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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • TAKE A KODAK, c. 1930s

Railroads

Tune-Up: 1942

Tune-Up: 1942

December 1942. "Chicago, Illinois. Locomotive under repair at the Chicago & North Western shops." So that's what that little step is for. Medium-format negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Hammerjacks: 1905

Hammerjacks: 1905

Vermont circa 1905. "Steam drills, Rutland R.R." Ppppplease pppppardon the nnnnoise. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Santa Fe Cathedral: 1943

Santa Fe Cathedral: 1943

March 1943. "Fort Madison, Iowa. Shopton locomotive shops of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad." Photo by Jack Delano. View full size.

 

Smoke Signal: 1943

Smoke Signal: 1943

March 1943. "Ash Fork, Arizona (vicinity). Passing an eastbound freight on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad between Winslow and Seligman." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano, Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Big Plans: 1924

Big Plans: 1924

August 21, 1924. New York. "C.G. Dawes." Charles G. Dawes, some two months away from being elected Vice President of the United States. His platform: Helping the little man. 5x7 inch glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.

 

Rail Disaster: 1933

Rail Disaster: 1933

GRAVE OF MUD

        WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 1933 -- While thousands worked to overcome the havoc wreaked by the storm in the Capital, 300 trainmen struggled with the wreck of the Crescent Limited. The crack extra-fare express was hurtled yesterday from the tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad when flood waters undermined the central abutment of the bridge over the Eastern Branch [Anacostia River], just inside the District. All day and all night the crews of railroad men worked, first with acetylene torches to clear debris from the approaches to the bridge, and then with three cranes to lift aside the wrecked cars. Late in the evening a derrick lifting the crushed engine from a grave of mud uncovered the body of the engineer, Arthur H. Bryde, of Washington. The body of J.H. Faye, the fireman, of Havre de Grace, was recovered earlier in the day. It had been ground into the mud of the embankment by a coach.

August 1933. Washington, D.C. "Crescent Limited train wreck." Another look at this wreck. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Watch Your Step: 1933

Watch Your Step: 1933

CRESCENT LIMITED
TRAIN WRECK
at ANACOSTIA BRIDGE

        WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 1933 -- Harried by accident, Pennsylvania Railroad officials last night were bringing up heavy reinforcements of workmen and machinery for the task of reopening the main passenger line into Washington, closed by the collapse of the bridge under the Crescent Limited just inside the District near Kenilworth early Thursday. Two persons were killed and 13 injured in the train crash. A huge pile driver swayed from its fastenings yesterday and plunged into the Eastern Branch. This mishap followed the toppling of a telephone pole, which killed one workman and seriously injured another. A score of men missed death or injury as the pile driver careened into the river. The string of mishaps at the wreck scene continued last night when a beam fell from a wrecking train, crushing the foot of William Covington, colored, Baltimore laborer. Covington was taken to Casualty Hospital ...

August 1933. Washington, D.C. "Crescent Limited train wreck." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 
 
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