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UNKNOWNS

Also visit the Expert's Corner and help us answer visitor's railroad questions.

Can you help with our list of words & phrases in general use with possible railroad origin?

Can you help with an unknown engraved spike?

Can you identify these views?


Pretend Jupiter, 1939

Pretend Jupiter, 1939

Identification of this engine dressed up as "Jupiter"?
Engine is marked "Jupiter" years after the Jupiter was scrapped in 1906. Note on back says: "Central Pacific, Type:4-4-0, No.22, Builder C.P. RR, Date: 1875. At Canogo, Park, CA on 01/1939. By Lamar Kelley." But, No. 22 Auburn is actually a 4-6-0 built in 8/1866 by McKay & Aldus, and no CPRR built 4-4-0 was manufactured in 1875. Is this "Engine #12, Sonoma ... once operated by the North Pacific Coast Railroad ... Baldwin Locomotive Works ... 1876 ... sold to the Nevada Central Railway ... survived to star in the Golden Gate International Exposition stage show, 'Pageant of the Pacific,' in 1939 and 1940, performing twice daily disguised as the Central Pacific's 'Jupiter' during the last spike ceremony. It has been fully restored, has now found a permanent home, since 1981, at the California State Railroad Museum ... "
So which engine is this actually and for what purpose was it marked "Jupiter"?

Comments Received:

The locomotive in that photograph is Virginia & Truckee #12 the "Genoa." It stood in as the "Jupiter" at the New York Worlds Fair from 1939-1940 [see below]. Currently the "Genoa" is restored and on display in CSRM. Another hint is the combine its pulling, that is V&T combine 16 also at CSRM. North Pacific Coast #12 "Sonoma" when painted as the Jupiter was almost always photographed on or around the stage it preformed on and never really operated in "open country." Since the Sonoma was narrow gauge it had to be transported by flatcar.
CORRECTION: I goofed on my identification of that photo. I took a moment to look at the image again, and realised: The locomotive in that photograph is V&T #22 the "Inyo" not the "Genoa."  The photo was taken in 1939 during the filming of "Union Pacific." The Inyo [Type 4-4-0, Builder Baldwin, #3693, Built 1875, Cylinder Size 16x24, Drivers 57 in., Weight 68,000 lbs.] later played the role of the Juptier again in the 1970's at the Gold Spike National Historic Site.

Andrew Brandon

Pretend Jupiter, 1939 World's Fair NY. Courtesy Library of Congress.
New York World's Fair, 1939-1940. Courtesy Library of Congress.

If this engine was photographed at Canoga Park, CA in 1939, then I'll bet ... that it was used during the filming of the movie Union Pacific, directed by CB DeMille.
—Greg Lewis, Collegian Adviser and Photojournalism Professor, CSU Fresno

This is confusing as I had always been told that the original locomotives used for the Golden Spike still existed and were in museums. [sic] There is another alleged Jupiter in Grant Park in the Basement of the Cylcorama in Atlanta. It allegedly is the original and apparently is used in the Great Locomotive Chase. Atlanta and Chattanooga went to battle in Court over ownership of this locomotive some years ago. There is another such locomotive at Kennesaw Battlefield National Park just outside Atlanta which is alleged to have been the other locomotive used in the Great Locomotive Chase. When Walt Disney was filming this event as a movie back in 1956 in Clayton, Georgia he brought in a similar looking locomotive like the one pictured here.
—ludwigvan_beethoven@yahoo.com

The locomotive in Atlanta that was used in the "Great Locomotive Chase" during the Civil War was the "General" That is probably the one now in Atlanta. The two engines at Promontory, Utah at the National Historic site, the Central Pacific's Jupiter and the Union Pacific's No. 119 are modern replicas built by the O'Connor Engineering Laboratories of Costa Mesa, California between 1975 and 1979. They are as exact a duplicates of the original engines as it was reasonable to build. The modern engines have air brakes where the originals had hand brakes on the tender only and are fueled by oil rather than wood or coal. They were built to be a part of our Golden Spike National Historic Site and operated as a part of the display by the National Park Service.
—Ed Strobridge

J.W. Bowker of Virginia & Truckee fame rests on the historic turntable in Folsom, CA October 1999 as the Jupiter

Here's another pretend Jupiter. The J.W. Bowker of Virginia & Truckee fame rests on the historic turntable in Folsom, CA October 1999 as the "Jupiter." Painted as the Jupiter, it starred in the movie Wild Wild West. Note the 2-4-0 configuration as opposed to the 4-4-0 of the Jupiter.
—Bill Anderson <bill@fedshra.org>

The Jupiter situation is confusing but easily explained.
The original Jupiter – the one at the Golden Spike ceremonies – was built for the Central Pacific Railroad by the Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1868 and carried the road number 60. After many years of work, it was scrapped.
Since that time, several similar locomotives have been dressed up to represent the Jupiter for movies, fairs and exhibitions. The earliest was in 1925 for a movie and the latest was only a year or so ago. None of these engines were ever named Jupiter in their working lives, only after they became relics and movie props. Photos of these engines dressed up as Jupiter are often included in coffee table books, which confuses things.
A replica Jupiter – that is, an accurate full size copy of the original Golden Spike engine – was built in 1979 for the National Park Service and operates annually at the Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory Summit, Utah.
In the 1800s, "Jupiter" was a popular locomotive name and was used on many engines. I can count at least a dozen examples, and there were undoubtedly more. They ran on the Philadelphia & Reading, South Carolina, Boston & Worcester and many other railroads. One of these engines survives today, at the Smithsonian Institution. It is a narrow gauge locomotive built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1876 for the Santa Cruz Railroad in California. Many people think it was the Golden Spike engine, but in fact it was just another engine named Jupiter.
— Jim Wilke woodburner@earthlink.net

Jim Wilke gives a good summary of various Jupiters (above). Allow me to add a bit more.
Both the original Central Pacific Jupiter and the Union Pacific #119, used in the golden spike ceremonies on May 10, 1869, at Promontory have long since been scrapped – around the turn of the 19th century to the 20th. As Jim notes, accurate replicas of both locomotives were constructed for the National Park service in the late 1970s, and are presently in operation at Promontory.
Over the years a number of other locomotives have been painted to represent (more or less) the CP Jupiter and the UP #119, including various Virginia & Truckee 4-4-0 locomotives (#11 Reno; #12 Genoa; #18 Dayton; and #22 Inyo). Reno (as UP #119) and Genoa (as CP Jupiter), both operable in 1969, were used at the centennial celebrations in May 1969 at Promontory. After being returned to their owners, they were replaced in static display by Dayton (as UP #119) and Inyo (as CP Jupiter). As of today, Reno is privately owned by Old Tucson and used as a movie prop, no longer operable. Genoa is owned by the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento and restored to historic V&T appearance. Dayton and Inyo are owned by the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City and are also restored to historic V&T appearance. Of the four, only the Inyo is currently operated for occasional special events, although the Genoa is in operable (but unlicensed) condition.
In 1998 V&T 2-4-0 #21 J. W. Bowker (also owned by the California State Railroad Museum) was painted as CP Jupiter for use in the Wild Wild West movie, and subsequently in 1999 visited Folsom where it was photographed on the newly rebuilt turntable there. After several years and more appearances (including movie) as CP Jupiter, it was repainted to historic V&T appearance in 2005, and remains on display at the museum.
There are other locomotives that have appeared in movies and events painted as CP Jupiter and UP #119 over the years. Photos of various stand-ins have been published over the years in books, identified erroneously as the actual original locomotives.
Now let me turn to the locomotives in Georgia. These are both authentic Civil War artifacts, although much rebuilt by the Western & Atlantic Railroad from the appearance they had in the Civil War. The locomotive at Kennesaw is the General, the locomotive captured by Northern agents in an attempt to disrupt the railroad line. The locomotive in the Cyclorama Building in Atlanta is the Texas, the locomotive that eventually caught up with the General. These are very historic locomotives in their own right, but had nothing to do with the Transcontinental Railroad and the driving of the golden spike at Promontory.
— Kyle Wyatt <KyleWyatt@aol.com>

