Monday, March 30, 2009

Locomotive diagram

From: "Mark Dicer"

I am currently studying for my fireman ticket on the 3716 locomotive in Summerland B.C. Canada. I came across your diagram of the 4-4-0 and thought it would be a great learning tool for me. I have been with the K.V,R railway for five years now and have my brakeman ticket. I would like to obtain a large poster of the diagram and list of part names. It is very impressive. Can you help me? —Mark Dicer

Photographs of CPRR and UPRR in the book "Yonder Comes the Train"

From: "Michael Van Tosh"

I have been interested in railroads since a very young age. I have visited your website and read through several portions of it, mainly focusing on CPRR steam locomotives, many times. Through a stroke of luck, I may be able to contribute something to your collection.

My grandmother is part of a large library in Long Island, which constantly discards older books to make room for newer ones. This has resulted in me amassing a small personal library of discard railroad texts, many of which have been printed in the 1960's to the 1990's. Today, my grandmother brought me a large, coffee-table sized book titled Yonder Comes the Train, first published in 1965. It has a section on the Transcontinental Railroad, which includes several pictures of Central Pacific and Union Pacific. A few of these are photographs I have never seen before online, such as a 3-quarter shot of El Gobernador, and a shot of T.D. Judah with a cowcatcher/pilot and huge headlight on its small tender, with a crew and pointing to the right. There are also several photographs of CP engines with 10 and 12-wheel tenders (two sets of 6 wheels) (CP locos No. 149 and No. 166), which I thought only became common in the middle of 20th century. Several photographs of early UP locomotives are also present, such as No. 1 General Sherman, No. 25 McQueen, and 4 unidentified engines plus No. 261 pushing a rotary snowplow.

I would be happy to list the contents of some of the more interesting photos, and email them to you. Most of the photos are listed as courtesy of the Union Pacific or Southern Pacific, so I'd assume they are part of their archives ...


Friday, March 27, 2009

Toronto Chinese Railroad Workers Monument

From: "Kevin Bunker"
Subject: Chinese RR worker monument

Have you ever seen this marvelous sculptural monument?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

World's largest camera, 1900

The world's largest camera was created by George R Lawrence to photograph the Alton Limited for the Chicago & Alton Railway on a mammoth 8 x 4½ ft. glass plate negative (that's feet, not inches!).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Railroad worker's names

What were the names of the white (caucasian) and Chinese railroad workers on the Central Pacific Railroad? Is there a list?

Three questions

From: "Pickard, J. Vance",

I have a few questions:

When was the first passenger ride?

How were third-class seats positioned?

How many stops were there?

Cost per person to take the Central Pacific Rail Road

I am a senior at Afton Central School. I am currently working on a project, as part of a class I am in, in which I am have to compile the total expenditures of Phileas Fogg, in the classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days. As you can imagine, the research is not easy. I have spent days and days following the paths of companies dating back to the 1870’s, seeing what happened to them and how I could contact their modern day equivalent. I was wondering if you could tell me how much it would cost (per person) to take the Central Pacific Rail Road from San Francisco, California to Omaha, Nebraska, in or around 1872.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Who could have predicted the current economic crisis?

"Government-guaranteed home mortgages, especially when a negligible down payment or no down payment whatever is required, inevitably mean more bad loans than otherwise. They force the general taxpayer to subsidize the bad risks and to defray the losses. They encourage people to 'buy' houses that they cannot really afford. They tend eventually to bring about an oversupply of houses as compared with other things. They temporarily overstimulate building, raise the cost of building for everybody (including the buyers of the homes with the guaranteed mortgages), and may mislead the building industry into an eventually costly overexpansion. In brief, in they long run they do not increase overall national production but encourage malinvestment."

—Henry Hazlitt, in his wonderful book Economics In One Lesson, 1946.

Yes, this was all well understood and predicted in 1946! Another example of the importance of learning from history ...

Mallet Articulated Locomotives

From: "Lloyd Smith"

My father lived in Essex, MT from about 1917 to 1927. His father worked for the Great Northern Railroad. Dad talked about the large engines, the Malleys that would come into town to push the trains over the Continental Divide. Am I spelling it correctly? I cannot find anything on the Web. I would like to get a photo of a Malley if they exist.

—Lloyd Smith

Where Are You?

From: "John Lenkey"

Is the CPRR Museum only virtual? Have you an address we can visit?

