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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Working on the Railroad: 1899

Working on the Railroad: 1899

This image shows Frederick W. Reiman (center) as leader of a railroad Section Gang in 1899. The men are working somewhere on the line near Manistique, Michigan, in the east-central Upper Peninsula. Names of the other workers are unknown.

Fred was the eldest child of Gottlieb and Caroline (Pfeiffer) Reiman. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on Dec. 11, 1873. In the 1900 census, he is listed as a railroad laborer living in Manistique. He would continue to work on the railroad for the rest of his career, moving up to Section Foreman and Road Master. He and his wife Mary lived in Manistique the rest of their lives.

The handcar being used in this photo was manufactured in Three Rivers, Michigan. Though a portion of the company name is obscured, it was likely produced by Fairbanks, Morse & Co. which had purchased a controlling interest in the Sheffield Velocipede Car Company in 1888. George Sheffield began producing railroad handcars in Three Rivers in 1879 and they were used around the world for many years. View full size.

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