This engine depicted as Jupiter is V&T No. 22 INYO
 
1874 Dec 19 Order entered on B.L.W. spec sheet
1875 Mar 1 INYO Completed by Baldwin
Mar 2 INYO Left Philadelphia for Reno, Nv
Mar 22 INYO arrives at Reno, Nv
Apr INYO entered revenue service
 
" INYO" was sold to paramount pictures Inc. for $1,250.00, March 13, 1937.

Shown in the following image: V&T. Locomotive No.22 "INYO" At Virginia City, Nevada Passenger Depot. DATE : 1893
PHOTOGRAPHER: James H. Crockwell. IMAGE from Paul Darrell Collection. C.S.R.M Neg No. 18130c/n. Notes: M.Baird & Co. Monogram medallion between drivers on fireman side installed by the V&T, As INYO was not outshopped with M.Baird & Co. Medallions due to change of partnership with in the company by April 1873. 28-inch diameter steel tired paper plate wheels installed under tender trucks by1889. New paint scheme applied to INYO painted in a A.B.C.system on the road Sept. 2,1893, same paint scheme applied to RENO by Sept. 16, 1891. Rear pony truck wheel covers missing left side Forward tender deck and nosing modified by the V&T as deck boards added in fuel bin space with slop sheet applied by the 1880s. Note forward top tool boxes for tender moved back about 20-inch. Note tender tank outshopped with two rows of horizontal rivets with a diagonal offset.

—Peter Grech <petegrech@bigpond.com>

Summary:  .


Central Pacific and UPRR Train Stereoview

CPRR-UPRR Train

CPRR-UPRR Train CPRR-UPRR Train

Location, Significance, and Photographer of this "1860's Central Pacific and UPRR Train Stereoview"?
Philip Nathanson wrote (12/3/2003):
A rare, interesting and possibly unique stereoview of a transcontinental railroad celebration with a large crowd gathered around the front of the train. Probably in California, Nevada or Utah. This is a combined train with the Pullman passenger car at the left having the painted lettering "Central Pacific Railroad of California" and the car on the right reading "Union Pacific Railroad." The lettering on each car is on the side between the windows and the roofline. One steam locomotive is visible at the right edge of the view. To the left of this engine is a tender car. There may be another engine behind the tender, but the large crowd obscures most of this area. Many spectators are standing on the tender and the engine. People have even climbed up the trees behind the engine to get a better view. There is snow on the ground, and a bit of a building can be seen in the background at the left. The mount and prints appear to be late 1860s or early 1870s, and the train has combined cars, so this ceremony appears to be after the Joining of the Rails at Promontory ... , Utah. Because the crowd was transported to this location in the combined CPRR UPRR train, this celebration seems to be related to the transcontinental railroad. It may be a celebration of its combination with the San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda Railroad in 1870 and the extension of the railroad to Oakland. There is no photographer's identification or other notations. An intriguing view of an obviously important occasion. Possibly unpublished and unique.
Please let us know if you can help identify this image.

Comments Received:

The car on the left is a Central Pacific Silver Palace sleeping car, this one being of the Harlan & Hollingsworth type rather than the Jackson & Sharp group. CP Silver Palace cars from both builders were constructed in 1869 (perhaps trailing into 1870). (Note this is NOT a Pullman.) The car on the right is a Union Pacific car, possibly a coach but I'm not sure. It has a distinctive monitor roof (with the upper deck on the clerestory completely separate from the lower deck of the roof) UP received cars of this type from several builders in the 1860s including Harlan & Hollingsworth and Jackson & Sharp, and perhaps others. (Note this car is NOT the Lincoln car.) I can't say much about the locomotive. I suspect it is UP, based on the stack, but pretty quickly CP used similar stacks in the coal region like Utah. My guess is that there is only one loco, with perhaps a flatcar between it and the passenger cars. There is a light covering of snow on the ground, suggesting the photo is east of the Sierras - not likely in California and definitely not Oakland or Alameda. My extremely tentative vote is for Ogden when the junction was moved there from Promontory in early 1870. On the other hand, CP cars were delivered over UP so it is possible that the CP car just happens to be coupled to the UP train for delivery in 1869 or early 1870. Hard to say.
—Kyle Williams Wyatt, Curator of History & Technology, California State Railroad Museum

... with the trees in the background, its obviously not Promontory. The snow might indicate some ceremony at, possibly, Ogden, when the junction of the lines moved there in December, 1869.
—Bob Spude, Historian, Cultural Resources Management, National Park Service, Intermountain Region

Looks like a plowed field in the foreground so it can't be too big a place. It could be Ogden when the completion of the Utah Central to Salt Lake was opened. I think that was in the winter of 1869-70. I'm not certain they were Pullman cars. Pullman didn't build every coach owned by either railroad. What I don't know is how the hotel train was lettered. Pullman ran his hotel train on the route for a short period, but that doesn't really explain the large crowd. I suppose it could be the entrance of the CP into Ogden when UP turned over the line from Promontory to Ogden. I can't think of any other major events in that time period. Doesn't have to be a major event. Could be an excursion like the Boston Board of Trade. All this boils down to the fact, that I don't have a good idea why or where the stereo was [made].
—Don D. Snoddy

Don't believe it is in California, as the only flat ground in the State that has white stuff on it is cotton growing country, and the CPRR did not build through cotton ground.
G.J. Chris Graves

The train is one of two which traveled from Ogden to Salt Lake City to witness the completion ceremonies of the Utah Central Railroad in January, 1870. The engine is UC No. 1 (a Hinkley, identifable by its double domes and polished dome tops) followed by a special platform car which carried Morman leader Brigham Young, various Morman and UC officials, representatives of the UP and CP railroads, US Army officers, and a newspaper reporter for the New York Herald. The first train had cars from both the CP and UP railroads, described by Young as "palace cars." The crowd is gathered around the tender on No. 1 with their backs to the camera, indicating one of several speeches given or the driving of the last spike itself, by Brigham Young at 2:09 pm on January 10 at Salt Lake City. The locomotive, cars, actions of the crowd and presence of snow on the ground, plus a large and ornate structure in the background, all support this as the Utah Central Last Spike ceremony at Salt Lake City in January 1870.

