Sunday, May 08, 2022

Fake news, May 8, 1869 (Transcontinental railroad completed today; oops! Just kidding!)

[An embarassing shoddy journalistic eyewitness account of the future, evidently written ahead of time;
Oops! – Cancelled! – So sorry!  Emphasis in red added.]


New York Herald  Monday, May 10, 1869

TELEGRAPHIC NEWS

The Pacific Railroad

Celebration of the completion of the road in California — a gala day in San Francisco and Sacramento — general rejoicings and jubilations — why the roads were not joined.

San Francisco, May 8, 1869

The Pacific Railroad celebration to-day was to be remembered for all time in San Francisco. The day was ushered in by a salute of 10 guns. All the federal forts of the harbor fired a salute, the city bells were rung and the steam whistles blown. All night the whole city was illuminated and presented a brilliant appearance. The procession was the largest and most enthusiastic ever witnessed in San Francisco. The people were eager and willing to observe an event of so much importance to this day and the Pacific coast, and turned out en masse. Business was generally suspended. Nearly every citizen exhibited a hearty interest in the demonstration. The military and civic display was grand. In addition to the state military all the available United States troops from the several forts here participated on the occasion, while the civic societies turned out with full ranks.

The city and harbor presented a magnificent site. During the day the principal buildings were draped with the banners of every nation and the streets were thronged with an excited and joyous people. The shipping was dressed in fine style.

The dispatch from the junction of the road announcing the driving of the last spike of the Central Pacific Road at 1:00 A. M.[sic] sent a thrill through the city. Congratulatory messages were transmitted to the directors of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific roads by the California pioneers.

At Sacramento the event was celebrated in a grand and enthusiastic manner. The city was crowded with a multitude of people from all parts of the state and Nevada. The Grand Lodge of the Odd Fellows, in session in the city, accepted an invitation to attend the Sacramento demonstration, and lodges from Nevada, Grass Valley, Vallejo, San Francisco, Placerville, San Jose, Maryville, and Virginia City and Gold Hill, Nevada were also in attendance. The lanes of travel to and from Sacramento were thrown open to the public free and immense numbers of people took advantage of the circumstance and flocked hither. The Central Pacific Company has 30 locomotives gaily decked and arange in front of the city, and as the signal gun was fired announcing the driving of the last spike of the road the locomotives opened a chorus of whistles, and all the bells and steam whistles in the city joined in.

Profound regret is expressed because the roads were not joined today.

Dispatches from Promontory say that several hundred men had seized a train at Piedmont on which was President Durant, telling him they were hungry and must have their money, and that they would detain him until it was forthcoming. The non-arrival of Mr. Durant is alleged to be the principal cause for postponing the ceremony of joining the roads until Monday next.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Central Pacific Railroad Locomotive #173 - Coal or Wood?

Subject: Central Pacific 173 - Coal or Wood?
From: "Paul Quade" pquade@mac.com:

Hi and thanks in advance for even looking at this [message]. I really appreciate there's somebody out there that might even be able to answer this question.

I've been told diamond smokestacks like the one on the Central Pacific 173 engine was to help circulate embers from wood burning and help them continue to burn until they were small enough to be relatively harmless if they still somehow escaped the screening at the top.

Which brings me to the enclosed photograph of the CP 173 [formerly Western Pacific Railroad "H"] which shows the tender with what appears to be coal loaded in it.


Central Pacific Locomotive #173
"CPRR Locomotive #173 'Sonoma' 4-4-0 Norris, 1864." ©CPRR.org


What I find interesting about that is, as I'm sure you're aware, the CP 173 was also the basis for the the "Lilly Belle" the train in Walt Disney's backyard.


Central Pacific Locomotive #173

Central Pacific Locomotive #173
Lilly Belle model train with Walt Disney


In the [above two] photos you can see Walt's version clearly depicts the train as a wood burner.

So my question is, was the diamond stack on the original CP 173 simply a leftover from wood burning days or was the CP 173 actually able to burn both wood and coal depending on whatever was available?

Just as a side note: I'm a conductor on the Disneyland Railroad and frequently have the pleasure of having the CK Holliday locomotive pulling my train set. I love discussing the evolution of the CP 173, Lilly Belle, and CK Holliday with our guests and this wood vs. coal question has been on my mind lately. Hopefully you might be able to help me sort that out.

—Paul Quade

Monday, April 11, 2022

Question - How is the debate over a northern or southern route settled?

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Holabird’s February Reno Auction ... CPRR specimen stock certificate

" ... Holabird’s February Reno Auction", © coinnews.net, March 11, 2022. (News Article)

"Fans of Western Americana turned out in droves for Holabird’s massive, four-day Western Trails & Treasures Premier Auction, held February 24th thru 27th, online and live in the gallery located ... in Reno. ... A scarce, 19th century Central Pacific Railroad (California) specimen stock certificate for $100 par shares, with a vignette at the bottom of three allegorical females, [sold for] $750 ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]


Central Pacific Railroad specimen stock certificate
Central Pacific Railroad specimen stock certificate.
Courtesy coinnews.net

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Rail Thermite Welding

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

"Edward Harriman improved railroads while building a fortune"

"Edward Harriman improved railroads while building a fortune" by Scott Mall, © FreightWaves Classics, February 22, 2022. (History Article)

" ... The (financial) Panic of 1893 negatively impacted most U.S. businesses for several years. Harriman was nearly 50 years old in 1897 when he became a director of the Union Pacific Railroad, which was then in receivership. In 1898, with the financial assistance of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., Harriman and a syndicate acquired the Union Pacific. Harriman’s key business achievement was the reorganization and rebuilding of the Union Pacific. By May 1898, he was chairman of the railroad’s executive committee, and from that time until his death, 'his word was the law on the Union Pacific system.' ... Harriman made a strenuous, daylight-hours-only trip from the Missouri River to the Pacific on the railroad in 1898. It was said that he inspected 'every mile, every station, every flatcar and engine.' One railroad superintendent stated that 'he saw every poor tie, blistered rail and loose bolt.' Under Harriman’s leadership every problem on the railroad was catalogued and fixed, and within months he had the ailing railroad in excellent health. Harriman reduced the company’s debt and upgraded its equipment, investing nearly $50 million by 1904. Harriman gained control of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1900-01. ... He became president of the Central Pacific in 1903. From 1901-09, Harriman was also the president of the Southern Pacific Railroad ... In 1904 he invested more than $22 million in the Central Pacific and $70 million in the Southern Pacific to improve the railroads. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Friday, February 04, 2022

"Southern Pacific history remembered"

"Southern Pacific history remembered", Classic Trains, © Kalmbach Media, February 4, 2022. (History Article)

" ... Union Pacific purchased the Southern Pacific on Sept. 12, 1996. SP enthusiasts can take pleasure in knowing that technically SP merged UP, not the other way around. On Feb. 1, 1998, the Southern Pacific Transportation Company (a Delaware corporation) merged the Union Pacific Railroad and was then renamed the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Thus ended more than a century of Southern Pacific history." [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Most Expensive Mansion in New Jersey ..."

