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Thread: RCPE Railroad

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    South Dakota

    RCPE Railroad

    Arlington, SD
    I collect early (19th C.) railroad photos, especially from the wet plate era (1850-1880.) Most of these are photos of tracks and rarely of engines and rolling stock. I think for the photographers of the time, the tracks were the important thing as they represented progress and "taming the wilderness." David Plowden's 2010 book, "Requiem for Steam", has many photos of empty tracks towards the back. I think this symbolizes the steam engines were gone, and the passage of time. (I have an autographed copy of this book.)
    Exposure time for wet plate/tin type is generally no faster than 1/2 second on a sunny day. This encourages me to search for static compositions. The wide open landscape of South Dakota makes that easier. This is a photo taken east of Arlington on the RCPE line. Camera was a 1920s Gundlach Korona 5x7, lens was a 1907 Voigtlander Heliar 240mm (barrel lens.) Tin type, 1s & f18. The two structures are for a defect detector.

    Kent in SD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails RCPEdectr copy.jpg  
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  2. #2 tgtaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: RCPE Railroad

    Here's an image that caught my eye yesterday afternoon while reading Across the Continent: The Union Pacific Photographs of Andrew J Russell

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It was taken by Alfred A Hart, photographer for the Central Pacific Railroad, on the Humboldt section of the Central Pacific Railroad in the late 1860's. Russell was the photographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. Both railroad's were laying track towards each other until they met at Promontory in May of 1869. If I could, I would like to get some of these negatives/images by download and try printing them.


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