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Trains and Locomotives

Trains, engineers, railroad workers, passengers, depots, and spectacular tracks and bridges - these photos of steam and diesel powered transportation are from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Since the invention of the first steam train in 1804, trains have created massive cultural changes: They have changed the way we travel, the work we do, and even the food we eat. They are also a romantic and beautiful way to travel. But more than the fascination that trains hold for us, there are some practical changes that the railroads have created in our lexicon and daily life.

Consider these early facts about trains:

  • The term "horsepower" was created in the late 1700's as a way to market locomotives. Although the measurement is questionable, marketing how many horses were replaced by one locomotive made an impression on the public.

  • The first steam engine in the US was beaten by a horse drawn train in a race - but not because the horses were faster. It was because the engine broke down part way through the race - a belt broke - and the horse drawn train crossed the finish line.

  • The death of a President promoted train travel: After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, his body traveled by train to Illinois with a Pullman car as part of the cortege. Then Mary Lincoln traveled the same route in a Pullman car loaned to her. Front page news of the tour with pictures of the Pullman car popularized the comfort of train travel. After the death of George Pullman, the creator of the Pullman car, Lincoln's eldest son became head of the Pullman Palace Car Company.

  • Even the creation of travel agencies owe their start to trains: An English Baptist minister arranged for travel - by train - and meals for 504 of his parishioners to a temperance meeting in 1873. The trip was successful so he expanded operations throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States. The travel agency Thomas Cook and Son was born. They still publish an international train timetable.

  • Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific Time owe their start to trains: The use of innumerable local times wreaked havoc on train schedules. In 1883, leaders of the major railroads met at the General Time Convention and decided on 4 time zones in the U.S. - Great Britain had already created a unified time 36 years earlier. On November 18th, the time zones were established and used but it took another 35 years for Congress to make them law - along with Daylight Savings Time.

These are the photos of locomotives, railways, railroad workers, and passengers from the beginning of the railroad industry through the 20th century.

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Taken in Oshkosh, Winnebago County, WI .
My grandmother, Fern Tackman (noted by the "X"), and some girlfriends
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Shared on May 5, 2013 by
Taken in USA.
Earl Scott Ekleberry in front of train he operated.
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Shared on Apr 17, 2012 by
Taken in Marion Ohio, Marion County, OH USA in .
My grandfather James Henry Eager 1883-1962. Worked for the Erie Railroad from... more
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Shared on Jan 13, 2012 by
A photo of Alexander Mitchell Palmer getting on a train.
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Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg,... more
Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
Taken in Richmond, VA United States of America in .
This photo of a damaged locomotive was taken in 1865 in Richmond Virginia. I... more
Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
Taken in .
A photo of a 1922 railroad wreck
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Taken in .
A photo of the Lackawanna and Western Railroad.
Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
Taken in .
A photo of William Henry Jackson seated at table. Probably in Delaware,... more
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Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
Taken in .
My grandfather, James Henry Eager sometime before 1954 - Marion, Ohio - Erie... more
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Shared on Apr 13 by
A photo of a group of unknown individuals
Shared on Jan 6 by
Taken in .
A photo of Phineas Gage in 1850, holding the tamping iron that caused his... more
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Shared on Oct 19, 2017 by
Taken at Pikes Peak, CO on .
A photo of Walter Powell at Pike's Peak - Train trip with group of people to... more
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Shared on Apr 20, 2017 by
Taken in SD in .
A photo of Grandpa Pierre Elmer Weyer. He was working on the railroad during... more
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Shared on Apr 13, 2017 by
A photo of Colonel William Crooks with his namesake steam locomotive
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Shared on Apr 21, 2016 by
Taken in .
A photo of Louis Joseph Brice ... près de sa locomotive fin XIX (conducteur... more
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Shared on Oct 24, 2015 by
A photo of Richard B Crippen on a train.
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Shared on Oct 12, 2015 by
Taken in .
A photo of the train station for the train that took vacationers to Mineral... more
Shared on Aug 27, 2015 by
Taken in MO USA in .
A photo of Railroadmen in Missouri, USA. The first man from the right side... more
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Shared on Jan 1, 2015 by
A photo of Raymond A Stamm & Edith Peggy Batson: My grandma Peggy with my... more
Shared on Nov 21, 2014 by
An old railroad photo of a group of men. This photo has been in the family... more
Shared on Nov 13, 2014 by
Taken in Ca USA .
Frank Risor mined for Silver in the California mountains 1890's
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Shared on Feb 12, 2014 by