"Salt Lake City, Jan 10, 1870
To all the Saints throughout the Territory: We congratulate you on the completion of the Utah Central. The last rail was laid today and the last spike driven at 2 p.m. today. Many thousands were present to witness the ceremonies. Two engines and a number of cars, including two palace cars from the U.P. and C.P.R.R. were in attendance. Fine celebration. No accident. Grand Ball to be given at the Theare tonight. Love and peace abide with you.
Brigham Young"

Jim Wilke

Might be taken at Reese Station 9 miles west of Ogden.
—Lynn B. Stevens

Summary:  Utah Central RR completion ceremonies, January 10, 1870.


What do you think about a gold ring with an accompanying letter saying that it was a gift from David Hewes?


russell_111.cheyene_sta.jpg, 93.7K

Location of Engine House? (Click for enlargement and restored panorama)
Richard Engels / Gen. Supt. Comstock Carshops wrote (5/29/2003):
... wondering if you might be able to help me identify an old enginehouse photo (possibly CPRR or VTRR) photo was taken in Nevada (and I was told approx. 1880's-1890's) but not sure of the location. ... the photos ... are from 5 x 7 proofs taken from the original b/w glass negatives. Are there any other pics that you have seen of this enginehouse facility?
[These two original 5" X 7" Glass Negatives (when slightly overlapped they form the panorama view, as I think this was the photographers original intent) were originally taken by a photographer named Clifford who took photos within State of Nevada, whenever he had the chance to travel. Clifford studied his photography efforts under the better known photographer J. Crockwell. Clifford resided and owned a partnership in the Dalton & Clifford Drug Store in the town of Austin, Nevada. The 40 stall structure and shop complex was so huge that Clifford had taken it in two different shots.]
Please let us know if you recognize this image.
Comments Received:

Looks to me like either Sparks or Wadsworth, Nevada. If one were to compare the mountains in the picture with a a scene from today, would be easy to identify. ...
G.J. Chris Graves

My guess is Wadsworth. If the date is correct it would be too early for Sparks--but that is a possibility, too.
Wendell Huffman

Potentially Carlin as it was a CPRR turning point with a large engine house and ice sheds.
— Lucas Rose

I have not seen this photo before, but it appears to definitely be that of Southern Pacific's Railroad 40 stall Roundhouse, Shops and Offices, under construction around 1904-05 in Sparks, Nevada. The building on the right and in the center of the photo, still exist today. This was formerly the Central Pacific R.R. 21 stall Roundhouse that was located in Wadsworth, Nevada. When the S.P. acquired the C.P. they packed up and moved the Wadsworth 21 stall roundhouse along with the majority of the town structures of Wadsworth, closer to Reno. Additions were made, and the new 40 stall facility was touted then, as the largest roundhouse in the world. The newly formed town that sprang up during this period of boom construction was named Harriman, but was later officially re-named for Nevada Governor, John Sparks. (Information on the photo comes from Mr. Dale Darney who lives in the Reno, Nevada area; courtesy Richard Engels who owns the original negatives, provided via his son, Bryan.)
Bryan Engels

Summary:  Sparks, Nevada, c. 1904-1905

Can you help?


Bradley & Rolofson

Bradley & Rulofson photograph
Larry Gottheim, Be-Hold, Inc. writes (3/20/2003):
"I recently acquired a large albumen print by Bradley & Rulofson, surely taken in the summer of 1865 in their San Francisco studio. The standing person to the right is Schuyler Colfax, who had just taken his celebrated trip out there. The seated person at the left is Leland Stanford. I believe the standing person between them is Chief Engineer S. S. Montague, but I'm not sure. And I wonder who the seated person at the right is. As this is surely related to the CPRR, I thought you might know, and may even have some knowledge of this actual image. I'd certainly appreciate any information. I'll be bringing this to the photography show in Emeryville in a couple of weeks." [Links Added]
Please let us know if you recognize this image or can identify the individuals.
Comments Received:

The standing figure on the right indeed appears to be Schuyler Colfax however the seated figure on the left is certainly not Gov. Leland Stanford. (See below) The standing figure on the left is not, in my opinion, CPRR Chief Engineer S.S. Montague but is instead is much more likely to be Samuel Bowles, editor of the Springfield (MA) Republican, and author of the books "Across the Continent: A Summer's Journey to the Rocky Mountains, the Mormons, and the Pacific States, with Speaker Colfax" first published in 1865 as well as "The Pacific Railroad Open. How to Go: What to See. A Guide for Travel to and Through Western America." published in 1869 [and friend of Emily Dickinson]. Bowles' account of his visit to San Francisco may be found in "Letter XXI" in "Across the Continent." The seated figure on the right is the unfortunate Albert D. Richardson, correspondent of the New York Tribune, who wrote a famous series of "Letters" entitled "Through to the Pacific" relating to his journey across the newly completed railroad in in the spring of 1869 and had traveled to California with Colfax, Bowles, and Illinois Lt. Gov. William Bross (who may be the figure seated on the left) in 1865. In 1867 Richardson published what is probably his most famous book, "Beyond the Mississippi," to which he added new material about the railroad in the 1869 edition. On November 25, 1869, Richardson was shot in New York by the ex-husband of his lover and died a week later. —Bruce C. Cooper

The man seated on the left is certainly not Leland Stanford and the man standing at the left does not look like any photos of Samuel S. Montague I have seen. If the man standing at the right is in fact Schuyler Colfax then I would guess (as I am not sure) that the other three men are the three companions of Colfax that made the cross country trip by stagecoach in the summer of 1865 arriving in Sacramento in August of that year. I suspect that the man seated on the left is Lt. Gov. [William] Bross of Illinois, the man standing on the left, Samuel Bowles, publisher of the Springfield (Mass.) Daily Republican, Schuyler Colfax to the right and the man seated at the right to be Albert Richardson reporter for the NY Tribune. Albert Richardson wrote the book "Beyond The Mississippi - From The Great River to the Great Ocean & Adventure on the Prairies, Mountains & Pacific Coast," American Pub. Co., 1867 which describes the same trip that Colfax narrates in his letter. The three men I mention above, plus Colfax, were companions on the trip and later took a tour of the Pacific Coast together. The day before they returned to the east, in August 1865, all four men were guests of Leland Stanford on a trip over the Central Pacific Railroad to the end of track (near Illinoistown). Stanford honored his guest by naming the new town laid out by the Central Pacific Engineers "Colfax" as it remains to this day. The only person who had any connection to the CPRR was Schuyler Colfax. A little research should either prove or disprove my theory as to the identity of the men in the photo. If I am correct then I would also guess that this is probably another very rare historical photo. It ought to be combined with a copy of Richardson's book. —Ed Strobridge, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

I am amazed at your detective work. With the confirmation now of three of the four I am sure a photo or engraving of Bross will soon show up, especially since he was a politician. I feel better now about my "educated guess" since you and Bruce have made these positive identifications. The photograph may well be unique for some of these men and probably as a group as it concerned their celebrated trip across the country. Without a doubt it is an important historical photo whose value has increased dramatically for Mr. Gottheim of Be-Hold Inc. It seems to me that Mr. Gottheim's firm should make a substantial contribution to CPRR.org for it's contribution to the identification and documentation of the photograph, especially since his effort is one for profit. As you have established a level of credibility and professionalism with your web page that has become accepted nationally it seems to me that there is no reason that CPRR.org should not profit as a consultant to these professional organizations. Regards, —Ed Strobridge, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

This is stunning, to get such detailed and informed identifications. ... Thanks for everyone who has generously made these suggestions!! —Larry Gottheim

... I don't think Stanford and Montague are among the men in the photo. And I don't have any specific knowledge to add to the existing commentary on who exactly the four are. —Kyle K. Williams Wyatt, Historian/Curator, California State Railroad Museum

Does anyone know of a portrait of William Bross who was Lieutenant Governor of Illinois from 1865 to 1869?