"Most Expensive Mansion in New Jersey ..." by Luna Fawkes, © The Proclaimer, Santa Clarita Valley, February 4, 2022. (News Article)

"A Mahwah house steeped in Gilded Age splendor is the most expensive address in New Jersey. The Crocker-McMillin mansion, a 58-room, a four-story brick masterpiece that has been compared to the royal residence in Versailles, sold for $26 million in late December, making it the most expensive mansion sold in the Garden State last year. ... The house was a result of America's tremendous industrial riches at the turn of the century. George Crocker was a businessman whose father co-founded the Central Pacific Railroad Company ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Railroad History Myths Repeated

"A Lesson from Railroad History" by Lawrence W. Reed, President Emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education (lreed@fee.org), © The Newnan Times-Herald, February 1, 2022. (Article)

" ... The story of the five transcontinental railroads built by 1900 often overlooks some remarkable lessons about private initiative and government subsidies. Four of the five transcontinentals received huge 'donations' from Washington in the form of land grants and taxpayer cash. [Myth #1 – in fact, not subsidies, and it was bond investors' cash (see CPRR prospectus, UPRR)] [James J. Hill's] Great Northern was the only one that accepted neither and the only one that never went bankrupt. [Myth #2 – in fact, the Central Pacific Railroad never went into bankruptcy] ... The lure of subsidies created powerful incentives for the other railroads to throw down tracks just to get the government goodies. That's why hundreds of miles of track had to be replaced later [Myth #3 – in fact, CPRR construction was 'first-class'] before any train could ride them [Myth #4 – in fact, transcontinental train through traffic began immediately and the UPRR's deficient construction was replaced over time]. Historian Burton Folsom, author of the classic book, The Myth of the Robber Barons, reveals that before the lines of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific met where the famous Golden Spike connected them, teams from the two railroads blew up each other's track [Myth #5 – in fact, CPRR and UPRR attacking each other with explosives never happened, likely a complete misinterpretation of a newspaper illustration because its explanation was printed on a different page separated from the engraving.] to claim more land and cash from Washington. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]


[Mr. Reed and his excellent Foundation for Economic Education has for more than seven decades been the leader in teaching free market economic principles. The Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum has been attempting to correct a number of what appear to be widespread myths from the secondary literature representing incorrect transcontinental railroad history, but unfortunately a few have crept into this recent article. Any corrections needed to these errata, and help in documenting the actual history with primary sources will be greatly appreciated.]

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Union Pacific Railroad Train Thefts, Los Angeles

"Thieves in LA are looting freight trains filled with packages from UPS, FedEx and Amazon" by Matt McFarland and Cheri Mossburg, © CNN, January 15, 2022. (News Article)

"Photos and videos showing piles of empty boxes littered alongside rail tracks in Los Angeles County, California have gone viral as shipping companies say they've seen a dramatic spike in railroad theft. Some of the boxes are packages from companies like UPS, Amazon and FedEx. Union Pacific ... says it may avoid operating in Los Angeles County following the spike in thefts, which it blames on lax prosecution of crimes. The containers and trains are locked, but can be broken into ... 160% year-over-year increase in theft in LA county. ... a December 2020 special directive issued by District Attorney George Gascón that changed how low-level offenses are prosecuted has contributed to the uptick. Union Pacific said ... that in the last three months of the year it made over 100 arrests of 'active criminals vandalizing our trains' ... arrested individuals are released from custody within 24 hours ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]



"Like our customers, [Union Pacific] is now contemplating serious changes to our operating plans to avoid Los Angeles County."


Union Pacific Railroad Train Thefts, Los Angeles
Union Pacific Railroad Train Thefts, Los Angeles

Union Pacific Railroad Train Thefts, Los Angeles. ©Union Pacific 2022


"Criminals are caught and arrested, turned over to local authorities for booking, arraigned before the local courts, charges are reduced to a misdemeanor or petty offense, and the criminal is released after paying a nominal fine.These individuals are generally caught and released back onto the streets in less than twenty-four hours. Even with all the arrests made, the no-cash bail policy and extended timeframe for suspects to appear in court is causing re-victimization to UP by these same criminals. In fact, criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pled down to simple trespassing – which bears no serious consequence. Without any judicial deterrence or consequence, it is no surprise that over the past year UP has witnessed the significant increase in criminal rail theft described above."


[The Union Pacific Railroad is not affiliated with the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum or CPRR.org]


Sunday, January 16, 2022

Muybridge railroad photos

From: "Heidi Sproat" hsproat@truckeehistory.org

Dear RR gents:

I recently became aware of this Eadweard Muybridge Central Pacific Railroad image as [displayed] on the CPRR.org website:


Muybridge #738, tunnel 15
Muybridge Stereoview #738, Tunnel 15.  Courtesy CPRR.org, ©1999-2022.


I am the current Webmaster and online Image Collection facilitator for the 501(c)(3) non-profit historical society, Truckee-Donner Historical Society.

I have done an online search hoping to locate OTHER Muybridge images (most probably stereoviews) of the building of the Central Pacific Railroad and areas, specifically as it traveled between Cisco and Verdi, especially through Truckee and the Donner Lake, and Donner Pass areas.

I am writing an article on photography of the Transcontinental Railroad as it came through the Truckee and Donner Pass areas, specifically noting Alfred A. Hart images (available in public domain through Stanford Libraries), and any H. K. Gage railroad photos.


