Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What were the difficulties, obstacles, and hardships faced in building the first transcontinental railroad?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Locomotive postcard

From: "Mike Manor" manor.mands@gmail.com

I have a postcard that I believe is from the early 1930’s that I think my uncle would have purchased while he was in the CCC. It is a picture of a locomotive, engine 4126 and tender. The caption reads:

Southern Pacific Company
Mallet Type Locomotive No. 4126
120 Ft. 10 ½ In. Long
931,600 LBS. Total Weight SP180

I am trying to find out when this postcard was published and any information about it.

—Mike Manor

New Book about Eadweard Muybridge and Leland Stanford

Review of "The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures." © Mike Johnston, The Online Photographer, January 22, 2013. (Book Review)

" ... The Tycoon and the Inventor interweaves Muybridge's quest to unlock the secrets of motion through photography, an obsessive murder plot, and the peculiar partnership of an eccentric inventor and a driven entrepreneur. A tale from the great American West, this popular history unspools a story of passion, wealth, and sinister ingenuity. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why was the transcontinental railroad built?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Travel Clock

From: "Elizabeth Walker" pwpcompany@gmail.com

I have inherited a CPRR Travel Clock from my late Father - It is in a well worn (loose hinges) redddy brown leather travel case. The Watch/Clock is a 15 Jewel (2 adjustments) OCTAVA Swiss movement - engraved U.S.A.P 816321 - fully working (the winder drops out sometimes though (but pushes back in).

This is a very rare Central Pacific Railroad Travel Clock. See attached photos.

Would anyone be interested in purchasing the Clock ? ...

I don't know the provenance other than that the clock was part of my late Fathers Pocket Watch collection. He had travelled in both Canada and America so, I am not sure whether he purchased the Travel Clock on his travels or from somewhere in the UK.

The dial has CPRR printed on it (Central Pacific Railroad), it also has 8 days (8 days on one wind) and 2 red chevrons under the 12.

Engraved on the back it says - OCTAVA WATCH Co SWITZERLAND 15 FIFTEEN JEWELS 2 ADJUSTMENTS U.S.A.P 816321 (hard to photograph due to its position under the back lid hinge). There is also a number 47795 by the balance wheel. It could do with a watch maker to fix the winder in properly as it is detached, but winds and sets the hands when pushed in - The mechanism works perfectly.

I was hoping that you could give me some idea of its value as they are so rare that no-one I have asked has ever seen one coming up for sale. The watch movement itself though is worth over £100.00.

—John Walker

Travel Clock

Travel Clock

Travel Clock

Travel Clock

Travel Clock

Travel Clock

Travel Clock

Define railroad "switch" and "siding"

From: "Terry Ommen" histerry@comcast.net

Thanks for being available for railroad questions. I am writing a book on a subject that touches on two railroad terms for which I need a good description and reference. The terms are "Switch" and "Siding". My book subject matter is set in the San Joaquin Valley of California in the 1870s - 1890s and there is frequent mention of the "Cross Creek Switch" and the Cross Creek Siding". I cannot find a specific description of the Cross Creek Switch or Siding, but I imagine "Switches" and "Sidings" are common terms so I am sure there is a general description of both available. If you could direct me to a source for a good description of these two terms, with source, I would appreciate it.

—Terry L. Ommen

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chinese Workers Strike, 1867

From: "Nancy Ng Tam" ynt204@nyu.edu

... I am looking to verify the outcome of a strike against the Central Pacific Railroad by Chinese workers in 1867. Would you be able to point me to some archival/scholarly sources? Specifically, I want to verify whether the strike ended in a compromise or whether Charles Crocker ended up breaking the strike by starving out Chinese workers. ...

—Nancy Ng Tam, Archival Research Scholar, East Coast Asian American Art Project Archivist, Asian/Pacific/American Institute, New York University

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Civil War

To what extent did the building of the first transcontinental railroad linking the East and the West contribute to the wrenching apart of the North and the South?

Photographs of the Chinese construction workers on the Central Pacific Railroad

From: Mcmath512@aol.com

Are the photographs of the Chinese a permanent exhibit? Does it travel? ...


The Big Four

Monday, January 14, 2013

"Driving the workers to the point of exhaustion"

An article, Charles Crocker managed the building of the Central Pacific Railroad, in the Examiner states:

"Progress under Crocker’s considerable energy set numerous records and the project was completed seven years ahead of schedule; however, it was accomplished by driving the workers to the point of exhaustion."

Is there any factual basis for the claim about "driving the workers to the point of exhaustion"?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Sacramento "Event celebrates 150 years of first transcontinental railroad"

"Event celebrates 150 years of first transcontinental railroad: New plaque marks ground breaking in Old Sacramento" by Brian Hickey, © KCRA, January 8, 2013. (News Article and Video)

"A plaque was hung in Old Sacramento on Tuesday marking the spot where 150 years ago ground was broken on the western leg of the transcontinental railroad. The California State Railroad Museum hung the sign at the corner of Front and K streets to mark the spot where on Jan. 8, 1863, California Gov. Leland Stanford turned a ceremonial shovel of dirt, marking the start of the project. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Friday, January 04, 2013

"Railroad Museum to Commemorate Historic Date in Railroad History"

"Railroad Museum to Commemorate Historic Date in Railroad History" by Traci Rockefeller Cusack, © Sacramento Press, January 4, 2013. (News Article)

"One hundred and fifty years ago – on January 8, 1863 – California Governor Leland Stanford turned a ceremonial shovelful of earth near the intersection of Front and K Streets in what we today know as Old Sacramento. ... the California State Railroad Museum will debut a new sign ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Train Robbers - Sierra Grade

From: Stagecoachbooks@aol.com

Can you direct me to a site where I can locate archived photos of train robbers?

Can someone tell me the locomotive on the train robbed at Verdi, and are there photos from about that time? ...

—R. Michael Wilson

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

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