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Erie Railroad Collection

Creator:
Erie Railroad Company  Search this
Olevsky, Walter  Search this
Donor:
ConRail  Search this
Collector:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Work and Industry  Search this
Extent:
57 Cubic feet (60 boxes, 97 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Blueprints
Mechanical drawings
Tracings
Glass negatives
Photographs
Drawings
Date:
circa 1880-1980
Scope and Contents:
Collection consists of six hundred sixty-eight (668) glass negatives relating to the Erie Railroad. Subjects include stations, train cars, railroad employees, employees' recreational activities, ferries, construction, street scenes, and resort hotels; drawings of structures built by the various railroads which, at the time of the donation, constituted the Consolidated Rail Corporation. Included are linen tracings, blueprints, and mechanical copies; and two cubic feet of photoprints made from negatives in the Erie Railroad Collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into seven series. Series 1: Photographs

Series 2: Glass Plate Negatives Series 3: Lists Series 4: Subject Files Series 5: Specifications for Bridges, Buildings and Terminals Series 6: Drawings Series 7: Bridge Notebooks
Biographical / Historical:
The Erie Railroad was founded in 1832 by large group of investors from the Southern Tier Counties of New York. Among these investors, businessman Eleazar Lord had been among the originators and later became the first president of the company. The railroad's construction took place from 1832 to 1851 with a seven-year pause between 1842 and 1849.

At the time of its completion, the Erie Railroad was the largest railway system in the United States, both in length, 446 miles, and in gauge, six feet. Thanks to its tracks span from New Jersey to Illinois and itsabove-average gauge, it could transport larger cargo.

Throughout its history the company underwent numerous bankruptcies and merged with several companies. The first merger was in 1960 with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad creating the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. The second was in 1976 when the once-again bankrupt company merged with five other lines to create Conrail.

Source

Allegany County Historical Society, Andover, New York

https://www.alleganyhistory.org/culture/transportation/railroads/erie-railroad/1060-the-erie-railroad (Last accessed on Decemeber 3, 2019)
Provenance:
Originally collected by the National Museum of American History's Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering's reference collection.

In 1978, 668 glass plate negatives documenting Erie railroad stations were purchaed from Walter Olevsky; in 1987 drawings of structures built by the various railroads which, at the time of the donation, constituted the Consolidated Rail Corporation were donated; and in 2007, two cubic feet of photoprints and nine cubic feet of archival records were transferred from the Division of Work and Industry to the Archives Center.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Railroads -- Buildings and structures  Search this
Railroads -- Employees  Search this
Railroads -- Rolling-stock  Search this
Railroad tracksdrawings  Search this
Railroad stations -- United States  Search this
Railroads -- 20th century  Search this
Railroads -- 19th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Blueprints
Mechanical drawings
Tracings
Glass negatives
Photographs -- 19th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Drawings
Citation:
Erie Railroad Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1082
See more items in:
Erie Railroad Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep867520079-bbe3-4fbe-9b75-cf3ba7872c37
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1082
Online Media:

Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Photographs

Creator:
Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway  Search this
Collector:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of History of Technology  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Work and Industry  Search this
Donor:
Rehor, John A.  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (6 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Place:
Ohio
West Virginia
Date:
1925-1942.
Scope and Contents:
Over nine hundred official company photographs documenting the history of the railroad. Subjects include trains, locomotives and cars; employees and employee gatherings and events; structures such as stations, track, bridges, crossings, towers, coaling stations.
Arrangement:
Divided into 2 series: Series 1, Negatives and Series 2, Prints.
Biographical / Historical:
Founded in 1871, the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway was built to haul coal from southeastern Ohio mines to the Lake Erie ports of Huron and Toledo. After World War II, WLE had several owners, the Nickel Plate, then the Norfolk & Western,and later, the Norfolk & Western and Southern (NS) merged. The WLE was dissolved in 1989 but was revived in 1990 by new investors.
Provenance:
Donated to the Museum's Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering in 1981 by John A. Roher.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Railroads -- Rolling-stock  Search this
Railroad stations -- United States  Search this
Railroad tracks  Search this
Railroad companies  Search this
Railroads  Search this
Railroads -- Buildings and structures  Search this
Railroads -- Employees  Search this
Locomotives  Search this
Railroad bridges  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1900-1950
Black-and-white negatives
Citation:
Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Photographs, 1905-1942, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1075
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep875f1f0ce-0a3e-4a41-9e12-6468abbd9ef4
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1075