Muybridge #738, tunnel 15Sierra Summit Contour Map, by Samuel Montague and Lewis M. Clement.  Red railroad coloration added.
From Vose, Manual for Railroad Engineers, 1883.  Courtesy CPRR.org, ©1999-2022.


Question:
Do you have access - or can you refer me please - to other Muybridge images (or other photographers) of the transcontinental railroad building effort, trains, surrounding areas between Summit Valley and the Truckee River as evidenced on the Summit Contour map? (I looked online for this [Vose's] 1883 Manual supplementary Contour Map by Lewis M. Clement, but couldn't find a higher resolution image.) Thanks so much for reading through this.

—Heidi Sproat. Truckee-Donner Historical Society (TDHS), Webmaster, Image Collection

Thursday, January 13, 2022

"The Quest to Protect California’s Transcontinental Railroad Tunnels"

"The Quest to Protect California’s Transcontinental Railroad Tunnels" by Shoshi Parks, © Smithsonian Magazine, January 12, 2022. (Magazine Article)

"Built by Chinese immigrants in the 1860's, the caverns cutting through Donner Summit helped unite the country ... Thousands of men, nearly all of them immigrants from China, working 24 hours a day for 16 months, proved the seemingly impossible possible. Using hand drills, black powder and experimental nitroglycerin explosives, the workers penetrated the granite at a rate of a foot per day. When the most impressive tunnel of the bunch, Tunnel #6, was completed in November 1867 and finally opened to train traffic, it stretched the length of nearly five football fields across the mountain pass, the highest elevation tunnel in the world. ... One idea is to establish the Donner Summit tunnels as a National Historic Landmark (NHL), a designation that would protect them from new destructive activities and may provide some resources for planning and preservation without requiring Union Pacific to make any changes to the site ... But the archaeological work done ... last summer is just the beginning of a lengthy nomination process that will ultimately require approval from both the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior to go forward. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Sunday, January 09, 2022

'The Pacific Railroad Bill', Deseret News, April 28, 1869

The Deseret News, Volume 18, Number 12,
Salt Lake City, Wednesday, April 28, 1869.

THE PACIFIC RAILROAD BILL

The citizens of this territory have been aware for many months past, that a great rivalry has existed between the two companies who are building the Pacific Railroad, as to which should finish the longest stretch of road before the two lines meet, causing each company to make almost superhuman efforts to push the work under its direction forward with the utmost dispatch. As of the road near completion this feeling grew in intensity, especially when the grading parties of the two companies began to work side-by-side, and at one time there appeared to be a great probability of both companies running separate lines through the valley north of us from Ogden to the northern shores of the great Salt Lake. This feeling ultimately developed into charges and counter charges being presented before Congress, asserting that the lines were not being built according to the requirements of the law which granted government aid to the builders of the Pacific Railroad. The Union Pacific Company were charged with building an inferior road, with gambling with … Beyond the distance in advance of the completed mine allowed them by law. Charges of a like, if not entirely similar nature, or made against the Central Pacific Company, and Congress was called upon to decide the points at issue.

The most important item, however, in the dispute, the concern the people of this territory, was aware of the joint terminus of the two lines should be located. It was certain to be somewhere in the vicinity of the great Salt Lake, either at Ogden, the promontory, near monument point or even west of that. The Central Pacific had graded to Ogden, and were very anxious that their terminus should be there, as by that means they hoped to secure a large percentage of the Utah trade for California. The majority of those interested in the Union Pacific Road claimed that the termini of the lines should be wherever they met, and as their line has long passed Ogden, they would probably have had the common terminus somewhere on the northern shore of the lake.

Our readers will however see by the bill that we published in our issue of the 20th inst. that Congress has decided that the junction shall be "at or near Ogden," or, in the words of the bill, provided "that the common terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad shall be at or near Ogden, and the Union Pacific Railroad Company shall build and the Central Pacific Railroad Company shall pay for and on the railroad from the terminus aforesaid to a promontory summit, at which rails shall meet and form one continuous line." By which we understand that the Union Pacific Company will have to sell to the Central Pacific all the road that they have built north of Ogden as far as the summit of the promontory, and thereafter they will cease work; whilst the Central Pacific will continue to move eastward until they reach that same point where they will connect and form one continuous line, which line as far east as Ogden shall become the property of the latter company.

For ourselves we deem this legislation eminently wise, not only to quiet the difficulties that have existed between the two lines, but also for the credit of the government, and for the sake of economy. Ogden is certainly the best place for the terminus; its advantages are far greater than any point for many miles on either side of it, and we fully anticipate yet seeing it by far the most Prosperous of any of the cities that line the railroad track and its passage through the Rocky Mountains.

So far as regards the charges that have been brought against these companies, the 4th section of the same bill provides that the Attorney General of the United States, shall make a full investigation of the same; and he is empowered to institute all necessary and proper legal proceedings should he discover the same to be true either before a civil or criminal court, as the necessities of the case demand. Other sections of the bill provide for the appointment of a board of five eminent citizens of the United States to examine and report the condition of the two roads, and also to report the sum they consider it will take to make the rail road "first-class" through its entire length from the Missouri to East western terminus. The president is also authorized to withhold from either company such sums as will be required to make the road "first-class", until all the interests of the United States are secured and the road is declared fully completed from end to end, as required by law.

Courtesy of Stephen A. Goldman Historical Newspapers.



UNITED STATES STATUTES AT LARGE
FROM DECEMBER 1869 TO MARCH 1871
VOLUME 16
Pages 56-57

Pacific Railroad Bill

Pacific Railroad Bill





A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875
Statutes at Large, 41st Congress, 2nd Session
Page 121-122 of 1314

Pacific Railroad Bill

Pacific Railroad Bill

Friday, December 31, 2021

CPRR Discussion Group

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Friday, December 24, 2021

Author query on transcontinental travel time

From: "John Lancaster" lancasterjk@me.com

Hello—ran across Kevin Bunker’s name on your website, and sent him this query. Copying to you for wider distribution. Thanks!

I am a former Washington Post reporter writing a book on the 1919 transcontinental air race, to be published next fall by Liveright/W.W. Norton. I am now at the fact-checking stage, and ran across your name and email on the CPRR discussion group page. I though you might be able to help me on an important point.