—John Lenkey in N.C.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pony Express Map

From: "Krystle Williams",

My family and I have found this picture in our family collections that has come to my attention. We have this beautiful map of the pony express route April 3rd 1860- October 24Th 1861 by Williams Henry Jackson. I wanted to know if this could be a copy or an original. Really not sure what it is worth if worth anything. ...

—Krystle Williams

Japanese railroad workers of the early 1900's

From: "Edward Immel"

I am looking for either written information or photographs concerning the Japanese railroad workers of the early 1900's. I have a blue print of a "Japanese Workers' Bunkhouse" from 1905, but would like more information on the details of what amenities, if any, would be included in the bunkhouse. I am building a 1" scale model of the bunkhouse.

Thank you for any information or links that you might provide to me. ...

—Ed Immel

Friday, March 20, 2009

More wonderful quotations, anecdotes, and aphorisms

"Having more than one lens assures you that you'll always have the wrong lens on the camera!!" —Ted Orland

"I am always satisfied with the best." —Oscar Wilde

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on ye shoulders of giants." —Sir Isaac Newton in a letter to Robert Hooke 15 February 1676

"I have altered our agreement; pray I don’t alter it further." —Darth Vader

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." —Mark Twain

"It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one." —Anon.

"I miss the days when I used to be nostalgic." —Michael Benveniste

"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity" —Robert A. Heinlein

"By virtue of exchange, one man's prosperity is beneficial to all others." —Frederic Bastiat

"The best kept secret in the investing world: Almost nothing turns out as expected." —Harry Browne

"Legal plunder has two roots: One of them is in human greed; the other is in false philanthropy." —Frederic Bastiat

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." —Thomas Jefferson

"Quantum Mechanics: the dreams stuff is made of." —William A. Arnett

"Film isn't dead. It just smells funny." —Lars Vinberg

"I am always reminded of one of the classical stories of Donald Duck: Duck is asking money from a rich foundation to discover America. The obvious reply is that America has already been discovered, and the answer by Duck is: yes, but not yet by me." —Erwin Puts

"If a camera has a soul, you will find it in the lens." —PaulC

"In terms of addiction, there is nothing more powerful than men's toys." —Sammy Davis Jr.

" ... on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy." —Douglas Adams

"Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography." —George Eastman

"The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert." —Anon.

"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." —Margaret Thatcher

"I don't teach my students, I provide the circumstances in which they can learn." —Albert Einstein

"I don't have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They're upstairs in my socks." —Groucho Marx

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." —Mark Twain

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan." —Von Clausewitz

"Don't anthropomorphize digital cameras. They don't like it." —Carlos Echenique

"Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end." —Stephen Hawking

"You don't take a photograph – you ask to quietly borrow it." —Debbi, Texas

"A man's soul can be judged by the way he treats his dog." —Charles Doran

"Don't go for the geniuses. They never want to sleep." —First lady, Abigail Bartlett, M.D., played by Stockard Channing on "The West Wing"

"I am always learning." —Michelangelo

'The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." —Steve Jobs

"If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking." —Ben Franklin

"Seen at a coffee shop: Sleep is the primary symptom of caffeine deprivation." —Travis Saling

"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." —Richard Avedon

"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." —Kirk Tuck

"I am less interested in the return on my money than the return of my money." —Will Rogers

"Amateurs worry about sharpness; Professionals worry about sales; Photographers worry about light." —Jamie Howell

"A dog teaches a boy three things: fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down." —Robert Benchley

"On top of all my other medical problems, now they tell me I have hypochondria ... " —Rick Oleson

"Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera." —Henri Cartier-Bresson

"The function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable." —John Kenneth Galbraith

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." —Albert Einstein

"If ignorance is bliss, then why aren't there more happy people?" —graffiti

"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." —Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream – the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order – or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism." —Ronald Reagan, "A Time For Choosing"

"Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down." —Frederick Douglass

"You will never correct by logic a man's error, if that error did not get into his mind by logic" —Mark Twain

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." —North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

"Return the nation's wealth to its rightful owners ... I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody." —Barack Hussein Obama, II, 44th President of the United States

"Paying more taxes is the patriotic thing to do for wealthier Americans ... the people who do not need a tax cut ... We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people ... It's time to be patriotic ... " —Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And by that I mean it’s an opportunity to do things you did not think you could do before." —Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff

"Under capitalism everybody provides for their own needs by serving others." —Ludwig von Mises

"Don’t gamble! Take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it ‘till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it." —Will Rogers

"The welfare state has always been judged by its good intentions, rather than its bad results." —Thomas Sowell

