. These cars appear to be Santa Fe (AT+SF).

These production gangs are even more prevalent now, but they now use mobile home bodies mounted on flatcars. Modern production gangs are highly mechanized, with many more machine operators than laborers.

Church Rock

This is taken on old RT66/Interstate 40on the east side of Gallup, New Mexico (view North) with Church Rock and signature sandstone formation in the background. This view is also seen briefly in the movie "Grapes of Wrath" as the Joads travel west.

Auto model before 1954

The car model year might be 52 or 53. Having no panoramic windshield eliminates newer model years. A beautiful car nevertheless.

[It's a 1953 Buick Super. -tterrace]

Beautiful buick

When you could name every make of car from a block or two away. Like the new commercial says "That doesn't look like a Buick." And that is too bad because in the 50's they looked so much more appealing than they do now.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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