From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Railroad Building, 1875

Old engraving


I found this image of railroad building in America, Our Country by Smith Burnham and Theodore H. Jack, published by the John C. Winston Company of Philadelphia in 1934. I searched but couldn't find any copyright renewal for this title, so I decided the image was in the public domain now (as well as already being in the public domain when included in this book.)

(Large image: 736 KB)

After doing all that research on the copyright, I drug the picture into a Google image search and learned that there's a zillion copies of it on the internet already. I should have googled it first!

Originally, the image was a wood engraving by Alfred Rudolph Waud (1828-1891,) printed in Harpers Weekly on July 17, 1875. Images like this helped eastern readers imagine the West and the challenge of railroad building.

The Library of Congress describes the scene as a "...large work crew laying tracks for railroad, several covered wagons and other carts and wagons, work camp in the distance, and some soldiers and Natives resting in the foreground." My husband says that if anyone lived in those house-cars, it was the bosses.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.