Found an engraving in a copy of Samuel Bowles book about the trip with engravings of the five men, which confirmed the identifications, including that of William Bross.
—Bruce Cooper

I think you are all right about that photograph. The "Colfax Party" consisted of Schuyler Colfax, Illinois Lieutenant Governor William Bruggs (who was also acting as correspondent for the Chicago Tribune), New York Tribune editor Albert Deane Richardson, and Springfield, Mass., Republican editor Samuel Bowles. So the photograph, so identified, is a wonderful record of the party's visit to San Francisco. The story of their journey, as you have noted, was well-documented in newspaper letters, some of which were gathered subsequently in the books you cited by Richardson and Bowles. The Richardson book, by the way, was issued in Hartford by Elisha Bliss's American Publishing Company, and in every way was the model for Mark Twain's first significant book, The Innocents Abroad.
— Richard Bucci

As a direct descendent of William Bross (he was my GGG Grandfather), I can absolutely confirm that he is the man sitting to the left in the image ... We have several pictures of him passed down through the family. There is NO doubt about the identification. ... —Scott Drummey

I recently acquired a photo (immediately below) of Schuyler Colfax and Lt Gov William Bross of Illinois that was taken in Salt Lake City in 1865. From my photo, I believe the man sitting on the left is Lt. Gov Bross. His face seems a little fuller than the one I have, but the eyes and the receding hair line are identical. I think the four individuals might be the team that came West to investigate and report to Secretary of War Stanton, fulfilling an original instruction that Colfax says President Lincoln had intended to do before he was assassinated. —Rodger Huckabee

The man seated to the left is Lt. Gov. William Bross of Illinois. He, Colfax, and Samuel Bowles traveled the US and Bowles wrote Our New West (1869). The three have their photos on the frontspiece —Tris Carlson

Colfax & Bross 1865 Colfax & Bross 1865

Can you help?

Summary: 

?Illinois Lt. Gov. William Bross
Illinois Lt. Gov. William Bross
Samuel Bowles
Samuel Bowles
Schuyler Colfax
Schuyler Colfax
Albert D. Richardson
Albert D. Richardson
Portrait images courtesy Larry Gottheim, Be-Hold, Inc.



russell_111.cheyene_sta.jpg, 93.7K

Incorrect Caption printed on the stereoview [ENLARGE]
UPRR's Don D. Snoddy writes (5/30/2002):
"There is no way that is Cheyenne. ... I don't recognize the image at all. It certainly doesn't match anything else we have on the Cheyenne Depot and Hotel, or any of our construction era buildings.  Wrong id, even though the caption on the stereo card says Cheyenne.  I agree it's definitely an 1860's image.  It doesn't match any of the descriptions we have of Russell images either. ...  it is not a UP locomotive parked there."
[The mount has some fancy spiral printing on both left and right of the images which is light and hard to see, but reads on the left "DISCRIPTIVE VIEWS OF THE AMERICAN CONTINENT" and on the right "CONTINENT STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY". The verso is light purple with no writing.]
Please let us know if you recognize this image.
Comments Received:

I can identify the type of locomotive, and a few of the railroads that type ran on - its an 1872 style Baldwin, with double domes and "old style" wheel covers, a nice one too, with polished brass wrappers, even on the sandbox. In the early 1870s Baldwin built woodburning engines of this type for several western customers: the Wisconsin Central, Oregon & California and Northern Pacific. Double domed Baldwins on all three railroads were equipped with the same amount of brasswork, and all numbered in the teens (this engine appears to be No.14). Similar engines with diamond stacks for coal burning were also sold to the Kansas Pacific. The Abbott, Downing & Co passenger wagon waiting for passengers is similar to those used by the North Western Stage & Express Company in the middle 1870s in the Bismark - Black Hills region, as heavier Concord coaches were useless in the mud. My hunch is that its the Northern Pacific, but it could easily be also the Oregon & California or Wisconsin Central. NP engines were wine color, WC engines dark green, but O&C engines are not documented for colors. ... The Denver Pacific, which ran into Cheyenne, also had a few double domed Baldwins, although a photo of one of them, the "Walter Cheeseman," shows it equipped with a diamond stack.
—Jim Wilke, Los Angeles, Calif.


What a small world! I saw a slightly different view of this photo today, at a gift shop in Ravalli, Montana, while on vacation. The engine was #11 with the name on the side of the cab, although I don't remember what it was. I don't think the railroad name was visible on the tender. However, the passenger cars behind the engine were clearly marked as the "O & C R R". To my knowledge this was the Oregon & California Railroad. The tinted photo showed the engine as black with brass boiler & steam bands, but I have no idea if it was colored correctly.
—Rod Peterson, Detroit, Michigan

I will guess that this is the Oregon & California.† The locomotive (#11, a classic Baldwin 4-4-0) and the coach match equipment styles used by the O&C, and the depot looks like ones I've seen in O&C photos.† I'd say the date is early 1870s.† The locomotive is probably wine color, with Russia iron boiler jacket.
— Kyle Williams Wyatt Curator of History & Technology California State Railroad Museum


... The Oregon & California ID for the supposed "Cheyenne Station" image is sound as is Kyle's note that the engine is probably wine red, which was Baldwin's color in 1872. Some time ago I found a photo of this or a nearly identical station on the O&C (or its subsidiaries) ...
—Jim Wilke

This looks like the UP Hotel/Depot in Abilene, Kansas, but further research would be required to verify.  If it is, the structure was built for the UP's "Kansas Pacific" branch in the late 1860s or early 70s. There is a photo in the Joseph Stimpson collection at the Wyoming State Cultural Center/Archives in Cheyenne that was taken at the turn of the last century.† That photo compares favorably with the one on your web site.† It is not exact, but very close.† As you know some of these old structures were modified/added onto, etc., and the later photo looks to me like that is what happened to the "original" on your web site.† One mans opinion!
—Sal Occhipinti, Union Pacific Historical Society Member, Kansas City, MO

I recently rediscovered the identity of the mystery station – the Oregon & California station and eating house at Albany, Oregon.†† Three images of the station, matching structural details the above photo exactly, were published on page 27 in Edwin D Culp's book, Stations West, the Story of the Oregon Railways (Bonanza Books, 1972).†† The structure was built in about 1872, and by 1905 displayed a large "Overland Ticket Office, Southern Pacific Company Shasta Route" sign on the roof.† I believe the O&C used this structure as a hotel as well during the period when the O&C end of track was at Albany.
—Paul Hammond

Summary:  Oregon & California Railroad Station and Eating House at Albany, Oregon – Not UPRR Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Can you help?