For context, the winner of the race, Lt. Belvin Maynard, completed his flight from Mineola, Long Island, to San Francisco, in a total elapsed time of three days and six hours (78 hours total). At the time, his journey was described as the fastest crossing of the continent by any means. This would of course include express trains. For comparative purposes, I would like to know roughly how long it took to travel the same route by the fastest trains in or around 1919. (The mileage would be roughly the same, since the contest route followed the path of the UP railroad, to ease the distribution of fuel and supplies to airfields. The railroad also served as a navigation aid that pilots called the iron compass.)

Even an estimate would be helpful. Though I can’t offer you fame and fortune, I would happily credit any contribution in my end notes. ...

John Lancaster

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

32-Foot-Long Train Made Entirely From Chocolate

"A Hotel Pastry Chef Made a 32-Foot-Long Train Entirely From Chocolate ... his creation was directly inspired by two steam locomotives ... the Central Pacific Railroad’s Jupiter and Virginia and Truckee Railroad’s No. 12 Genoa train." Bryan Hood, 'Robb Report'

Friday, November 26, 2021

CPRR ticket from El Paso to San Francisco, 1884

From: "Richard Webber" richard@teagan.org

Central Pacific Railroad ticket from El Paso, Texas to San Francisco, California from 1884.

CPRR ticket from El Paso to San Francisco, 1884
Courtesy of Richard Webber.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Longest rail line prior to 1869?

From: "Fredric London" fmlondon@gmail.com

Prior to completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869, what was the longest rail line? ...

—Fredric M. London

Monday, September 06, 2021

USGS topographic map resource - geological atlas folios

USGS topographic map resource - geological atlas folios:

USGS links to all the folios

Here are three of the folios showing the route of the Central Pacific Railroad in California:

Sacramento folio, California, 1887-88
Folios of the Geologic Atlas 5
By: Waldemar Lindgren

Colfax folio, California, 1885-87
Folios of the Geologic Atlas 66
By: Waldemar Lindgren

Truckee folio, California, 1889
Folios of the Geologic Atlas 39
By: Waldemar Lindgren

Courtesy of Dennis Hogan, from the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Internet Message List digest.


Truckee USGS folio, 1889
Truckee USGS folio, contour map, 1889, detail
showing the Central Pacific/Southern Pacific Railway Line
across the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Donner Lake.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

New biography about 19th century rail manufacturer

From: "Saundra Middleton" saundramiddleton1@outlook.com

I have enjoyed perusing your CPRR Museum website. You have included so much information and many links to investigate. What an awesome resource.

I have recently published a biography about Peter Kirk, a rail manufacturer who supplied rails to Central Pacific Railroad in the 1880’s. You have two pictures of Moss Bay rails displayed. This book titled The Pioneering Life of Peter Kirk — From Derbyshire to the Pacific Northwest will definitely add to the story of those rails, their production, Kirk’s 15 patented inventions that went into his rail products and machinery. It is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. I think it would be a good fit for your patrons’ list of resources about railroading during the 19th century.

I would also be interested in knowing of any other places where Moss Bay Steel rails are located, either in the ground or a museum, or if CPRR Museum is aware of any more records that list Moss Bay rails as being laid on their lines like in the 1887 US Report of the Pacific Railroad Commission. ...

—Saundra Middleton


Moss Bay Steel 1887 56 lbs
Moss Bay Steel Rail, 1887, 56 lbs

Pioneering Life of Peter Kirk
Pioneering Life of Peter Kirk


US 325,094 Kirk

US 326,874 Kirk

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Transcontinental Rail travel, 1911

From: "Heather Stivison" heather@heatherstivisonart.com

I am a former museum director, now completing a grant-funded biography of the little-known female artist, Eloise Roorbach.

She traveled from New York City to San Francisco in August 1911.

I cannot find anything describing the likely routes, the probable duration of such a journey, or even the most basic description of what the experience would have been like.

She was supporting herself entirely through her magazine illustrations, so it is unlikely that she would have had the means to travel first class.

I have tried using The Official Guide of the Railways and Steam Navigation Lines of the United States, Porto Rico, Canada Mexico and Cuba [1910], also contacted the reference desk for the New York Public Library, to no avail.

I would be extremely grateful for ANY information or guidance you could give me. ...

—Heather Stivison, South Dartmouth, MA 02748
HeatherStivison Art.com

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Track worker housing, 1870's Central Pacific Railroad

From: "Michael Polk" Mpolk130@gmail.com

I am currently researching 1870's Central Pacfic Railroad track worker housing at section stations along the line in Utah (as well as Nevada and California). I know about and have a copy of the 1869 inventory of Central Pacific structures from the National Archives. That is useful, but that document only includes housing for foremen, not the Chinese and other track workers. I have found nothing regarding housing for them, only for 1880 onward.

Without such information, my fallback position is that they continued to use dugouts and ramshackle buildings from construction days as well as Section cars, perhaps set off on detached tracks. In 1880-81 Southern Pacific constructed a hundred or more new bunkhouses and some cookhouses for the workers, but I have no information about how they were housed between the end of railroad construction in 1869 and the end of the 1870's.

Does anyone have information about this 1870's decade or a lead for me on this subject? ...

Mike Polk, Aspen Ridge Consultants

'Stories of Old Nevada: Wells'

"Stories of Old Nevada: Wells" by Dennis Cassinelli, © Elko Daily, July 5, 2021. (History Article)

" ... Wells was founded in 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad as a water station due to the town's strategic location at the headwaters of the Humboldt River. Water use from wells by travelers and area residents dates back thousands of years to the Western Shoshone who still live in a colony overlooking the town. Shoshone, Hudson Bay trappers, mountain men, and westbound wagon trains all replenished at the Humboldt Wells. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Saturday, July 03, 2021

'A Horrible Death to Die' - The murder of Jane Lathrop Stanford

"'A Horrible Death to Die.' Behind the origin myth of Stanford University lies a century-old murder. The victim: the school’s chief founder and benefactor." by Julia Flynn Siler, © Alta Online and the Summer 2021 issue of Alta Journal, July 1, 2021. (True Crime History Article)

" ... On February 28, 1905 ... at around 11:15 p.m., she called out for help. ... Jane was clinging to the doorframe, barely able to stand. Within minutes, her body writhed in contortions. Her fists clenched, her jaw tightened ... Jane knew that she had been poisoned—for a second time. 'This is a horrible death to die!' she cried. Shortly before midnight, one of the United States’ leading philanthropists was dead. ... " [More]

Webinar Registration: Author Julia Flynn Siler sits down ... to examine the circumstances and the suspects of this century-old whodunit. ... July 7, 2021 12:30PM in Pacific Time.

