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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Kodachrome Hills: 1942

The Kodachrome Hills: 1942

May 1943. "Nearly exhausted sulfur vat from which railroad cars are loaded. Freeport Sulphur Company at Hoskins Mound, Texas." View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by John Vachon, Office of War Information.

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When I was a small child in Galveston, there would be scores of gondola cars on the same train, full of sulfur. Likely mined somewhere like this.

[This is where they stored the sulfur after it was extracted. - Dave]


Brent, Thanks for taking the time to explain.

Re: Crane

"Interesting. A crane on the rails. Was it attached to a rail car of some sort?"

If you look at the full size version of the picture you can see that the crane is part of a rail car. It is turned sideways to handle the sulfur which is why the back end sticks out over the sides of the rail car.

Crane cars are hardly uncommon. Most railroads have a wreck train on call at division points in the event of serious derailments and those trains invariably include a crane. For an industry like this where they are using trains to move product out of the pit a steam crane mounted on a railroad car is just about ideal - mobile and doesn't require extra space to move in. These days of course most open pit mines don't use rails to move product out but truck that would make your basic monster truck look like a Hot Wheel.


Interesting. A crane on the rails. Was it attached to a rail car of some sort?

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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