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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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Little Red Caboose: 1967

Little Red Caboose: 1967

The "Canal Line" railroad bridge in Milldale, Connecticut carried rail traffic over U. S. Route 6-a, the Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike. The highway was excavated in 1914 to permit trolleys of the Waterbury & Milldale Tramway to pass under the rails, that track coming by only a few feet from where this was taken. The "Canal Line" railroad approximately followed the course of the old Farmington Canal (1828-1847) from New Haven, Connecticut to Northampton, Massachusetts, and opened in 1848. It has had a number of owners, but was still in the "New Haven" system when I took this picture on June 4, 1967, when I was 16. Kodachrome, of course!

The bridge clearance was marked adequate for most big trucks, but was not. The road-bed angles upward on both sides, and drivers unfamiliar with the easy work-around sometimes got seriously stuck under it. I had once seen a brand-new "reefer" truck full of Christmas trees that had wedged and split wide open here. In the 1980's the track grade was raised about two feet as part of the Interstate 691 project, and all rail traffic ceased on the line a couple of years later. Today the bridge is part of a popular rail-trail, which (hopefully) will span the entire 72 miles of the original route, eventually. The self-service Ice House (just right of the packy) endures to this day! View full size.

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I don't know what excites me more: the little red caboose or the sight of two Canadian National freight cars rolling through the USA.

SHORPY OLD 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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