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Pennsylvania Lines: 1900

Pennsylvania Lines: 1900

Circa 1900. "Anchor Line docks and Penna. R.R. coal & ore docks, Erie, Pennsylvania." Also represented: Cars of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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Women near the tracks.

One thing that children and women did near the tracks in the days of coal burning locomotives was to scavenge lumps of coal that fell from the tenders as the engines passed. Train crews sometimes accidentally caused coal to fall off to help the folks who needed heat in their houses near the tracks, so those bags might just be full of coal!

Women's dresses are Short

Those dresses only go down to the women's knees. Awfully short based on what I have seen for other women's attire for that time period.

[An indication they're children. -tterrace]

Two women

I saw them, too. Looking closer, they have some bundles of something, so I was wondering if they brought lunch for their husbands and are setting up a little picnic. A lot of the men seem to be standing around, such as near the railing on that loader thing. I also noticed that middle frame is a big steam flume going up, which made me wonder if that was a noontime whistle signaling lunchtime, and the cameraman was waiting for just that moment to snap the shot. Hard to say what's going on.

[Looks more like laundry, perhaps. -tterrace]

A little PRR Corporate and Lettering History

Here's my understanding:

The PRR, particularly west of Pittsburgh, consolidated a large number of existing railroads. The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago (P FW & C) was the railroad that swallowed up the others. Then, the PRR reorganized into 2 activities, the "Pennsylvania Company" owned and operated railroads east of Pittsburgh, and "Pennsylvania Lines" operated lines west of Pittsburgh.

In the front left to right, we see an earlier 19th century boxcar for the eastern part of the railroad and then two cars lettered in the turn-of-the-century style for the 'lines west' Then there is a Fast Freight Line car for the Union Line, which at one time was an association of railroads to provide through freight (same car across multiple railroads.) By this time, though, the Union Line was pretty much a marketing activity of the Pennsylvania company. Finally on the right, a P FW & C car with the earlier lettering. This also provides a great assortment of PRR 'standard cars' The car on the far right has the Wagner Door, an early tight sealing/plug arrangement (where the door slides out and then to the left. This website has a lot of information on the PRR cars, see in particular the PRR XB, XC and XD cars, which are all represented in the photo.

Someone please tell me

what are those two women doing by the tracks?

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