Group of Unknowns from Bill S. Lee
 
Group of Five Unknowns scanned by stereographer Bill S. Lee from his collection.  He writes:
1. No clues other than a light colored mount. 
2. "Group at Mr. Reed's."  Over the years I have seen a number of views taken here.  There are a few that are on mounts that identify them as having been taken by a couple different photographers, however, the majority are not on mounts that identify the photographer.  The views also vary in cut and mount color.   I have always wondered who took them. 
3. This view is on a mount that does not identify the photographer or title. 
4. & 5. These two came with two others on similar mounts.  Unfortunately the mount identifies neither the location nor the photographer.
See detail images below:
a. is a section of above image #5
b. is the people in above image #2
c & g. are portions of a variant of above image #3 that shows more street. (i got both views at the same time and they are on the same blank bright yellow mount.)
d. is the faces in above image #1
e & f. are the faces in above image #4
Do you recognize anything?  Tell us!

Group of Unknowns from Bill S. Lee, detail images

Comments Received:

Summary:  

Number 3 and letter c photos are of the Comstock, Virginia City, Nevada.  The hotel in this picture was burned to the ground in the late 1800s.  These pictures are very rare.  —MdManOz1@aol.com

An intriguing bunch of views. I picked out the street scene as Virginia City, NV before I even looked at the enlargement detail or others' opinions because of Mt.Davidson's distinctive silhouette in the background; the mine shaft scene suggests an even stronger "VC" connection to the theme of the image group. That said, I wonder whether the coach in View #1 might not be – and this is a long-shot opinion based on gut, not comparison – the former CPRR Director's Car in its later role as V&TRR coach No.17? Whether or not it's that, I am very intrigued by a number of details we see here: the car has no painted canvas ceiling cloth (or "headliner"); rather, it has painted boards (tongue and groove?) on deck and clerestory. It is most definitely equipped primarily as a coach in that wire basket (or "parcel") racks run the length of the car. Above the closest-to-viewer man's face, left side, is what appears to be a stove vent hole without a connected flue pipe; has a stove been removed from an earlier car-use interior configuration? No saloon is visible at the extreme end of the car either side of the end door. Oddly, no lamps are visible – none in the clerestory nor on the wall fascia as might be expected. The table(s) set up in the aisle as a desk and over the left side seat backs suggest the car is serving as some sort of office car, even if only temporarily. Which further makes me wonder who this group of men might be? U.S. Department of Mines inspectors? If it's a Virginia & Truckee coach (and it does not resemble any other V&T coach interior, all of which are distinctive and easily documented) or even a visiting car, I can think of no other Federal-related group that would need to visit the Comstock. —Kevin V. Bunker, Portland, OR

Kevin Bunker makes a good point about the interior view of the coach.† Virginia & Truckee coach #17 was converted from V&T private car #25 in 1878.† V&T private car #25 was originally the Central Pacific private car that went to Promontory in 1869 for the Golden Spike ceremony, carrying Leland Stanford.† The car survives today at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City. † The CP car originally had vent openings through the sides into the letterboard (outside), in addition to vent in the clerestory.† This appears to show in the photo.† The V&T car today has the letterboard vents long since †removed, but the interior decorations (wood molding)†mark the locations. † All that said, there are some details that may not be consistent with the V&T car.† I'd love to have a better†JPEG that I could enlarge some to check details. —Kyle K. Williams Wyatt, Curator of History & Technology, California State Railroad Museum

Kyle raises excellent points. I had failed to note that V&T 17 did eventually get painted ceiling cloths or headlinings, with designs based on those used in its other bought-new coaches and combination coaches. The seat frames visible here do not strike me as being of the same type found in the car in later years. If this is indeed either V&T business car 25 or coach 17 in its earliest form, it would be quite rare treasure since so few pictures exist of the car in its late 1860s CPRR and very early 1870s V&T appearance(s). —Kevin Bunker

... The photo of the coach interior in the region of Virginia City, Nevada is, by what I have read, very likely not your common coach, as you have stated. It is very probably a business car, judging from the presence of the drop-in table at which the gentlemen are seated. Its being V&T Coach 17 is not, in my perview, likely, since the tops of the windows of V&T #17 are arched, not flat, as can be ascertained from the car end in the back of the photo, as well as some of the tops of windows visible along the sides. In brief, my opinion is that this is a Central Pacific Business Car, albeit somewhat spartan in its appointments. —Morgan J. Gayvert, co-author of Three Feet on the Panhandle, the history of the Waynesburg & Washington Railroad.

Could image 4 be of Eureka, Nevada? Image 5 is the bottom of a water jacket furnace used in lead smelting. Two slag pots sit at its base. These are probably smelter workers ready to remove the slag to the dump. I don't think this is either of the big firms's smelters at Eureka – probably one of the smaller single furnace plants. Eureka was the West's premier smelting center during the 1870s. —Bob Spude, Historian, Cultural Resources Management, National Park Service.

The scene with the buildings got my curiosity. This one, in my mind, without a doubt is downtown Virigina City, C Street to be exact. Mt Davidson is in the background, the International Hotel is in its second configuration, I believe this is the one that was moved to Austin, before the final multi-story structure was built (which burned). My reasoning for this is the resemblance of the structure to images that I have seen of it and the fact the the white railinged building on the right side of the photo in the background is in the right place and has the right lines to be the Wells-Fargo Express Office that burned later (1930s?). There is a great image of the Wells Fargo Office on fire in a book (I believe it is Silver Short Line- DeMorrow, but I have a number of VC books). At any rate the buildings are located correctly and both are in very similar configuration to other angled photos of the era. óSteven Bechtold, California, stevenbechtold@yahoo.com



Huntington & Hopkins
 
Group in front of a tent.
No caption. 
An unattributed accompanying description is as follows: 
"1870’s albumen print, 8 1/2” x 5 1/4”, features Collis P. Huntington (1821-1900), his first wife Elizabeth Stoddard Huntington, Mark Hopkins (1813-1878), his wife Mary Hopkins, an unidentified woman, and two unidentified men (one leaning on a shotgun and one wearing a holster and revolver). They are posed in front of a large tent with an American flag flying above it. ... The photographer, as identified by the back stamp on this photo, is 'Prof. May' of San Jacinto, California."
Are the named individuals correctly identified?  Who are the others? Where and when was this taken?
Comments Received:

Summary:  Not Huntington or Hopkins!

My first impression is that CPH, MH, Elizabeth H, and MFH are not on this photo.  [Hopkins died in 1878.  In the 1870-1878 time fram, Huntington was heavier and had a longer beard, and Hopkins appeared younger (being in his 50's).  Elizabeth looks nothing like the known photographs of her.  There is no basis to believe that any of the individuals are correctly identified.]  —Norman Tutorow [biographer of Leland Stanford, and a Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University]

Who ever they are, they are not Huntington nor Hopkins.  The flowers behind the tent are Matilija Poppies, which are native to San Jacinto and the Hemet area. The Santa Fe Railroad serves this area, and the station built by the Santa Fe in the 1880's is still standing.  These folks are not related to the CPRR.
— G J Graves, NewCastle, AltaCal.