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]


Jane Lathrop Stanford
Jane Lathrop Stanford, detail

Courtesy of the Stanford Univerity Libraries.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Fruit Crate Labels

Fruit Crate Labels

"Beginning in the 1880's, the Transcontinental Railroad made coast-to-coast shipments of produce possible. As a result, a form of advertising art known as fruit crate labels came to be. These vibrant collectible works of art were created from a wide range of iconographic images in order to entice the public to buy the produce. Fruit Crate Labels were intended to be pasted onto the ends of crates ... " [More]

Also see, the Crate Label Museum.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Men with white overcoats

From: nick@nickwright.com

Just wondering who were the men in the [Andrew J.] Russell Railroad photos wearing the White Overcoats? Looks like there were several of them, like security or Pinkertons, etc?

—Nick


white overcoats

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Architect Oliver Greene Traphagen (1854–1932)

From: "Blake Romenesko" bromenesko11@gmail.com

I came across this article about an architect [Oliver Greene Traphagen (1854–1932)] I am particularly interested in and it mentions building a large CPRR office building in Oakland. Do you have any more information on this or photographs of the building?

—Blake Romenesko


Architect Oliver G. Traphagen

Thursday, April 08, 2021

"Colfax's historic markers: Take a walk through history in a California railroad town"

"Colfax's historic markers: Take a walk through history in a California railroad town" by Pamela Biery, © Gold Country Media, April 7, 2021. (News Article)

"Colfax is home to an early station on America’s Transcontinental Railroad. Just a minute off Interstate 80, find a series of historic markers that tell the story of this mid-1800s town. Take an easy, level stroll through Colfax’s historic downtown to understand more about how towns throughout the Gold Rush country of the Sierras were shaped by gold and the coming rail transport. ... 14. Freight Depot (7 N. Main): Built circa 1880 by Central Pacific Railroad Company. Constructed of wood using standard S.P. design known as Freight House #2, exhibiting the Victorian-era stick style. This building is the only freight depot of this type remaining in Placer County. 15. First Transcontinental Railroad marker: ... The first train rode through Illinoistown (as Colfax was once known) in September 1865. The railroad became a vital link for traders, commerce and travel that joined the eastern and western halves of the United States. ... 18. Schuyler Colfax statue and marker ... 19. Colfax Amtrak Passenger Depot ... 20. Cape Horn and Blue Star Highway marker ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Artist chosen for new Golden Spike sculpture"

"Artist chosen for new Golden Spike sculpture." © Box Elder News Journal, April 7, 2021. (News Article)

"The National Park Service (NPS) and Golden Spike Foundation/ Spike 150 announced on Friday that Ilan Averbuch has been selected to design a new commemorative work that will be donated to Golden Spike National Historical Park. According to a press release, the purpose of the piece, titled 'Monument to Their Memory,' will honor all the railroad workers from many different cultures and backgrounds whose backbreaking efforts were crucial in the construction of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Thursday, April 01, 2021

List of competing contract and monies from the US Government between CPRR and UPRR

From: "Celeste Wolfe" celestewolfe@mac.com

Can you direct me to a resource where I can find the list of government contracts and monies that the CPRR and UPRR were competing for during the years of 1867-1869?

I wanted to know what CPRR was dealing with financially in the overall picture with their U.S. government subsidies being possibly snatched up and taken by UPRR’s Credit Mobilier price gouging manipulation. Can you give me a list of what those subsidies were called that both companies were competing for during 1867-1869?

If there is a resource you can direct me to, I would be very grateful. Both government sources and CPRR books for that time on what contracts they received and then how they spent that money for those last two years.

I needed to the specifics of the economic context and pressures the Big Four were laboring under and how C.P. Huntington was dealing with competing against UPRR in DC. ...

—Celeste Wolfe

Saturday, March 20, 2021

"Legacy"– a tribute to Chinese railroad workers of the CPRR (U.S. Forest Serice Video)

"Legacy"– a tribute to Chinese railroad workers of the CPRR (U.S. Forest Serice Video)

From: Dennis Hogan [Courtesy of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Internet Message List.]

The U.S. Forest service has produced an impressive documentary on the contributions of Chinese laborers in building the Central Pacific RR.

I learned quite a bit from it. How did I miss hearing about the "China Wall" in the Sierras? ...


Film: Legacy

U.S. Forest Service [Tahoe National Forest] wrote: "Over 150 years ago, Chinese Railroad Workers blasted and chiseled their way through the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains near Donner Summit on the Tahoe National Forest in California while completing the Transcontinental Railroad. Despite this monumental achievement, the Chinese Railroad Workers’ contribution was excluded, ignored and forgotten from history. Today, grassroots groups including the USDA Forest Service are working together to retell this story."


Legacy
a) "Chinese workers, Jamaica"
[Caution: NOT Central Pacific Railroad]

Legacy
b) Donner Lake

Legacy
c) China Wall

Legacy
d) China Wall

Legacy
e) China Wall

Legacy
f) China Wall

Legacy
g) Sierra Summit

Legacy
h) Summit Tunnel CPRR

Legacy
i) Chinese workers building the Loma Prieta Lumber Company's railroad, California, c. 1885
[Caution: NOT Central Pacific Railroad]

Legacy
j) Summit Tunnel CPRR

Legacy
k) Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, 1869
Joining of the Rails

Legacy
l) Continent Stereoscopic Co. Large mount stereoview #28 "Chinamen going to work in California."
[Caution: Probably NOT Central Pacific Railroad]

Legacy
m) Golden Spike 50th Anniversary Celebration:
Chinese laborers Wong Fook, Lee Chao, Ging Cui, 1919

Legacy
n) "1950 watercolor by artist Jake Lee [detail]
depicts Chinese laborers laying the transcontinental railroad track
through the Sierra Nevada mountains.
"
[Caution: NOT depicted with historical accuracy]
Images courtesy of the United States Forest Service.


Newspaper article:
Nevada County The Union:
"U.S. Forest Service honors Chinese railroad workers’ in movie."

