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Hiawatha Noir: 1943

Hiawatha Noir: 1943

Chicago, January 1943. "Chicago, Milwaukee, Saint Paul and Pacific 'Hiawatha' about to leave from Union Station." View full size. Photograph by Jack Delano.


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Hiawatha format

What kind of film format do you think this is? Maybe medium format square?

[2¼-inch square nitrate negative. - Dave]

Front and Back

The locomotive on the Hiawatha was as much a thing of beauty as the "beaver tail" observation car. All designed by industrial designer Otto Kuhler. If this is the "Twin Cities Hiawatha" its 4-4-2 streamlined locomotive has been replaced with an E-6, itself a nice engine but nowhere near as lovely as those steam engines which were said to be the fasted ever produced in the United States (and some say, though without any records to prove it, the fastest steam engine in the world.


Just so anybody doesn't think that this is a typical observation car, this was unique to The Milwaukee Road. They made these things themselves in their own shops in their home city. Most other railroads had "store bought" observation cars, either the open platform units familiar from the movies, or the cars typical of the streamliners where the car curves from the sides to the rear.

A horny spot

It must've scared the bejeezus out of passengers looking out the rear window when they blew that air horn.


Just to let people know, that's the rear of the train, the last car known as an observation car. Also notice the raindrops falling through the roof ventilation, really neat photo.

[That's snow. - Dave]

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