"A foole and his money is soone parted." —J. Bridges, 1587

"You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either." —Galen Rowell

"We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct." —Niels Bohr

"Macs WANT to be anthropomorphosized." —Nick May

"Washington, D.C., [has] all the charm of a northern industrial city and all the efficiency of a southern town." —John F. Kennedy

"I try to be cynical, but its hard to keep up." —Lilly Tomlin

"The only free cheese is in a mousetrap." —Gekko

"Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out." —Richard Feynman

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquent, it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." —George Washington

"If you want to help the poor, help them feel uncomfortable in their poverty." —Benjamin Franklin

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." —Thomas Jefferson

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." —Arthur Schopenhauer

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." —Arthur Schopenhauer

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win." —Mahatma Gandhi

"I don't foresee any Black Swans appearing in the future." —Brad baw703916

"Complexity is easy; Simplicity is hard." —Edmund Keane

"We are spending more money that we have ever spent before and it [the 'New Deal'] does not work ... we have never made good on our promises ... I say after eight years of this [FDR] administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... and an enormous debt to boot." —Henry Morgenthau, Jr., U.S. Treasury Secretary, 1939 [when the federal government spent 4.3% of GDP vs. 26% in 2009]

"Disclaimer: I am making all of this up." —Anon.

"Don't Steal – The government hates competition." —Bumper Sticker

"At a gallery opening in New York, years ago ... Ernest Hemingway said to Irving Penn, 'I like your photographs, what kind of camera do you use?' Penn replied, 'I like your novels, what kind of typewriter do you use?'" —Steve Porte

"If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed." —Mark Twain

"I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who." —Kipling

" ... all adults should own their lives and property, and have the right to make their own choices as to how they live their lives, as long as they respect the same right of other people." Judge James P. Gray

"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." —Henry David Thoreau

"I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth ... That's part of the free market system." —U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama, II

"I am not a crook." —U.S. President Richard Milhous Nixon

"I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes." —Anon.

"All my life, I always wanted to be somebody.  Now I see that I should have been more specific." —Jane Wagner, The Search For Intelligent Life In The Universe, performed by Lily Tomlin

"Half of all published studies turn out to be incorrect, and it was found that 84.7% of statistics are entirely made up!"

"The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away." —Tom Waits, Small Change

"He who believes that the past cannot be changed has not yet written his memoirs." —Torvald Gahlin

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." —Thomas Jefferson

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety." —Benjamin Franklin

"I typically prefer buying the best since I have done so many times the most expensive route: buy cheap, buy better and buy best and you end up having 3 of each item ... " —Samuli Vahonen

"On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time." —George Orwell

"Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." —Indiana Jones

" ... A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, but shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement." —Thomas Jefferson

"Is this the right room for an argument?" —Monty Python's Flying Circus

"I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." —Michael Dell on what he would do if he were Apple acting chief executive Steve Jobs

"We shall consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves." —Thomas Jefferson

"it is preposterous that businesses are under attack in the United States of America" Steve Wynn

Monday, March 16, 2009

Interview for Asian Pacific Heritage Month

From: "Linda Hamblin Denton"

My name is Linda Denton. My company is producing a series of vignettes for Fox Sports Net (FSN) in honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month. The series is called, "Americans In Focus". The 90-second vignettes will premiere on FSN in May 2009 and continue to run throughout the year. You can view other vignettes from the award winning series at

I am trying to locate a historian or educator who I can interview about the vast contributions that Chinese laborers made to the construction of the US railroads. I am trying to locate someone in either the Los Angeles area or in the Kansas or Missouri area. I will greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide.

—Linda Hamblin Denton, Executive Producer, Americans In Focus

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dutch Flat and Donner Lake Wagon Road

From: "Warren Awtrey"

I’m trying to understand differing opinions I’ve read regarding the Dutch Flat and Donner Lake Wagon Road.

Everyone agrees that the DFDLWR was essential to the building of CPRR, and that the DFDLWR was the one route between Sacramento and the Washoe district unencumbered by a state-franchised toll road.

And most of the literature I’ve read agrees that the DFDLWR was highly profitable, as Jack Duncan writes in To Donner Pass from the Pacific: “As the railhead moved higher in the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Sacramento, transfer facilities and warehouses were built at several railheads, such as Newcastle, Clipper Gap and Cisco, reducing the distance that wagons had to haul between the railhead and Washoe. Shorter road travel to the silver mines encouraged use of the DFDLWR in preference to other roads. The combined rail/wagon travel between Sacramento and Washoe soon allowed the DFDLWR to offer more comfortable service than the Pacific Turnpike, Henness Pass and the Placerville roads. As a result the DFDLWR captured most of the tolls.”

