SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Bicycle Crossing: 1943

Bicycle Crossing: 1943

January 1943. "Freight train operations on the Chicago and North Western Railroad between Chicago and Clinton, Iowa. The train rushing through the town of Cortland Elmhurst, Illinois, on its way to Iowa." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Some CNW quirks visible

Those horizontal signal heads were a peculiarity of the CNW, though they display perfectly conventional color light aspects. Another distinction hidden in the photo is left-hand running. When the main line was originally laid, the stations tended to be located on the south side of the tracks; when they double-tracked, the second track was laid on the north, and eastbound (to Chicago) traffic stay on the south track because commuter traffic would prefer to wait in the station inbound in the morning.

Thanks BTW for the location update. I couldn't square the photo with Cortland but I couldn't quite convince myself it was Elmhurst either.

Looks like Elmhurst

It looks like grubemed is correct. Here's the street view looking west from Haven Road in Elmhurst, IL. About two blocks west you can see the five storey building on the left of the photo.

View Larger Map


Train is eastbound through Elmhurst, probably entering Proviso Yard. The tall bank building and other buildings can be seen on streetview. The track layout has not changed much over the years.

I think Jack mixed up his captions

I'm fairly certain that we are in Elmhurst looking west towards the station from about Haven Road. If correct, that means the train is heading east, not towards Iowa. Maybe someone could link the Google street view? Nice photo, though.

My Trusty Steed

Looks like the kid in the picture is riding an old Schwinn prewar bicycle. Likely an old DX frame style before they came out with the cantilever frame.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.