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About the Photos

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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Railroads

Harbor Belt: 1943

Harbor Belt: 1943

January 1943. "Freight operations on the Indiana Harbor Belt railroad between Chicago and Hammond, Indiana. The train passes many interlocking towers on the way and the conductor watches them for any special messages." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano, Office of War Information. View full size.

 

For Us, Bonds: 1943

For Us, Bonds: 1943

      Prequel to the poster seen here.

January 1943. "Chicago, Illinois. Union Station train concourse." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

For Them, Bombs: 1943

For Them, Bombs: 1943

        Pretty much a taboo sentiment these days in mass-transit hubs. Sequel to the poster seen here.

January 1943. "Chicago, Illinois. Union Station train concourse." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

The Hump Office: 1942

The Hump Office: 1942

December 1942. "Switch lists coming in by teletype to the hump office at a Chicago & North Western railroad yard, Chicago." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Chicago & Alton: 1904

Chicago & Alton: 1904

Circa 1904. "Chicago & Alton Railroad shops at Bloomington, Illinois." At left rear, the Anheuser-Busch beer boxcar. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

 

Cozy Depot: 1943

Cozy Depot: 1943

January 1943. "Freight train operations on the Chicago & North Western Railroad between Chicago and Clinton, Iowa. At the end of the trip, conductor John Wolfsmith [last seen here] waits at the little railroad station for a suburban train to take him back home to Chicago. A welder who works at the rip tracks is trying to thaw out his frozen air hose." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

The Railyard: 1942

The Railyard: 1942

November 1942. "Chicago. Looking toward the north classification yard and retarder operator's tower at an Illinois Central railroad yard." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 
 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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