But as Wendell Huffman writes, “Despite their expectations, the Huntington-Stanford-Hopkins-Crocker brothers-controlled Dutch Flat and Donner Lake Wagon Road attracted very little business and the connecting/parallel Central Pacific carried very little of the San Francisco-Virginia City commerce. The business they did secure was bound for Idaho.”

Can these two statements be reconciled?

The second statement above is especially intriguing. It was 1860 when Huntington, Stanford, et al, subscribed to Judah’s Central Pacific Railroad scheme. The riches promised by the Pacific Railroad Acts were still in the future. It would seem that the immediate motivation for these Sacramento merchants, all wanting to sell more goods in the burgeoning Nevada trade, was to have Judah survey a new, profitable wagon road for them. Were they completely wrong in judging the money to be made from the DFDLWR?

And then J. David Rogers writes in his paper "Theodore Judah and the Blazing of the First Transcontinental Railroad over the Sierra Nevadas," about the Placerville Road: “Among those speculators involved in the freight wagon route from Folsom to Carson City via Placerville were Leland Stanford and Collis Huntington, sponsors of the newly formed “Wagon Road Company.” Stanford, Huntington and eight other directors met in Placerville in June 1857 to discuss improvements to the road to Slippery Ford.  After the meeting convened these same individuals traveled the Johnson cut-off route over to Carson City.”

It seems odd that Huntington and Stanford, both already invested in (and Directors of?) the most popular wagon toll road to Nevada, would also put money in a competing wagon road going over Donner Pass.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

—Warren Awtrey

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Original locomotive bell from "The Jupiter"? [???]


Eugene, OR. (1950 - present)

Used as a dinner bell on my husband's family ranch in Eugene, Oregon, for more than 50 years, this bell has since revealed a more interesting life beyond what was thought of as "just an old schoolhouse bell." It is said to have come from a rural Lane County Schoolhouse in Eugene, Oregon, which my husband's father, aunt, and uncle attended during the 1920's. It is 22" across the mouth, 9" across the top, and must weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 pounds or more. The top is embossed with what looks like the letter "A" with a hyphen followed by the number 22. We do not have the yolk.

About eight years ago we had the clapper repaired. The welder stated he had some trouble welding it, and that it appeared to be made of material other than iron. We thought nothing of this and continued lugging it around with us as we moved. Then one day I decided to clean it. During the cleaning process it started to reflect a golden sheen and pictures, logos and letters began to appear (although vaguely). Among some of the things we noticed were what looked like a Union Pacific Shield, capital letters CPRR GVG&N, the number 3, 8, or possibly a 2, an eagle insignia and the word "Jupiter."

A friend of ours stuck a magnet to it, and immediately dismissed it as being "just iron." However, upon further investigation we found out that some old bronze and/or brass ship or railroad bells were made with a conglomeration of materials which could produce a magnetic attraction. We also found out that some of the old railroad bells were donated to schoolhouses, melted down for use of the metals or were simply lost in time.

After considerable research regarding the emblems and words that appeared during cleaning, we truly believe we have the original bell made in N.Y. for the Central Pacific Railroad Locomotive, "Jupiter," commissioned into service March 20, 1869, San Francisco, CA.

—Robert & Nancy Christensen






The following images are the attachments referred to in Kyle Watt's comment.

S-537 Russell View from atop CP Jupiter, at Promontory Summit, Utah. May 10, 1869 bell detail a:

Hart 358 Monarch from the West - SP Coll b a:

Hart 349 var 1 Scene near Deeth, Mount Halleck in distance - CP Loco 63 - SP Coll b a:

I-55 Wyoming Station, UP Engine 23 on main track, Cal State Parks coll a:

Schenectady late 1860s Bell - 361rr:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

50 years Nikon F Mount

The Nikon F lens mount is 50 years old today. Happy birthday!

"Longest history among lens mounts for 35mm-format SLR interchangeable lenses/cameras"

19th century locomotive and car engineering drawings


I have made a 3 1/2" gauge Virginia locomotive and I am looking [for] line drawings or a side photograph of the above passenger car which is in the same era.

—Peter Chapman, England

Sunday, March 01, 2009

CPRR Discussion Group

Welcome to the CPRR Discussion Group at the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.

See HOW TO POST to the CPRR Discussion Group.

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