[Additional links and captions added]

Saturday, March 13, 2021

CPRR box car plate, 1865

From: "Steven Craig Alvord" scalvord1@mindspring.com

How many of those 1865 box car plates have been found?

CPL Iron Plate

CPL Iron Plate, verso
Photo's of the front and back of the unknown.



Compare with the real deal:

CPRR Baggage Car Plate, 1865.  Courtesy of the G. J. Graves Collection.
CPRR Baggage Car Plate, 1865.
Courtesy of the G. J. Graves Collection.

Friday, March 05, 2021

"Laying the Rails to History: The Arrival of the Transcontinenal Railroad in Alameda and Oakland"

"Laying the Rails to History: The Arrival of the Transcontinenal Railroad in Alameda and Oakland" by Dennis Evanosky, © Alameda Sun, March 3, 2021. (Six part History Article)

"When A. A. Cohen moved to Alameda in 1857, he had no idea that, 12 years later, he would be riding on his train with Leland Stanford as the railroad and ferry line that he created fastened the Central Pacific’s Railroad’s final link to the West Coast. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Central Pacific - Union Pacific Map Around Great Salt Lake

From: "Gordon Rowe" growe@agutah.gov

I am doing research regarding the location of the Central Pacific and/or Union Pacific Railroad lines around the Northern extent of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Specifically, I am looking for the map of definite location that was apparently filed by the railroad with the Secretary of Interior in 1917 pursuant to the 1864 Railroad Act. However, I've had trouble finding any map of the showing where the railroad ran prior to its abandonment. ...

—Gordon Rowe, Assistant Attorney General, Utah Office of the Attorney General, Natural Resources Division


ALTCounty and Township Map of Utah and Nevada
from Mitchell's New General Atlas, 1882, detail

Friday, January 22, 2021

Portable tie treatment plant at Chestnut, California, Southern Pacific Railroad, 1895

From: "Jim Hansen" cnw902@mt.net

If you have not seen this article it describes the 1895 portable tie [wood] treatment plant at Chestnut, California.

William G. Curtis, an SP assistant general manager and John D. Isaacs patented this operation in 1895.

The USPTO only has a one page text version of the process.
See patent 545,222.

Railroad Gazette pages 80-82 and 89, .PDF scans 92,93,94 and 101, February 8, 1895.

—Jim

Friday, January 01, 2021

CPRR Discussion Group

Welcome to the CPRR Discussion Group at the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.

See HOW TO POST to the CPRR Discussion Group.

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Friday, December 11, 2020

Joshua Lionel Cohen

"Electric Trains and the Electric Flash Lamp" by Mike Johnston, © The Online Photographer, December 10, 2020. (Blog Post)

" ... In 1899, a man named Joshua Cohen invented a product for photographers called the Electric Flash Lamp ... to ignite flammable magnesium powder used as flash for lighting photographs. ... A year later, Cohen, who later spelled his name Cowen, used the profits from his invention to start another company, one that made toy trains. He named that company using his middle name: Lionel. Lionel Corporation went on to dominate the market for electric trains, becoming the largest toy manufacturer in the world in 1953. ... " [More]

Thursday, October 15, 2020

How does a steam locomotive work?

Here is a nice short video, apparently translated into English, that explains "How does a Locomotive Steam Engine Work?"

It shows a hot fire in a firebox, which can be fueled by wood, coal, or oil. That heats a boiler by piping the hot gases and smoke though water. That heats water to its boiling point, turning it into steam, and collects the steam which is piped back through the boiler and superheated under pressure. The very hot steam goes through a pipe and through valves which direct the steam alternately to one side of a cylinder and then the other to push a piston in the cylinder back and forth. The back and forth motion of the piston is converted into rotation of the wheels with the motion of a piston rod.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

What are the names of some workers of the Central Pacific Railroad?

What are the names of some workers of the Central Pacific Railroad?

Great grandfathers

Lewis Metzler Clement (1837-1914)

Civil Engineers

Locomotive engineers

CPRR locomotive engineer Arthur H. Real

Famous engineers

Chinese labor

Payrolls

CPRR payroll records

New Castle Trestle: Construction Payroll #94 (Charles Crocker, Contractor, CPRR, February, 1865)

"Payroll No. 102 dated March 1865 for Chinese workers employed during the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The [California State Railroad Museum] Library has approximately 300 payrolls for the period 1864 to 1866. The payrolls list the construction division for which the individuals worked, rates of pay and total pay received."

Chinese who laid the last rail: Ging Cui, Wong Fook, Lee Shao three of the eight Chinese men who brought up the last rail

Joining of the rails (Russell Photograph)

Ten mile day: Eight Irish workers

"Nameless Builders of the Transcontinental Railroad" by William F. Chew (see appendix) , Chapter 4

Builders of the Central Pacific Railroad

Theodore Judah

Railroad Construction

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Pricing data for railroad tickets, Los Angeles, 1880

From "DOMENICO FABRIZI" domenicofabrizi@g.ucla.edu

My name is Domenico Fabrizi and I am a UCLA Economics PhD student. I am very interested in railroads and I thought you could help me!

In particular I am looking at how railroads helped the development of Los Angeles in 1880. I am looking at pricing data for tickets in the LA area of the two main players at that time, namely Southern Pacific Railway and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Do you have tickets' price data for 1880? Do you have any idea where I can find such data? I would be interested in any piece of information that could store such data ...

I saw, for example, that you have some detailed information about fares. What I am looking for is something similar for the period 1880-1890 (at least for 1887) from Kansas (and other main US cities) to LA.

There was an interesting price war at the time that I would like to study. ...

—Dom, UCLA, Economics

Saturday, September 26, 2020

"In Memoriam Dr. Denny Anspach, MD 1934 - 2020"

"In Memoriam Dr. Denny Anspach, MD, 1934 - 2020" by California State Railroad Museum, September 25, 2020. (Obituary)

"Dr. Denny Anspach, MD, a highly esteemed member of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation Board of Directors, passed away on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at the age of 86 after a long battle with cancer. A passionate rail enthusiast, Dr. Anspach was instrumental in the vision for and creation of the California State Railroad Museum that opened in 1981. Born in Chicago in 1934, Dr. Anspach was a graduate of Stanford University medical school, a retired radiologist in Sacramento ... " [More]

[Courtesy Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Internet Message List.]

