Railroad Heritage Article Wins R&LHS Award

Jack Holzhueter’s article, “Olive W. Dennis: B&O Polymath,” received the 2011 David P. Morgan Article Award from the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. The article, a collaborative effort that began with Shirley Burman Steinheimer’s files about women railroaders, appeared in number 24 (2010). Holzhueter, a consultant to the Center, is a retired researcher and editor for the Wisconsin Historical Society. “We are indebted to Jack Holzhueter and those who assisted him for doing the requisite research and writing this fascinating article about a truly remarkable woman,” Lyle Key wrote in the Fall-Winter issue of Railroad History, published by R&LHS.

2013 Conversations Conference Scheduled April 12-14

The next Conversations about Photography conference will be held April 12-14, 2013, at Lake Forest College. Thanks to the generosity of this year’s conference patrons, for the first time scholarships (PDF application) are available for two young or emerging photographers. Watch for announcements here and on our Facebook page. Visit the conference page for a review of the 2012 event.

Chicago Tribune Features Photographer Ganaway’s Family

In a major story, the Chicago Tribune has featured the family of King Daniel Ganaway, an African-American photographer profiled in Railroad Heritage (scan of article) in 2001. Ganaway won a major award for his photograph of the Twentieth Century Limited at La Salle Street Station in Chicago. The image launched his career as a commercial and industrial photographer in the 1920s and 1930s. The Tribune headlined its story, published October 26, “Family’s Racial History Comes into Focus.” The Center’s president, John Gruber, has written more articles about Ganaway, who is included in the Center’s list of memorable 20th century photographers.

North American Railway Foundation Supports Chicago Project

The Center’s forthcoming exhibition, “Faces of Chicago’s Railroad Community: Photographs by Jack Delano,” will receive $25,000 in major support from the North American Railway Foundation (NARF). The exhibition opens April 4, 2014, at the Chicago History Museum and will run through August 10, 2015, and the Center will publish an accompanying catalog. NARF funding will support research about the individual “faces” and catalog production. Three issues of Railroad Heritage®, numbers 27-29, have profiles of three of the forty-eight railroaders whose 1942-43 portraits are the subject of the exhibition. The most recent issue, number 30, has a story about Pablo Delano’s self-described “emotional experience” photographing descendants or family members of railroaders his father photographed seventy years earlier.

Proviso Roundhouse
This interior view of the Chicago & North Western’s roundhouse at Proviso, Illinois, from December 1942 is among the sixty photographs that will appear in the Center’s exhibition “Faces of Chicago’s Railroad Community: Photographs by Jack Delano,” which will open April 4, 2014, at the Chicago History Museum. Learn more about the exhibition.

John W. Barriger III’s Depression-era Photography

On June 23, 2012, the National Railroad Hall of Fame in Galesburg, Illinois, inducted John Walker Barriger III (1899-1976) into its pantheon of leaders in honor of his myriad contributions to the industry. Barriger III achieved high acclaim for his leadership of federal transportation agencies and of railroads themselves. Unusually for a top executive, one of the tools Barriger III used in making decisions and prophesies was none other than photographs he made himself of railroad infrastructure. So successful was he in helping to cure the industry from the 1920s into the 1970s that he became known as “the doctor of sick railroads.” And now at least some of the 60,000 diagnostic railroad photographs he made, both for his own pleasure and as x-rays of the industry, can be considered more than tools. They can be considered art. The Center, the Hall, and the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library in St. Louis presented an exhibition of Barriger’s photography at the Ford Center for the Fine Arts at Knox College in Galesburg over the summer. The exhibition will appear in the future at the Barriger Library.