This image is from about 1896 or so, as the women are wearing puffed sleeves, which were everywhere in the 1890s but nowhere in the 1870s or 80s. Maybe an exploration of Mt. Lowe or some such thing.
— Jim Wilke, Los Angeles, Calif.

I really have to disagree with whoever stated that this picture was taken in 1870ís. It almost certainly dates to the 1890s, most likely between 1894-1896. Iím basing this on the womenís attire. The sleeves are a dead giveaway, and the blouse-tie-skirt outfit is particularly characteristic of the 90s. I am a costumer and have spent quite a lot of time studying historical garments, so I feel pretty certain about this. Iím enclosing two photographs to support this. You can compare the sleeve styles and the shape of the skirts (conical rather than back-swept) If some of the folks identified died before 1890, then Iíd say heís got the wrong people. Sorry, but it is just impossible that this was taken in 1870.
Sandra Olsen

The terrain is [definitely] Hemet/San Jacinto hillsides and those are not Matilija Poppies in background. They are most likely camping near Gilman and Soboba hot springs, which would put them very near San Jacinto. The rock croppings and slopping grade from the base is a dead give away for anyone who had grown up in this area long before developers and politics destroyed the area. I agree the images dates to at least mid 1890's. I have photos of woman from Hemet wearing same style outfits dating to 1910.
—jim@idexer.com

1870's

Historic Dresses, 1870's.  Courtesy Sandra Olsen.

Historic Ladies' Dresses
1890's

Historic Dresses, 1890's.  Courtesy Sandra Olsen.

I ... liked what the lady had to say regarding the clothing on the group picture with the tent. In fact, the ladies have "gigot" sleeves, a type of leg-of-mutton sleeve made of one piece and sewn up a side; if gives that puffed and wrinkled look described as stylish in 1894-96. Puffed sleeves were not worn before 1890, and the really big ones only after 1893-94. Clothing is very helpful in dating images. Most images of fashionable women can be dated by their clothing to within five to three years, while men's clothes can be dated to within ten years (apparently we don't rush out for new duds as often, or need the latest thing). Stylistic changes can even be seen in images of working class women and men; the former made their own in simplified version of the current fashion, while the later typically purchased their clothes off the rack. An excellent example of working class ready made clothing - mostly suits, shirts, boots and so on - was recovered from the 1865 wreck of the steamboat "Bertrand" on the Missouri River, which was bound for mining camps in Montana Territory. Most of the clothes were identified from St Louis and similar regional factories. Photos of UP construction workers often include a particular type of woolen shirt that suggests a single eastern or Midwestern factory as the source, through importers and merchants, probably in the temporary towns which followed construction trains.
—Jim Wilke



The Last Tie, CDVThe Last Spike, CDV, verso
The Last Spike, CDV, detail
The Last Spike, CDV, detail of face
The Last Tie, CDV.
Manuscript caption:  This tie was placed in position May 10th 1869.  Rail Road completed.
Who is this person — is this carte de visite a photograph of Leland Stanford with the Laurel Last Tie?  Is the Photographer Muybridge?  Why are there multiple silver plates; are two plates attached and one not attached to the tie; what was inscribed on each plate?  What is underneath and in front of the tie — is this a wooden palette?  At what location and when was this photograph taken?  Was this ever issued as a stereograph?
Here are known portraits of Leland Stanford to compare. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Courtesy Cliff Krainik Galleries.
Comments Received:

Summary:  Probably West Evans who donated the laurel tie, or perhaps David Hewes who donated the golden spikes.

This doesn't look much like Stanford to me, and I would be amazed if he would be willing to pose for this kind of picture.  I'm also not aware of Bradley & Rulofson doing anything other than studio work which this clearly appears to be.  Bradley & Rulofson did the Lewis Metzler Clement portrait.   I wonder if this might not be David Hewes, the man who donated the spikes.  —Bruce C. Cooper

The Laurel Last Tie was destroyed in the 1909 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, so it did get to back San Francisco where it was made.  If the photographer was Muybridge (the firm of Bradley & Rulofson was Muybridge's publisher), this would indicate that this photograph was not taken at Promontory since Muybridge wasn't there on May 10, 1869.  This photograph could have been taken in San Francico just after the laurel tie was manufactured and prior to the joining of the rails ceremony at Promontory Summit, Utah.  —Anon.

The face of the man in the CDV does not resemble Leland Stanford in the least—everything is wrong, brow, eyes, mouth especially. ... First, the photographers Bradley & Rulofson of San Francisco, who are credited with the photo, were never reported at Promontory Summit during the 1869 ceremony—only Russell, Hart, Savage, and Sedgewick. ... I propose that the subject may be West Evans of San Francisco, who presented the tie to the CP (thanking them for his lucrative tie contracts).  It also may be David Hewes, presenter of the golden spike, who later began to claim (fraudulently) that it was he who had donated the laurel tie to the railroad. Hewes did give pieces of laurel wood, ornately engraved, to friends, saying they had been fashioned from the laurel tree from which had been cut the last tie. This, of course, is certainly possible.  —David Haward Bain

It is not Leland Stanford. ... —Norman E. Tutorow, Leland Stanford biographer

I don't believe it is Stanford, but I'm at a loss to make a better suggestion.  Stanford shows up in some of the other Promontory views.  Perhaps David Hewes?   As far as I know there was only one plate in the laurel tie, and from the photo that would seem to be the case.  ... the photograph is remarkable. There are very few images of the laurel tie. —Don D. Snoddy, UPRR

I can only speculate on questions asked based on what is known about the "Laurel Tie."  The man in the photograph is definitely not Leland Stanford and I would speculate that it could well be "West Evans" who was the tie contractor for the Central Pacific and who had the tie made and presented to the Officers of the Central Pacific Railroad. It appears that the photo was taken inside a building perhaps at the makers, Strahle & Hughes, billiard-table manufacturers in San Francisco. It is easy to conclude  that West Evans may have wanted a photograph of himself and his tie for a personal souvenir however that possibility is only speculation on my part. If a photo of West Evans could be compared with this photo the possibilities mentioned above may be proven, one way or another. The Laurel tie was on display in San Francisco and Sacramento before going on the Stanford special train to Promontory and it seems reasonable to conclude that the photograph was taken in San Francisco using a local photographer rather than Sacramento.  J.N. Bowman in his treatise Driving the Last Spike At Promontory, May 10, 1869 and published in the California Historical Society Quarterly June 1957 p.103 describes the tie as being "about 7 1/2 feet in length and 8 x 6 inches in width, and had an 8 x 6 silver plate on the top and in the center,  The plate was inscribed: "The Last Tie laid on the completion of the Pacific Railroad, May 1869," with a list of officers and directors, together with the names of the maker and the donor, and was without silver bands on the ends (as one reporter stated)"... Considering the length of the mans arm and the fact that the center of the plate appears about 42" from the end of the tie or at the ties center it appears to fit Bowman's description of the silver plate. The center "placard"? does not appear to be attached to the plate but resting on the "Pallet" and leaning against the tie. The right had item does not appear as it was a plate but rather a piece of paper or cardboard near the very end of the tie.  I suspect that this photograph was taken privately and is quite rare, never being distributed as a stereograph. —Ed Strobridge

