Monday, April 29, 2013

R.I.P. "Hasselblad puts an end to its V line of cameras."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Identify manufacturer of modern CF&I rail

From: "Joanne C. Tactikos"

I wonder if you can provide any information about the manufacturer of these rails (see attached photo). ...

Joanne C. Tactikos, Ph.D., Tempe, Arizona
Project Director | Senior Lithic Analyst
Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd. (ACS)

CF&I rail
902RA-ACC CF&I 1954 rail

Monday, April 22, 2013

What were the benefits and drawbacks of the railroad?

Who did the CPRR get to be their main group of workers?

Exact location where the Golden Spike was driven - Original Junction CPRR/UPRR

From: "Jim Reisdorff"

Can anyone explain to me where the exact site of the Golden Spike was located in relation to the obelisk-shaped monument at Promontory Summit?

Explanation: Prior to abandonment in 1942 of the Promontory Branch between Corinne and Lucin, Utah, there appears to have been a main track and a side track that ran past the concrete obelisk marker at Promontory Summit which designated the site of the driving of the Golden Spike.

The two tracks through Promontory were on a roughly north-south alignment, with the obelisk situated on the east side of the two tracks. Was the side track the one closest to the monument? Or was it the main track? And which of these two tracks was actually the one where the Golden Spike had been "driven" on May 10, 1869?

On September 8, 1942, when Utah residents held a ceremony at Promontory to "un-drive" the last spike before the tracks were torn up, the ceremony was held on the second track over from the obelisk. Yet, starting in 1952, when local volunteers began holding annual re-enactments of the driving of the Golden Spike, the re-enactments were always held on the site of what had been the track immediately next to the obelisk.

So again, was the actual site of the Golden Spike located on the main track or a side track at Promontory? ...

—Jim Reisdorff, David City, Nebraska

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Emigrant Gap depot closure date?

From: "Carol Guida"

I was wondering if you know when the Train Depot and Telegraph Office at Emigrant Gap closed? I own the old Emigrant Gap Hotel (Annex) and would like to add that information to our historical data for the town.

—Carol Guida

Monday, April 15, 2013

Train trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco in 1923

From: "Madge Walls"

I’m writing a novel that involves a train trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco in 1923.

I’m wondering if a person would get aboard in Philadelphia or need to take a commuter run to New York City to commence the cross country journey?

If departing from Philadelphia, what station would they have departed from back then? ...

Madge Walls, Novelist from Hawaii, currently in Oregon

Monday, April 08, 2013

CPRR lawyer, John Henry Lucas, Elko, Nevada

From: "John Humbert"

Attached is a photograph of John Henry Lucas, who was a lawyer for the CPRR in Elko, NV during the 1860's - 1870's.

He was elected as a judge (magistrate) in Elko, later moved to Tombstone, Arizona. where he played a part in some famous history there. ...

He was my greatgrandfather. My grandmother was born in Elko.

—John Humbert



Golden Spike Hotel

From: "Aaron Nelson"

I saw your website and thought that you would be interested in The Golden Spike/Houghton Digital Library – Historical Artifacts of Houghton Family.

My grandmothers side of the family owned the land and hotel where the Golden Spike was driven. Here are some very rare pictures and histories of this area. Everyone from Presidents of the United States to famous writers (Tennessee Williams and Robert Louis Stephenson) stayed at the Houghton Hotel.

Anyway, I just thought you might be interested. The best part of the piece, in my opinion, is the personal history from my grandma. She talks about Promontory during World War I and the Great Depression era. It's truly fascinating.

Aaron Nelson

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Southern Pacific Locomotive #2584

From: "Chris Graves"

I recently acquired the builders plate for an SP locomotive, #2584. This locomotive was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in March, 1906; the Baldwin number is 27710. With the plate are color copies of the Baldwin shops building specs and class.

As interesting as that is, yesterday I was called re: SPRR Conductors diaries, which show locomotive numbers, car numbers as well as a description of goods in the cars. And, by golly, in August, 1906, here is locomotive number 2584 taking cars between Rocklin and Truckee.

The original Baldwin specs show 2584 to be a coal burner, however an undated photo of the locomotive in Truckee appears to show an oil tender.

My question, my wise friends, is this: When and where was #2584 scrapped? ...

—G J Chris Graves, Newcastle, Calif.

Friday, April 05, 2013

The connection between the transcontinental rail route and the slavery issue

"Whither A Transcontinental Railroad?" © Andrea Downing, April 2, 2013. (Blog post)

" ... the connection between the transcontinental rail route and the slavery issue ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Thursday, April 04, 2013

"Union Pacific donates $500,000 to Lincoln Presidential Library"

"Union Pacific donates $500,000 to Lincoln Presidential Library" by Chris Dettro, © The State Journal-Register, April 4, 2013. (News Article)

"Union Pacific Corp., the railroad Abraham Lincoln helped create, is donating a half-million dollars to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Golden Spike at the Stanford University Cantor Arts Center

"Stanford's Cantor Arts Center partners with the Google Art Project, an international online art gallery: More than 100 high-resolution images from the Cantor are now available for in-depth research and examination." by ROBIN WANDER, © Stanford Report, April 3, 2013. (Article)

" ... History is also represented in the Cantor images. A golden spike, also knows as The Last Spike, dated 1869 and forged at the William T. Garrett Foundry in San Francisco, is the ceremonial spike linking the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads. ... it is difficult to read the elegant but faint engraving (May God continue the unity of our Country, as this Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world) without the aid of Google's zoom feature. Another bit of California and Stanford history submitted to the project is a sweet 6-by-5-inch daguerreotype of Jane Stanford as a very young girl with her mother, father and brother. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Monday, April 01, 2013

How many locomotives, freight trains, industries? ...

From: "Robert Selberg",

At any one time how many 70 ton loco's were used on the line and on average how many freight trains ran in either direction? How many industries were served and what type?


CPRR Wood Token

From: "Roger Holmes"

A dealer from a local coin shop contacted me about this which they had gotten in wondering if I knew what it was ... no clue. Would you have any idea and if so, its value? It is about the size of a quarter. ...

—Roger Holmes

CPRR Wood Token
CPRR Wood Token

"Wi-Fi 'as free as air'"

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