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HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Frederick Gutekunst: Scenery on the Pennsylvania Rail-Road (ca 1875)

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Frederick Gutekunst
Scenery on the Pennsylvania Rail-Road
(ca 1875)

Album of photographs documenting the Philadelphia, Middle, and Pittsburgh divisions of the Pennsylvania Railroad, incorporated in 1846. The consolidated company sought to build a trunk route from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh through the Allegheny mountains in order to compete with the Erie Canal for freight traffic. In 1854, rail passage through the Alleghenies via the "Horse Shoe Curve" was achieved and spurred the establishment and growth of the several towns depicted along the route.
Photographs include railroad tracks, locomotives and railcars, railroad equipment, bridges, tunnels, rock formations, mountains, passes, mills, furnaces, coal and steel works, hotels, Victorian-style residences, wooden dwellings and sheds, canal houses and canals, telegraph poles, townscape, farmsteads, marshland, rivers, and wooden fences. Several images, particularly views of stations, also depict posed figures, including an African American man at the Haverford College Station (No. 140). Details in other photographs include rail tracks with a water trough (No. 7); amateurishly hand-painted advertising text on a wood fence (No. 36); the "Exchange Hotel" near the Allegheny Tunnel in Galitzen (No. 61); men seated on the cow catcher of a partially visible locomotive at the grade on the Tyrone and Clearfield (No. 84); a gazebo-style pavilion at Bedford Springs (No. 199); oil tanks and drums (No. 123); the Pennsylvania Gas Coal Co. Office, a pedestrian bridge crossing over a creek, and the “Tom Smith Peanut Man” shed near Irwin Station (No. 138); the “Columbia” barge (No. 147); a "Water-Line of Boston" sailing vessel at the terminus at Delaware City (No. 151); the Martin Landenburger mill in Landenburg (No. 158); and the greenhouse attached to the residence on the Louella estate in Wayne (No. 162).
Gutekunst, a prominent Philadelphia photographer, published a series of Pennsylvania Railroad views stereographs in 1875. 



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