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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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Locomotive Cab: 1942

Locomotive Cab: 1942

Working on the cab of a locomotive brought in for repairs at the Chicago & North Western 40th Street shops, Chicago. December 1942. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

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Steam at Work

There were many uses for the steam generated by a locomotive than to merely drive the wheels. The man kneeling on the right is working on the automatic stoker, a steam engine in itself that drove a large screw which brought coal into the firebox. Other valve handles on the Fireman's side (the man on the left) used steam ported into the firebox to distribute the coal evenly onto the grate. The Fireman's job also included maintaining the boiler water level which again used the energy of steam to preheat and inject or pump water from the tender. Air pressure for the braking systems was maintained by a steam driven air compressors. Even the electrical systems used steam to drive small boiler-mounted turbine generators.

Other controls used steam to move the reverse linkage, activate the blower to keep the firebox draft while the locomotive was standing at a station and to open or close the cylinder cocks, clearing condensed water when getting underway.

RR Cab

Love this photo too, thanks to jack

Looks more complicated than

Looks more complicated than I expected it to be.


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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