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Search boxes not working (+workaround)

HOW TO FIX: Some of the search boxes on the CPRR.org website, unfortunately, have stopped working, falsely reporting "No results found"

This is a search engine bug related to the search being of both the CPRR Museum website (at CPRR.org) and the CPRR discussion group (at discussion.cprr.net).

For example if you search for "railroad" the search box generates the following search, using a comma:
"railroad site:CPRR.org,discussion.cprr.net"
which no longer works.

WORKAROUND:
To correct the search, so that it correctly returns results, all you have to do is to change the search to:
"railroad site:CPRR.org OR site:discussion.cprr.net"
(instead of using a comma and without the quotes) and resubmit the search.


Of course, instead of railroad, use the search term(s) that you actually want to find.

What's really weird is that this new bug affects multiple search engines: DuckDuckGo, Google, and Bing.
Has the syntax for multiple site searches changed? If so, why haven't the search engines updated their handling of site search boxes so that searches will still work?

Can anyone explain what is going on, or have a better workaround???

Can anyone suggest how to modify the webpage code URL that DuckDuckGo generates for the sitesearch box,
https://duckduckgo.com/search.html?site=CPRR.org,discussion.cprr.net&prefill=Search CPRR Museum
so that it generates the correct "OR site:" syntax, instead of the broken "," syntax?

Friday, June 19, 2020

Search for a citation - "discover, open up, and make accessible the American West"

From: "Ron Tyler" rontyler@utexas.edu

I have read your article, Eastward to Promontory, on the CPRR web page, and a quotation caught my eye that has turned up in some other sources as well, such as the web page of CSU-Northridge. I have been trying to locate the phrase — "discover, open up, and make accessible the American West." — and cannot find it in the introduction to the volume you are discussing in your essay. I have read much of the article and searched on two different scans of that volume (volume one) with no luck. At least two sources credit Frank Schubert, Vanguard of Expansion, but I cannot find it in his book either. If you could please tell me where you found the quote I would be most grateful. I am working on a book and would also like to use it. ...

—Ron Tyler, Retired Professor
Museum Director. Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Western Art, Western History: Collected Essays
The Art of Texas: 250 Years

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

"Gasconade Bridge Disaster: The Immediate Aftermath"

"Gasconade Bridge Disaster: The Immediate Aftermath Nov. 1, 1855 - Nov. 5, 1855" by Ray Ham, © Hermann Advertiser Courier, June 16, 2020. (Newspaper Article)

"While commendable actions occurred in the aftermath of the Gasconade Bridge Disaster, there was also the reprehensible. In the weeks following this tragic event, newspapers reported stories of a dark nature. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Novel 'Barons' by J.E. Dyer

From: "Joshua Dyer" drumjedi76@gmail.com

I have an historical fiction novel, Barons, that follows the Associates and the construction of the First transcontinental railroad. ... It's currently available in ebook and paperback formats with an audiobook in production. ...

—Joshua (J. E.) Dyer

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Want Eder, California info & photo

From: "Thomas Viano" tviano@yahoo.com

... I'm trying to locate information on Eder, [California] located above Donner Lake between Andover and the Summit Tunnel.

I'm writing a short article. I'm trying to find out what was there and if there are any photos of it. I haven't found any, but I've only been able to look at internet sites. ...

—Thomas Viano

How did the railroad companies acquire the rights of way?

From: "Thomas Walsh" walsh405@sbcglobal.net

How did the railroad companies acquire the rights of way for their trackage? Eminent Domain? Government program? Did they survey and record their rights of way?

—Tom Walsh

Traveling from San Francisco to New York City

From: "Alexander Duncan" alexdevinduncan@msn.com

I am writing a short story. The lead character in my story is a young man who is traveling with his uncle from San Francisco to New York City.

What would this trip look like?

Is it a direct trip? If not -- what stops are made along the way?

How long did the trip take?

What did it cost? My characters are wealthy and traveled first class. ...

—Alex

Monday, March 30, 2020

"CHASE & BACHELDER'S AMERICAN MUSEUM OF ART" Poster

"Beautiful Allegory of Western Expansion"

" ... [American Expansion]: CHASE & BACHELDER'S AMERICAN MUSEUM OF ART. Nottingham, England: Stafford & Co., [n.d., but ca. 1880s]. Color woodblock poster, approximately 37 x 27 inches. ... image of westward expansion as a metaphor for inexorable American progress. The print is based on an 1872 painting by John Gast, called American Progress. Gast created the painting at the commission of the western travel guide publisher, George Crofutt, who produced a chromolithographic print of Gast's painting for subscribers to his guidebooks. This poster was likely created from Crofutt's print. The lower two-thirds of the poster consists of the allegorical scene, dominated by a lady liberty figure soaring above an expansive western landscape. Wearing flowing robes and with the star of American empire in her hair, she flies westward, holding a schoolbook in her right hand and stringing a telegraph wire with her left. A glowing sun rises in the east above a city along a river, and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains are seen in the background. Along the Plains below her we are shown wagon trains moving westward (leaving cities behind but bringing civilization with them), railroad lines, buffalo herds, retreating Indians, prospectors, hunters, a farmer with a plow, and western animals. The reason for the creation of this print is somewhat mysterious. It is undated, and was printed in Nottingham, England, publicizing an enterprise called Chase & Bachelder's American Museum of Art, which may not have actually existed. OCLC locates only a single copy of this print, at the Autry Museum. There is also a copy at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth. ... "

"OCLC 77662600. Patricia Hills, Picturing Progress in the Era of Westward Expansion in William H. Truettner (editor), The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier, 1820-1920, pp.134-36, 354. Brian W. Dippie, The Moving Finger Writes: Western Art and the Dynamics of Change in Jules David Prown, et al, Discovered Lands Invented Pasts: Transforming Visions of the American West, pp.96-97. ... "

CHASE & BACHELDER'S AMERICAN MUSEUM OF ART
CHASE & BACHELDER'S AMERICAN MUSEUM OF ART
Courtesy William Reese Company
409 Temple Street, New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 789-8081, amorder@reeseco.com
.

From their Catalogue #367, 'Broadsides & Broadsheets.'
© William Reese Company, 2020.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

"At the Throttle: Does anybody really know what time it is?"

