Magazine Articles

The Chicago electric interurban railroads produced an outstanding series of posters in the 1920s. Ervin Metzl’s “By the North Shore Line” (1923) is an example. J. J. Sedelmaier Collection.

Artist’s Magazine
“The Year’s Best Art,” December 1997. Ted Rose receives first prize in landscape category

Bramson, Seth
“A Tale of Three Henrys,” Florida Theme Issue,Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts23 (1998), pages 112-143. Henry Bradley Plant, Henry Morrison Flagler, and Henry Shelton Sanford promote railroads and Florida; many examples of advertising art.

Corns, John B.
“On Photographing Trains for a Living,”Trains, Volume 49, Number 10, August 1989, pages 36-43 plus cover. Corns was company photographer for Chessie System and CSX from 1981 to 1993.

Gruber, John
“C&NW and Photography,” North Western Lines, Winter 1998, pages 129-131. Reviews C&NW photo achievements in a special issue of the historical society’s magazine marking the 150th anniversary of the railroad.

“Creative Company Photography,” Vintage Rails, No. 7, Spring 1997, pages 64-73, 85-91, also editorial, page 7. Between the stereotypical views (which might even show a mountain range where none exists) lies a vast, creative field.

“Glass Roofs and Dungeons, the Legacy of Railroad Photo Cars,” Locomotive & Railway Preservation, Issue 60, July-August 1996, pages 22-28.

“Illinois Central, Art and Photography,” RailNews, December 1998, pages 46-49. Includes IC’s famous photo of the “Five Titans” at Congress Street at night in 1937.

“Mystery Photo Cars,” Railroad History 184, Spring 2001, pages 110-113. Ironically, the owners of these cars, who made their livings creating lasting records, left few traces of their own lives and motivations.

Jones, Malcolm
“The Most Beautiful Trains in the World,” Preservation, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Volume 51, Number 6, November-December 1999. “Talking with photographer O. Winston Link about his bravura images of steam’s final chapter and the rural 1950s culture that disappeared with it.”

Keirce, Bill
“Pullmans, Stations, Steam: The Railroad as an Aesthetic Object,” Railroad History179, Autumn 1998, pages 6-29.

In No. 40, April-May 2002, the editor interviews David Plowden, who started his career photographing steam locomotives. “As one of photography’s ‘senior statesmen,’ Plowden’s fifty years in photography has generated an amazing library of beautifully seen and historically important photographs of the disappearing face of America,” the magazine says.

Osmundson, Gordon
“Form in Steam and Steel, Exploring Architectue in Steam Locomotives,” View Camera, May/June 2002.

Rose, Ted
“In the Traces: Railroad Paintings of Ted Rose,” an excerpt from the book includes ten paintings. Watercolor magazine, Winter 2001, pp. 112-119.

Sedelmaier, J. J., and John Gruber
“Train Spotting,” ads international, Spring 1998, pages 36-37. The quarterly magazine, published in London, includes seven reproductions in color of the 1920s posters from the Chicago interurban railroads. “Sic Transit,” Print, July/August 1998. Chicago rail line posters of the 1920s, long forgotten, emulated their more famous London Underground forerunners.

Swackheimer, Barry A.
“J. B. Silvis, the Union Pacific’s Nomadic Photographer,” Journal of the West, Volume 33, Number 2, April 1994.

White, John H., Jr.
“The Steam Engine in Prints and Photographs,” Railroad History, Bulletin 152, Spring 1985, pages 29-41.

Zega, Michael E.
“Advertising the Southwest,” Journal of the Southwest, Volume 43, Number 3, Autumn 2001. Between 1892 and World War I, the Santa Fe Railway produced a remarkable series of illustrated advertisements promoting travel across the Southwest to southern California.


Adam, Beverly S.
She Rode the Rails, iUniverse, 2021 Pine Lake Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, Nebraska 68512. 2005, 205 pp. softbound. ISBN-13: 978-0-595-33528-2. Mary Jane Wyatt operated a railroad photo car in Nebraska in the late 1800s.

Benson, Gary J.
The Art of Railroad Photography,
 Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, Wisconsin. 1993, 148 pp. all-color hardcover. ISBN 0-89024-133-3. A good how-to volume with fine, state-of-the-art contemporary material.

Benson, Ted
Done Honest & True,
 Richard Steinheimer’s Half Century of Rail Photography, Pentrex, Pasadena, California, USA. 1999. 96 pp. softbound. ISBN 1-56342-011-2. Benson calls Steinheimer “the Ansel Adams of rail photography” in a biography that first appeared in Vintage Rails magazine. Book features 132 of Stein’s best images in four-color black and white.

Benson, Ted
One Track Mind,
 Boston Mills Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 2000. 176 pp. hardcover. ISBN 1-55046-273-3. The first title in BMP’s Masters of Railroad Photography series edited by Greg McDonnell, One Track Mind provides an overview of 30 years of rail photojournalism spanning 4 decades with 13 essays on U.S. Western railroading. A “greatest hits” selection of 207 photos in black and white duotone, the book also features close to 70 unpublished images.

Blaszak, Mike (with Shafer, Mike)
Railroad Photography–How to Shoot Like The Pros.
 Andover Junction Publications, Andover, New Jersey, USA. 1993. 64 pp. softbound. ISBN 0-944119-10-7. Expanding a book first published by the North Western Illinois chapter of the NRHS in 1975, this edition covers the basics of camera selection, lenses, films, technical skills, filter and light, and composition. Storage, preservation, and presentation are also covered along with chapters on the specialties of model railroad and night photography. Bill Christopher wrote a separate chapter on video techniques. A wide selection of 117 photos in color and black and white illustrate the book. In addition, a final chapter features personal tips from seasoned photographers Jim Boyd, Ted Benson, Harold Edmonson, Blair Kooistra, J. Parker Lamb, Bob Schmidt, Steve Smedley, Scott Snell, and Richard Steinheimer.

