Friday, December 30, 2011

Correction: David Porter Mansion in San Francisco

From: "Thomas Carey"

I love your site, and find it very helpful when responding to our [library] patrons. I wanted to point out a small error (and, a common one) in the key to the large Muybridge photograph.

General (Commodore?) David Porter never owned this mansion; David Porter, a San Francisco liquor merchant, did. See a few lines on Porter here, left page, bottom.

Again, thanks for your good work, and for making your collections available to us "out there."

Tom Carey
Librarian, San Francisco History Center
San Francisco Public Library

"Rocklin once had its own Chinatown"

"Rocklin once had its own Chinatown" by Gary Day, © Placer Herald, 12/21/11. (Article)

" ... By 1870, U.S. Census records show that 21 of the railroad’s 14,000 Chinese construction workers had settled in Rocklin [California]. In 1876, Rocklin’s Chinatown consisted of 25 shanties located northwest of Rocklin’s railroad roundhouse at the corner of Granite Street (now Rocklin Road) and Front Street. Some Chinese grew and sold vegetables ... Some worked at the roundhouse, while others worked as domestics ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"The Iron Horse," a classic 1924 John Ford silent film

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Old brass railroad keys

From: "Michael Orange"

I wanted to see if you had a place to put a link. is a site for buying and selling vintage railroad antiques. ...


First locomotive over Donner Summit

From: "Bill Oudegeest"

I am doing an article about the first locomotive over Donner Summit and would like to know if anyone knows where I can find a picture of the Baldwin locomotive, the San Mateo or a picture of a like locomotive. ...

—Bill Oudegeest

Friday, December 23, 2011

CP snowplow #9

From: "Kyle Wyatt"

I tripped across this drawing of Central Pacific snowplow #9 on line, from a French book from 1907 [on the subject of railroad engineering, Exploitation Technique des Chemins de Fer by Louis Galine, Paris, Vve C. Dunod] – matched the drawing to an original CP drawing in the CSRM collection. I added the feet and inches conversions of the French metric.

The book link is here, drawing on page 666 (680 in the PDF).

This is a good source for old books on railroading:

—Kyle K Wyatt

Snowplow CP #9 - Exploitation Technique des Chemins de Fer, Galine, 1907, p.666
Snowplow CP #9 - Exploitation Technique des Chemins de Fer, Galine, 1907, p.666

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Little workshop produces a Leviathan"

"Little workshop produces a Leviathan" by Dave Gathman, © Courier News, December 20, 2011. (News Article)

" ... earth-moving contractor Dave Kloke decided to combine his ironworking ability with his longtime fascination for Abraham Lincoln. So he began to build an almost-exact copy of an 1860s locomotive named the Leviathan ... Forty-five feet long and weighing 88,000 pounds (including its bright-red fuel-and water-carrying tender), this is “Leviathan 63,” a reproduction of a Central Pacific Railroad locomotive of the same name that was built in 1868. The Leviathan was a sister of the historic steam engine Jupiter ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Transportation History of the Transcontinental Railroad"

"Transportation History of the Transcontinental Railroad" by Freight Capital. (Article)

"Before the Transcontinental Railroad system was built, it cost $1,000 to travel from one end of the country to the other. Compared to 2002 U.S. dollars, the value of that would be $19,380. After the railroad was built, that would drop to $100, or $1,940. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DVD: "The Hidden Wonder of the World"

"The Hidden Wonder of the World." Produced by Bill George, Nimbus Films, 2011. (American train Video Reviews evaluation of 35 minute Video DVD)

" ... the level of cinematography is very high quality. Fantastic aerial photography gives some spectacular overviews of different areas. From the Sacramento cityscape, to the wilds of the Sierra Nevada Mountains ... Chris Graves is a Transcontinental historian. Knowledgeable and congenial, he acts as a guide. Mr. Graves knows the former railroad well. We will walk the old roadbed with him, and Bill George. Together, they explore some sections of the original roadbed, and tunnels, on the former Central Pacific Railroad. ... " [More]

DVD is $15.95 from Nimbus Films, 4520 Shari Way, Granite Bay, CA 95746.

[Courtesy G. J. "Chris" Graves.]

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Pacific Railroad Surveys" - Stabilization/Restoration

From: "Craig Kent"

I am seeking information about stabilization/restoration of the map volume for the Pacific Railroad Surveys.

I have collected a complete Congress set (as well as a few Senate volumes) of the Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Volumes I-XII.

Some of the volumes are in very good shape others are not. Unfortunately, the volume in worst condition is the map volume.

I know very little about manuscript conservation/restoration and am trying to understand if the map volume can be stabilized/restored and what cost might be involved.

Many of the maps are brittle and torn; all are suffering from the poor paper used. I have read that deacidification is at least one step required.

While I am sure an accurate assessment would require examination of the manuscript, I would appreciate it if there is any advice or references you can offer to companies or persons who can competently do stabilization/restoration work on this volume it would be appreciated.

—Craig Kent

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Grandpa Thomas Flinders

From: "Launa Herrmann"

I have a question I do not know how to find out if this is true, or where I might find lists of people that worked on the rail.

Did they take the rail through the lake or do they mean that the rail went from Wyoming to Salt Lake?

Below you see what was written about my grandfather, now I would like to know if this is really how it worked.

Dad left for Green River, Wyoming to work with the Rail Road. He wrote he wanted her to marry her while he was still 23 years old. He worked on the Rail Road from Wyoming through the Great Salt Lake to Tooele. Carrie's father said Tom Flinders walked through the lake just for Carrie.

When it was written I am not sure it is just in the family story I would think most likely 50 plus years ago or more. Grandpa is Thomas Flinders born 17 Dec 1878 in England died 31 Jan 1947 in Salt Lake City. He married in 1901 so he must of worked like 1899 or 1900 because he didn't work the railroad after they were married. They said he walked through the lake as is written below. It seemed to me at one time a rr did go through the Great SL, would this of been what they ment that he worked on that. I'm sorry I do not know more about the rr. I would love any thing about what he did or when or where I could find more information about his life at this time.

Is there anyplace to find list of workers, what they did, etc.?

Thank you for any direction you can give me.

—Launa Herrmann

Monday, December 12, 2011

CPRR Shareholders

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Land Grants: "Huge swath of Nevada desert targeted for minerals"

"Huge swath of Nevada desert targeted for minerals" by MARTIN GRIFFITH, © Associated Press, 12/10/2011. (News Article)

"A huge swath of northern Nevada high desert, a non-contiguous stretch about the size of Rhode Island ... purchased 483,000 acres of land, as well as mineral rights to another 800,000 acres, for $31 million from Pico Holdings Inc. of La Jolla, Calif. With 85 percent of Nevada owned by the government, the 1.28 million acres—stretching along Interstate 80 from Reno to the Utah line—involved in the transaction represents 12 percent of privately-owned land in the state ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Sunday, December 04, 2011

USGS Contour Maps


Can I get a topographic map of the first transcontinental railroad with latitude and longitude marks?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Union Pacific Railroad’s 150th anniversary, 2012

Thursday, December 01, 2011

CPRR Discussion Group

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