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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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Vanishing Point: 1943

Vanishing Point: 1943

March 1943. "On the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe between Belen and Gallup, New Mexico." Photo by Jack Delano, Office of War Information. View full size.

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"The smoke is blowing toward the photographer. If the following train were actually moving, the smoke would be in a trail behind the train"

Not if there's a crosswind.

Also, in my opinion his perspective is too low to be standing on the caboose platform. I believe the most likely explanation is that Delano's train is in the siding, and he has stepped off the train for this photo.

Following train is stopped.

The smoke is blowing toward the photographer. If the following train were actually moving, the smoke would be in a trail behind the train, rather than moving ahead of it.

Not from a moving train

Based on the telephone pole spacing, there is a maximum of 500 feet between the headlamp and Delano's lens. By railroad standards, that's tailgating.

Singing the praises of Shorpy railroad photos

Love Shorpy's railroad photos. This one brings to mind the Johnny Mercer song "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe." It won an Oscar when introduced by Judy Garland in The Harvey Girls.

Do you hear that whistle down the line?
I figure that it's engine number forty-nine
She's the only one that'll sound that way
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.

On a Clear Day

You can see forever.

Jack strikes again!

Another great photo from the The Man!


There looks like a slight amount of motion in the foreground; I wonder if Delano shot from the back of a moving train.

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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