"At the Throttle: Does anybody really know what time it is?" by Mark Bassett, © The Ely Times, March 6, 2020. (Article)

" ... with no time standards in place, the time the last spike was driven was reported in accordance with local time across the country: 12:45 p.m. at Promontory, 12:30 p.m. in Virginia City, both 11:44 and 11:46 a.m. in San Francisco, and 2:47 p.m. in Washington D.C. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Oxen

From: "Barb Weismann" barbgal@drizzle.com

... Do you have any photos of oxen being used on either end of the Transcontinental railroad? There are very few references, yet Laura Ingalls Wilder painted a picture of them [Ox] being used extensively, if I remember right, in the Silver Creek book. I have not gone back to search this book and they say she never saw this in person. I research the Alta California cattle industry. Thousands of oxen were used up to 1849 for traction. ...

—Barb Weismann

Friday, February 07, 2020

Movie memorabilia? - from Cecil B. Demille's Paramount Picture, 'Union Pacific'

From: "Brenda Williams" b.aberly@icloud.com

I inherited the below picture that is mounted on a thick cardboard. It is a Cecil B. Demille's Union Pacific picture of Driving the Golden Spike, but not one that would have been to advertise at movie theaters. I don't think. I would like to know more about it. ... it measures about 18" high x 23" wide. ... I've been very interested in your site. Good job! Very interesting. Thank you. I'm going to send a connection to the site to my daughter and daughter in law who both do home school and one of my grandchildren is doing a joint enrollment in American history, so she will find it interesting. And this picture has been sitting around our house since I got it on 2008. Fun. ...

—Brenda Williams



THE DRIVING OF THE GOLDEN SPIKE MAY 10, 1869, COMPLETED THE RAILROAD THAT HELPED TO UNIFY AMERICA. (FROM CECIL B. DEMILLE'S PARAMOUNT PICTURE, 'UNION PACIFIC')
THE DRIVING OF THE GOLDEN SPIKE MAY 10, 1869, COMPLETED THE RAILROAD THAT HELPED TO UNIFY AMERICA.
(FROM CECIL B. DEMILLE'S PARAMOUNT PICTURE, "UNION PACIFIC")

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Helen Hunt Jackson and how she caused the first tourism boom to California

Helen Hunt Jackson and how she caused the first tourism boom to California.

The television program Great American Railroad Journeys, in the Monterey to Los Angeles episode, explains who travel writer, Helen Hunt Jackson was and how she caused the first tourism boom to California.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

CSRM Completion Grotto with the Model of the Jupiter

From: "Arthur Fluter" art.fluter@gmail.com

In the [California State Railroad] Museum, just past Gov Stanford, on the far site of the grotto, the display is of a tunnel portal with the date of "1910" on the keystone.

What is the significance of this date?

One Docent said it was the start of Harriman era for the SP but doesn't seem relevant to me.

The tunnel list I could find is missing many completion dates. It looks like tunnel numbers in the high tens or low candidates but I can't tell.

Anyone know the significance of a 1910 tunnel portal? ...

—Art Fluter

Sunday, January 26, 2020

"Following the Footsteps of the Central Pacific Surveyors"

"Following the Footsteps of the Central Pacific Surveyors" by C. Barton Crattie, LS, CFS, CFM, © American Surveyor (Spatial Media, LLC), 1/25/2020. (Article)

"The Survey—it was a charmed life for the time
Anna Ferona Pierce Judah penned these words in a recollection of her husband, Theodore Dehone Judah, some 26 years after his death. ... Don’t forget Ted Judah and Abe Lincoln were both surveyors. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]



"From T.D. Judah’s Practical Plan
(January, 1857) (edited)
"

The engineer in charge of the survey goes over the country upon which it is proposed to construct a line, and carefully examines the ground with reference to the proposed location. He notes its character, water-courses, ravines, undulations of the ground, crossing points for rivers and decides the general course of the line. This done, he organizes a party, composed of what is usually termed a transit and leveling party.

The business of the transit party is to run a line over the route indicated, measuring distances with a chain, and taking courses or direction of the line by compass or goneometer (a transit with two telescopes mounted above one and the other on the same axis to enable measuring the angle twice for a check), leaving stakes every one hundred feet ... as guides for the leveling party. The results are put on paper and gives ... a correct representation of the line, showing curves, tangents, the crossing of roads, rivers, farms, townships, names of land owners and all points of interest along the line.

The leveling party follows the transit party, and runs, with the utmost accuracy, a line of levels, touching upon each stake, taking observations of the undulation of the ground. ... This plotted gives what is called a profile ...

A topographer is also furnished, whose business will be to sketch topography, taking notes of every feature presenting itself.

Another leveling party is provided for the purpose of running a test level. The consequences of an error ... on so long a line of surveys would be so annoying ...

... the Engineer ... knows that ... this will be over level, open country, offering no obstacles, and that an ordinary party, on preliminary surveys, will make three miles per day without difficulty ...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Salt Lake Division Bridge Inspection Books

From: "Michael Polk" Mpolk130@gmail.com, outlook_4960E8EAC0C346A2@outlook.com

I am an archaeologist who has been doing archaeology and historical research on the Promontory Branch of the Central Pacific for 30 years. The bridge inspection books for the Salt Lake Division are one source that is exceedingly useful, but my search for them has been limited. I found one 1920 book at a warehouse of the UP in Omaha in 1998 and was told that the remainder resided at two small warehouses, one in Mountain View, California, known as “File Safe” and another in San Francisco. This was during the time that UP was consolidating SP into their system, so I have no idea if they are still there or moved to Omaha or elsewhere and how I might access them.

Does anyone here know where the bulk of the Salt Lake Division Bridge Inspection Books may reside now? I would really appreciate any suggestions. ...

—Mike Polk

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Location of Anna Judah’s paintings?

From: "Arthur Fluter" art.fluter@gmail.com

In the books describing Theodore Judah’s route research, mention is made that Anna Judah painted landscapes to help describe the route. I think some of the paintings were exhibited in Judah’s office in Washington DC.

Is there a collection of her paintings or at least some included in the reports and publications here?

It seems like Anna’s contribution to the transcontinental Railroad are long overdue for acknowledgement and praise.

—Art Fluter, CSRM Docent, Class 66