... My guess would be West Evans, who provided the tie, although that is only a guess. I've never seen a photo of West Evans, so I can't compare. I would be surprised if it is Stanford, although I suppose that is possible. —Kyle K. Williams Wyatt, Historian/Curator, California State Railroad Museum

I read your website with interest. I love the trans-continental railroad stuff, I live up in Colfax (just a mile from the route) I work in Sacramento so I often visit the railroad museum. I was looking at your unknown photo page and my eye was caught by the picture of the man posing with the last tie. I read all the comments 6 out of 6 "definitely not Leland Stanford!" and most of those were extremely credible knowledgeable people. Honestly my knowledge of Leland Stanford is minimal. But I believe I have a pretty good eye. I couldn't get over how definite people were about it not being Stanford. It looks pretty close to me. I used to work for Pinkerton Security as a computer Administrator and while I was there I was given access to the Pinkerton Archives. I got pretty good at matching peoples faces from photos as we tried to figure out who was who in the old photos. One thing I learned is that, over time peoples faces change. Noses get bigger, cheeks can get fatter or sink in. eyebrows grow, change shape, so do beards and mustaches. there are 3 main constants. distance between the eyes. distance from mouth line to eye line. and Ears, earlobes might grow but the shape of the ear does not change. and these features a pretty much unique from person to person. From this experience I will throw myself out on a limb and say this is definitely a photo of Leland Stanford. To illustrate my point, I enclose an animated Gif. ... We didn't have any statistics to back us up. What we were actually trying to do was compare body photos to wanted posters also we were comparing photos of a Butch Cassidy 'imposter' to a few real photos of Butch. it's quite obvious when they don't match up. Ears can't change. I have some Photoshop software that allows me to manipulate the photos to compare the features by overlaying them ontop of each other. —Matthew Sparks

Leland Stanford or NOT?

I have doing some extensive research for a friend on the designer and maker of a 1879 c. billiard table Jacob Strahle (Straalee) . Strahle an immigrant from Germany lived in San Francisco in the mid 1800s though the early 1900s. The billiard table is made of Laurel wood (Native tree to Marin County-just north of San Francisco).
During my recent research at the Mechanics Institute library it was verified that Strahle was commissioned by Evans to make the railroad tie for the driving of the golden spike. The commemorative railroad tie was made by Jacob Strahle, also made of Laurel wood that was hand honed by Strahle. Strahle was known for his fine furniture making skills and had many items displayed at the annual San Francisco Mechanic Institute's trade shows during the late 1800s. The tie was then removed from the main track line and stored in Strahles' furniture warehouse in San Francisco but during the great San Francisco earthquake it was destroyed by fire. I have viewed a very poor quality picture that purports to be that of a National Guard Unit in San Francisco that identifies one of the Guard's men as Strahle. Compared to your picture the man bears a strong resemblance to that of Jacob Strahle. —Alfredo Gillespie

News article

News article from the San Francisco Herald reprinted in the WeeklyArizona Miner (Prescott) of May 22, 1869, that gives the time the photo was taken, "half-past three o'clock in the afternoon." —Bob Spude, National Park Service


Unknown Museum
California Museum — Unidentified.
No caption. 
What Museum is this?  —  Location?  —  View number and caption?

Your photo of the mystery museum is actually the museum at Woodward's Gardens, in San Francisco (part of an amusement park on Mission Avenue).  The California Historical Society has a photo of same (photo #19425, taken in 1877).  The Museum sat behind a large wooden fence, perhaps 75 feet from the street.  It faced Mission St., San Francisco, and ran from 13th to 15th Steet.  The Street address today is 1700 Mission St., that place today is a restaurant, the phone number is 415-621-7122, the brick building is still in place, but in terrible disrepair; however it did survive the 1906 quake.  —G.J. "Chris" Graves, NewCastle, California.



812. West Bank Green River
Union Pacific Railroad.  Men working on a handcar.  Detail shown below.
Who is the photographer?

Gary Mang wrote on 9/8/2000:

> You sure that this area is not Afton Canyon, California?    The mountain range
> looks very much the same.  I have worked several years for the Union Pacific RR, spending
> most of my time in Los Angeles and Yermo.  As a section foreman, Afton Canyon
> was one of my areas.  I was just mentioning that the pictures  looks very
> close to it.  It can be as some of would say its twin.

Dave and Jean Pendleton wrote on 7/5/2005:

> This location is called Rye View.


 
 

Locomotive — Unidentified.
No caption.  No railroad name or engine number seen on the locomotive.  Stereograph verso is bright orange in color.
Railroad?  —  Location?  —  Photographer?  —  View number and caption?

Jim Wilke wrote on 11/8/2000:

> I am a railroad historian located in Pennsylvania specializing in
> 19th century locomotive design and construction.  Keven Bunker
> asked me to look at this locomotive and offer my opinion.  The
> machine appears to date to about 1862- 67; Keven wondered if
> it was built by William Mason, a Taunton, Massachusetts builder
> known for elegant, well built machines.  The style of headlight
> brackets, cylinders and simple cab are consistent with Mason,
> but other details differ.  Mason engines used on the CP and
> elsewhere used straight boilers with plain smokebox doors fitted
> with a handle; the Mason-built Conness on the turntable
> elsewhere on your site shows these details.  Mason also used
> simple, one piece running boards and two styles of bell stand:
> one with columns of turned iron, and a cast iron stand that also
> supported the handrail.  However Mason's design differs from
> the bell stand on the locomotive in question.
>
> The bell stand is consistent with the neighboring Taunton
> Locomotive Works, as is the split running boards.  These are
> well known trademarks of the firm used into the 1890s.
> Taunton also used wagontop boilers and put number plates on
> smokeboxes.  I suspect the engine is a Taunton machine, as the
> firm was well established in the 1860s and supplied engines to
> many lines.  The Mason style headlight brackets would not be
> unusual, as similar brackets were copied by other builders,
> including the Central Pacific shops under A.J. Stevens.  The
> Williams headlight is an accessory that was used on many
> locomotive across the US.
Kyle K. Williams Wyatt, Curator of Railroad Operations, California State Railroad Museum wrote on 11/30/2000:
> I suspect that the locomotive is built by another New England builder, the
> Manchester Locomotive Company, rather than Taunton or Mason.  The bell
> bracket and hand rail support is of the style used by that company for many
> years.  What we can see of the builder's plate between the drivers is also
> consistent with Manchester.
>
> As to builder's date, I would venture a guess at late 1860s or early 1870s,
> based on the locomotive design.  The clothing of the people in the photo also
> seems consistent with that dating.
Jim Wilke wrote on 4/17/2001:
> Kyle's right!  ... The engine's totally Manchester, from the split running
> boards to the distinctive bell stand (Manchester bell stand/handrail brackets
> angle down, not out like Masons).