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Negatives

Creator:
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company.  Search this
Former owner:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Work and Industry  Search this
Names:
Modjeski, Ralph, 1861-1940  Search this
Extent:
2.33 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1890-1915, undated.
Summary:
The photographic images in this collection are largely of railway bridge construction and other properties owned by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company at the turn of the twentieth century. Images are of two distinct projects (mostly construction) taken in and around the St. Louis, Missouri area (1890-1900): of a bridge project (name and location unknown) spanning 1902-1903; and of the construction of the Metropolis Bridge (that crosses the Ohio River at Metropolis, Illinois, about 12 miles south of Paducah, Kentucky) between 1914-1915. For the latter project Ralph Modjeski originally served as consultant engineer and then as chief civil engineer of construction. There are also negatives of unidentified bridge construction.
Scope and Contents:
The collection includes approximately 230 glass plate negatives depicting railway bridge construction; 41 negatives, dated 1890 to 1894, depicting construction and railroad facilities in St. Louis, Missouri (including the Mound Street Viaduct and the buildings at the corner of Main and Brooklyn Streets); and 36 negatives showing construction work at the Metropolis (Illinois) Bridge from 1914-1915.

Court testimony in an accidental injury claim (Kersten vs. Hines, no. 21593) indicates these sites are located in St. Louis, Missouri, and were at the time owned by the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis. The envelope containing these negatives marks them as the property of F.H. Cramer, Bridge Engineer with the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad.

Negatives in Subseries 3 are themselves undated. The containing envelope indicates the photos depict construction work at the Metropolis Bridge by Carter H. Harrison Jr., 1914-1915.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series.

Series 1, Photographic negatives, 1890-1915, undated
Biographical/Historical note:
In the later part of the 1800s and throughout the Progressive Era, the United States experienced a great expansion of its railroad industry, which resulted in many partnerships, mergers, and changes in leadership. Among railroad companies that became a dominant force in the industry was the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company (originally the Aurora Branch Railroad), which was purchased in 1901 by James Jerome Hill. Hill, a businessman and resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, also owned the Great Northern Railway and other entities. Hill's other business interests included mining, timber, land, and livestock--all industries with ties to the transportation industry, and particularly to railroads as the country became more reliant upon this mode of transportation. Hill was noted for his business acumen and competition with other wealthy men and families of the time--J.P. Morgan, the Rockefellers, and E.H. Harriman of the Union Pacific--who eventually pooled their resources to form the Northern Securities Company.

Northern Securities Company was a holding company, set up to hold a controlling part of the stock of other companies, essentially to control four big railroads of the Northwest. During a period of much labor unrest and migration to the country's Midwestern and Northwestern regions, people were left at the mercy of one big conglomerate that had a stronghold on the industry. It is important to note that the Northwestern Securities Company (at President Theodore Roosevelt's request) was sued by the United States government through invocation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

In March of 1904, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 5 to 4, ruled in favor of the United States and ordered the Northern Securities Company dissolved (Northern Securities Company vs. United States 193 U.S. 197). While the images in this collection are not known to be tied to the court case, they do provide details of many construction projects that are significant to the railroad expansion occurring at that time. The bulk of the collection focuses on railway bridge construction. Also included are photos of the Metropolis Bridge in Metropolis, Illinois, which was overseen in part by Ralph Modjeski. Modjeski was a lauded civil engineer who wrote the engineering manual Standard Designs for Steel Bridges for the Northern Pacific Railway Company. Additionally, the collection includes earlier photographic negatives showing construction from 1890 to 1894 of the Mound Street Viaduct and buildings at the corner of the Main and Brooklyn Streets in St. Louis, Missouri.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, subject category Railroads (AC0060)

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Records, circa 1826-1943, 1951 (AC1086)

Wilbur L. Metz Collection of Railroad Ephemera, 1910-1986 (AC1172)

Northern Pacific Railway Photoprints, 1880-1945 (AC1067)

Wheeling and Lake Erie Photographs, 1925-1942 (AC1075)

Materials at Other Organizations

The Newberry Library

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, 1820-1999

Minnesota Historical Society

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company Corporate records, 1855-1983 (bulk 1901-1970)
Provenance:
Originally collected by the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (now called the Division of Work and Industry). Exact date and source of acquisition unknown.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Topic:
Bridges  Search this
Railroad companies  Search this
Railroad bridges  Search this
Railroads -- Buildings and structures  Search this
Railroad tracks  Search this
Railroads -- Rolling-stock  Search this
Railroads -- Employees  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 19th century
Citation:
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Negatives, 1890-1915, undated, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1080
See more items in:
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Negatives
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep89f5a4fae-ffed-4d61-bda0-3441f633f5fa
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1080
Online Media:

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