Brouws, Jeff
Starlight on the Rails,
 Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York. 2000. 144 pages, hardbound with dust jacket. Brouws and Ed Delvers selected the photos; Richard Steinheimer wrote the introduction. In the years between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s, night railroading seemed as quintessentially American in spirit as cool jazz and road novels. Photographers include easterners Jim Shaughnessy, Howard Pincus, Robert Hart Jr., Victor Hand, and Jim Boyd; midwesterners Philip Hastings, William D. Middleton, Mel Patrick, and John Gruber; and westerners Ted Benson, Wayne Depperman, Dick Dorn, Ed Delvers, Jeff Brouws, David Styffe, John Roskoski, Thomas L. Taylor, Stan Kistler, Joel Jensen, Paul Lukens, and Richard Steinheimer.

Gruber, John
Focus on Rails,
 with introduction by Bill Withuhn. Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society, North Freedom, Wisconsin, USA. 1989. 49 pp. softbound. The first review of railfan photography, from the 1890s to the present. Out of print; the Center plans a revision.

Hale, Robert
Railroad Photograhy, Western States,
 compiled by Donald Duke. Photos are from the collection of Malcolm McCarter. Golden West Books, P.O. Box 80250, San Marino, California 91118-8250. 2004. 116 pages. softbound

Lamb, J. Parker
Steel Wheels Rolling,
 A Personal Journey of Railroad Photography. Boston Mills Press, 2001. The second book in the Masters of Railroad Photography series, Steel Wheels Rolling presents Lamb’s five decades of railroad exploration. More than 200 stunning black and white photographs accompany personal anecdotes and historical notes. The book starts the last American Midwest steam locomotives, then chronicles the end of the passenger train zenith and the beginnings of a new era – the arrival of the diesel engine.

Lyden, Anne M.
Railroad Vision, Photography, Travel, and Perception.
 J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003. 180 pages. Hardcover. With more than 100 photographs, many from the collection of the Getty Museum, Railroad Vision illustrates the parallel histories of railroads and photography–from a photograph of George Stephenson’s steam engine Locomotion, to powerful images from the American Civil War, to a mid-20th-century photograph by O. Winston Link of a train roaring by a drive-in movie theater.

Plowden, David
A Time of Trains.
 Norton, New York, 1987. 160 pp. Hardcover. Plowden describes the book as “a celebration and an elegy.” It includes his story of a fast run with steam locomotive #2505 on Great Northern’s Second No. 28, the Fast Mail, just before Christmas in 1955.

Rose, Ted
In the Traces, Railroad Paintings by Ted Rose,
 with an introduction by Thomas H. Garver. Indiana University Press. 2000. 152 pages. The book has 60 paints by Rose (1941-2002), with commentary by the artist. “The works are an eloquent and absorbing view of industrial American, especially of railroads as an integral part of the man-made landscape,” according to the publisher.

Solomon, Brian, and John Gruber
Railway Photography.
 Krause Publications, Iola, Wisconsin, 2003. Chapters cover history of railroad photography, equipment, film, accessories, planning photographic journeys, working with light, photo storage and presentation, and publishing photos. The book features an impressive display of work by contemporary photographers.

Steinheimer, Richard
A Passion for Trains, the Railroad Photography of Richard Steinheimer.
W. W. Norton, November 2004, 208 pages, hardcover. A pioneer in train photography, Steinheimer documented the railroad’s heyday and its decline. Known for his pictures at night, in bad weather, and from risky perches, he has enormous creativity and productivity. 160 duotone images, with an introduction by Jeff Brouws.

Van Horne, John C., editor, with Eileen E. Drelick
Traveling the Pennsylvania Railroad,
 Photographs of William H. Rau. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, 264 pages, hardcover. This oversize volume reproduces almost 100 of Rau’s photographs as full-page quadtone images, capturing the impact of the originals as closely as possible. The photographs are accompanied by captions provided by PRR expert James J. D. Lynch, Jr. In the three essays that complement the photographs, Kenneth Finkel details Rau’s career and early commercial photography, Mary Panzer places Rau and his PRR photographs in the context of the history of American landscape photography, and John R. Stilgoe discusses the advent of railroad advertising photography and its role in shaping perceptions of theAmerican landscape. Van Horne is librarian of the Library Company of Philadelphia. Drelick is research administrator with Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley LLP. She worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and its successors from 1966 to 1991.

Zega, Michael E., and John Gruber
Travel by Train: The American Railroad Poster, 1870-1950.
 Indiana University Press,2002, 156 pages, hardcover. The book reviews posters and poster artists from coast to coast. Credit for creative posters often goes to the eastern railroads such as New York Central and New Haven. But the authors found that the seldom-mentioned Southern Pacific was the most prolific, and the Santa Fe offered consistent quality and innovation over a long period of time. In addition, regional lines such as the Monon and Chicago Great Western had an important role in the story.

In addition to its list of book titles, called Railroad Crossing, the IU Press provides links to a wide range of history groups and museums.

Zwingerberger, Axel
Vom Zauber der Zuge,
 an exciting look at night railroad photography, in German, by a concert pianist who specializes in boogie woogie music. The Magic of Trains includes more than 200 of Zwingenberger’s photographs, mostly staged at night with a 4×5 view camera and elaborate flash equipment. The two CDs have boogie woogie and blues tunes and train sounds.