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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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Bunk Car: 1943

Bunk Car: 1943

March 1943. "Iden, New Mexico. One of the bunk cars for section workers of a train on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad between Clovis and Vaughn." Medium-format nitrate negative by Jack Delano. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Roughing it in 1969

I lived on one of these the summer of 1969 while a member of a CB&Q line gang in Wisconsin and Illinois. We had electricity (when parked close enough to a power source), but no toilet and no hot water.

It needs

a woman's touch. Some curtains, a broom, a few pictures, vase of flowers -- all the homey stuff.

Looks Like Home

My father was born in a car like this, though probably a little neater and a bit earlier, 1926. His father was a bridge and structure painter for the Santa Fe. Father, Mother and newborn lived aboard the train and traveled the Southwest, painting as they went. The "bucket" near the bed may have been from paint or solvent. There was also a custom in the day of putting cans of kerosene under bedposts to prevent bugs from getting to the beds, perhaps this sleeper was saving up for that.

[Or it might be full of sand. - Dave]

(Rail)road trip

Obviously, I regret not having had an RV growing up -- this looks fun. More room than an Amtrak, anyway.

On Schedule

Do I spy a box of prunes?

Sleeps Four

The cleaning lady hasn't been here for awhile ... and WHERE'S THE TV??

(That's what my grandson asked)

This ain't the Army, SIR.

Was hoping that thingy was an air freshener which this room probably needs. No bouncing quarters off THOSE beds! Bet that spit bucket serves two purposes, if'n you know what I mean.

What? No HDTV?

All it's missing is a La-Z-Boy, remote control and a bowl of popcorn.


It appears to be 8:30 a.m. and the men are off to work. I note the ash grate door is open on the stove and a spit bucket by the bed. Can someone identify the item on the wall in the corner at left, near the lower bunk?

[A kerosene lamp. - Dave]

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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