It’s Work: Snapshots of the Human Element of Railroading

“It’s Work,” an exhibit prepared by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art with major funding from the North American Railway Foundation, has been displayed at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum. The center presents 30 primarily Eastern photographs beginning with a daguerreotype of the crew and locomotive Tioga, built for the Philadelphia & Columbia Railroad in 1848. The images trace some of the changes in the railroad work environment from the age of steam to the age of microchips.

“It’s Work” Photographs Listed by Groups
Photos are from the Center’s collection, unless indicated otherwise.

INTRODUCTION

1 Unidentified (Smithsonian Institution) Tioga, built in 1848 for the Philadelphia & Columbia, among the earliest known railroad photos

2 Sol Libsohn (1915-2001) (Standard Oil of New Jersey Collection, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville) Charlottesville, Virginia, 1947

SEEING THE PICTURES

3, 4 Lewis W. Hine (1874-1940) (National Archives and Records Administration, Work Projects Administration, 069-RH-5C-11) Work Portraits, Pennsylvania Railroad, 1921 Power Makers…for the electrically driven train The Engineer, the monarch of the rail

5 Marjory Collins (1912-1985) (Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information, Library of Congress) Pennsylvania Railroad, Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, 1943 Katie Sablejack, blacksmith’s helper

6 Perrie Mahaffey (1887-1961) (Hagley Museum and Library) PRR and Westinghouse officials before radio test trip, 1928

7 Abram M. Brown (1888-1970) (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh) Railroad workers in Pittsburgh, 1920s

8 Don Wood, Matawan, New Jersey (1932- ) Billy and the Kid, South Amboy, New Jersey, 1954

9 Anonymous (Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania) Lackawanna Railroad fireman, 1930s

10 Marjory Collins (1912-1985) (Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information, Library of Congress) Pennsylvania Railroad, Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, 1943 Mary DaVanzo, stationary fireman’s helper

11 Sol Libsohn (1915-2001) (Standard Oil of New Jersey Collection, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville) Fireman Frank R. Johnson, Southern Railway train 45, 1947

THE WORK

12 Jim Bradley, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1936- ) Last of a Breed, snow shovelers, Carlisle Junction, Pennsylvania, 1978

13 Gordon Parks, New York City (1912- ) (Standard Oil of New Jersey Collection, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville) Hostler’s Helper, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1945

14 James P. Gallagher (1920-2002) (Michael C. Muller Collection) Tightening the Bolts, Baltimore & Ohio, 1956

15 Mark Hemphill, Waukesha, Wisconsin (1958- ) Section Crew and Rio Grande Zephyr, Solitude, Utah, 1982

16 Chris Burger, Russiaville, Indiana (1940- ) Handing up orders, Mentzer, Ohio, New York Central, 1964

17 Jim Bradley, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1936- ) Supper on the back burner, Conrail camp gang, 1976

18, 19, 20 David Plowden, Winnetka, Illinois (1932- ) Locomotive engineer “oiling ’round,” Montreal, Quebec, 1960 Locomotive 2412, its last day, Canadian Pacific Railway, Montreal, Quebec, 1960 Hostler Washing Locomotive, McAdam, New Brunswick, 1959

21 Sol Libsohn (1915-2001) (Standard Oil of New Jersey Collection, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville) Checking Time, Southern Railway, Alexandria, Virginia, 1947

22 James P. Gallagher (1920-2002) (Michael C. Muller Collection) Oiling Up, Riverside Yards, South Baltimore, 1953

23 Marjory Collins (1912-1985) (Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information, Library of Congress) Pennsylvania Railroad, Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, 1943 Helen Gusmerotti, car repairman’s helper

24 Don Wood, Matawan, New Jersey (1932- ) Conductor Carlisle checking his waybills, 1960

THE PEOPLE

25 Lewis W. Hine (1874-1940) (National Archives and Records Administration, Work Projects Administration, 069-RH-5C-07) Work Portraits, Pennsylvania Railroad, 1921 The brakeman … acrobat of the railroad

26 Perrie Mahaffey (1887-1961) (Hagley Museum and Library) F. L. Dale, pilot on test radio train, 1928

27 Marjory Collins (1912-1985) (Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information, Library of Congress) Pennsylvania Railroad, Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, 1943 Lois Micheltree, laborer in lumber yard

28, 29 Gordon Parks, New York City (1912- ) (Standard Oil of New Jersey Collection, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville) New York Central track worker, Harlem River, 1946 Canadian Pacific bridge and building department foreman, Winnipeg Manitoba, 1945.

30 Brian Solomon (1966- ) Monson, Massachusetts, and Dublin, Ireland John Conn, Ware, Massachusetts, 1987