Alfred A. Hart Unknown Stereoview  —  lacking a caption.
Central Pacific Railroad.  Unidentified railroad town.  Detail shown below.
Where was this taken?  What is Hart's view number and caption for this image?

Bill Shippen, SP Review magazine, Shasta Rail Group notes that the above "Sierra Nevada Mountains" view is reproduced on page 57 as figure 34 of Mead Kibbey's book, "The Railroad Photographs of Alfred A. Hart, Artist" (published by the California State Library Foundation, 1996. ISBN: 0-929722-85-X) with the following caption:
"Alfred Hart:  Untitled.  Railroad town, probably Truckee.  A team of oxen are at the right, and (in the original) one can see men lined up to enter "Railroad Chop House" and a sign for a boot maker  As in all the railroad scenes there are no fat men--the only even "heavy" one being Judge Crocker in a few scenes below Auburn."

Daniel Hart, University of Nevada, Reno wrote (9/10/1999):

> I am writing concerning this unknown railroad town photo.  Does this
> need to be a railroad town necessarily?  I ask because I am
> researching a town called Meadow Lake that Hart has taken an overview
> photograph of.  I am a Master's graduate student at the University of
> Nevada, Reno in anthropology (historical archaeology is my real
> focus).  I've been excavating a site at the old townsite and the only
> good photo that I can dig up is Hart's and Houseworth's photos of the
> town.
>
> Could this be a close up of Meadow Lake?  Meadow Lake was quite large
> at the time with between 4,000 and 5,000 people and around 500 or more
> wood structures. Hart was there and at least took and overview of the
> Meadow Lake.  Could he have also taken a close up photo in town?
> Meadow Lake was a big deal in 1865-68 and was dubbed "The Little
> Comstock" by miners from Virginia City who flocked to Meadow Lake at
> the first signs of instability in V.C.  Everyone who was anyone in the
> mining business was at some point in Meadow Lake.
>
> This is just one possibility.  Are there any other visible signs with
> business names that you have been able to find in this photo?  If so,
> I have a town directory from the town that lists all the businesses in
> 1867 that may be able to help identify this photo.  Anyway, hope this
> helps somehow!  This is a great site!
Dana Scanlon wrote (9/14/99):

> ... I know the location of at least
> three copies of the "unknown image".  Unfortunately, none are labeled.  Mead [Kibbey]
> told me that his copy has a pencil inscription, "Truckee".  The problem with
> it being Truckee is that it was almost certainly taken prior to 1868, and
> prior to 1868 Truckee was known as Coburn's Station.  At a later time there
> was a "Chop House" in Truckee, and a boot maker had a sign that is very
> similar to the one in the image; however, other towns had "Chop Houses" and
> boot makers signs.  I think the chances that it is Truckee is as good as any,
> but nobody really knows. Mead [Kibbey] and I agree that the location of the image
> could be anywhere from Dutch Flat to Verdi, Cisco is a good possibility.
> ... I am quite sure the "unknown" image is not Meadow Lake.
> Hopefully, a labeled copy will show up.

James Mark French wrote (2/3/2006):

> Well, after looking at this photo for some time, it struck me that this photo may be of Dutch Flat. Judah spent alot of time there with the local druggist [Dr. Daniel W. Strong] working on the Transcontinental Railroad. The building with the awning and porch, to the right and above the oxen, looks alot like that drug store.


Promontory Cancellation

Can you identify this cancellation which was stamped on some unmailed modern postcards?
Was mail carried to the Golden Spike Ceremony?
Is this a reproduction of an historic U.S. Postal Service mail cancellation, a centennial cancellation, or a modern novelty item?
WCurtWill wrote 6/15/2001

> That stamp appears to be the stamp that is used by the museum at the Golden
> Spike site.  I have seen it used at the Golden Spike Site, and they also
> stamp tickets that they issue to visitors to the site when you pay the
> entrance fee.


Can you help?:

Kenneth Guthrie is seeking information about California Fruit Line Reefer Cars.  He writes:

> I have some information about these cars and was wanting more. If it
> is possible could you look in your records and see if there is any
> photographs, drawings, or anything more than what I have found out.
>
> This is what I know:
>
> THE DENVER AND RIO GRANDE CALIFORNIA FRUIT LINE USED VENTILATED CARS,
> 24' LONG. THERE WERE END AND ROOF VENTSON THESE CARS. THERE WERE 12
> CARS, NUMBERED AS FOLLOWED; 2029, 2483, 3157, 3387, 3572, 3657, 3775,
> 3831, 4056, 4070, 4113 AND 4280. THESE CARS OPERATED THROUGH TO
> CALIFORNIA ON THE CENTRAL PACIFIC. THEY RECEIVED STANDARD GAUGE TRUCKS
> IN OGDEN FOR THE BALANCE OF THE TRIP.
>
> I have acquired only one crude drawing. I am sending it to you so you can
> have a small piece of history that should not be forgotten.
>
> I have no real photographs or any detail drawings of these cars I
> need some help if at all possible.
>
> Kenneth Guthrie


Denver & Rio Grande California Fruit Line Reefer Car

Comments Received:

There is a photo of one of these cars that has been printed in several books on the Denver & Rio Grande – including in several Colorado Rail Annuals published by the Colorado Railroad Museum.† I believe the view is of a train on Marshall Pass. † The cars were indeed used in interchange service with the Central Pacific by changing trucks at Ogden.† I believe they used a Ramsey Truck Changer.† There apparently is a record of one car being involved in a derailment in the middle of Nevada. † Robert Sloan made dry transfer lettering for the cars in HO scale, and maybe other scales.† He also produced the drawing, I believe. † —Kyle K. Williams Wyatt, Curator of History & Technology, California State Railroad Museum

Drawing Courtesy Kenneth Guthrie, C & K Designs.


Nothing to do with the Central Pacific Railroad, but ...

We're baffled by this 3" x 10" old thick enamel on metal sign "A PHOTOGRAPH OF YOURSELF IN 10 SECONDS."  It appears to be an outdoor sign.  Guessing that this might date from the late 19th century or more likely the early 20th century, but can't think of a commercial photographic process of that vintage with either a 10 second exposure time or that took 10 seconds from exposure to finished print.  Collodion glass plate negatives (or early gelatin bromide) might fit if this refers to exposure time, but the sign does not appear to be as old as the 1870's or early 1880's.  Seems too fast and the sign too old for a finished Polaroid print.  There were self-operated photographic booths at arcades that perhaps used paper based film with reversal processing, but we thought that these took about a minute.  Any ideas regarding the age and significance of this historical photographic sign?

Comment received:

> I agree that no antique photos were printed in 10 seconds. The sign is rusting through in various places, and porcelain, or even baked enamel from a high quality sign lasts a long time. So, maybe the enamel is not so thick. This looks like a 'junky sign' in that it is rusting in multiple areas.probably ripped off one of the Instant Photo Booths that were found at touring carnivals when Polaroid film and camera came out in the 1960's. The photo in 10 seconds had a label instruction on it to hold it by the paper tab for about ten seconds before peeling the cover to view the 'Instant' Polaroid. —Dave Simmons <dsimmons@dfgwc.com>

[Note: Actually, the sign uses a very heavy gauge metal with thick enamel.]



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