#397 – Library of Congress Images – Logging train


Although huge swathes of Britain were once forested, much of this was cleared in mediaeval times and before for use as fuel and construction materials (for buildings and ships). So by the time the steam railway came along, there wasn’t much left and there was no requirement for railway haulage out of the forests.

However, given the enormous size of America, and the development of the country happening at the same time as the development of the railway, it was inevitable that railways would be used for applications such as hauling heavy lumber.

As forested areas tended to be hilly, specialised geared locomotives such as the Shay type were developed,  however conventional 4-6-0 types were also used for flatter areas. Additionally, there were a number of railway companies that were dedicated to hauling lumber, either to railheads or to mills.

A good introduction to the subject can be found here http://www.american-rails.com/logging-railroads.html, and Wikipedia has some good links http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_railway.

Some interesting videos on YouTube as well, this is a good place to start http://youtu.be/_haZIk4GXzI.


#395 – Upcoming talks in March – Huddersfield and Batley

A bit of early warning that I will be presenting my Mechanical Landscapes talk on the follwoing dates:

Tuesday 10th March – Batley Camera Club

Wednesday 18th March – Huddersfield Photo Imaging Club.

I have no more talks scheduled currently, but will consider all offers. My preference is within a 6o minute drive from Chorley. This is due to me being in full time employment, and I travel to venues after a full day at work, but please contact me anyway to see if we can come to an arrangement.



EDIT – I wrote and scheduled this a few weeks ago, and since then have been booked for talks at Burnley, Atherton and Pernrith for 2015 / 2016, but I am always open to approaches for talks at camera clubs and other interested organisations for 2015 and beyond.

#394 – Photographs from Helmshore Exhibition!

DSC_5655Finally – a few snaps from my Shadows of the North exhibition at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum. It’s not the biggest exhibition you’ll see, and on reflection it would have been nice to have had an extra display board to space things out a bit but they only own two. I’m working on bringing it to a couple of more venues in the next 12-18 months which will be great if they come to fruition!

The exhibition will be on until 1st March.












#393 – Shadows of the North Exhibition at Helmshore Textile Museum opens Monday!


The pictures have been delivered to the museum and are now on the wall, and everything is ready to go!

The exhibition will run over the Lancashire half term period, and opens Monday 16th February. It is located in the room between the two mills (rather than the giant exhibiton space on the top floor – I could never fill that!!).

I am hoping to be at the mill on Saturday 21st with a little muscial accompaniment from my friend Graham Dixon of the Lancashire Folk Band ‘Trouble at’ Mill”. Mercifully, I will not be singing but I will be hanging around and am happy to talk about the pictures, websites or anything else!



#392 – Library of Congress Images – River Steamers

Harbor Springs, Mich., Str. North Land at dock


Harbor Springs, Mich., Str. North Land at dock

Large river steamers were not unique to America, big Paddle Steamers carried day trippers on British rivers too. Steamers such as the PS Waverley were once a common site on the Clyde, Bristol Channel, and around Britain’s coasts.

And, like America, by the 1960’s, their days of service were coming to an end. Their heyday was without doubt the first half of the century, with many ships being built in the early 1900’s. One of the things I’ve noticed about the American variety was their large size although the larger steamers such as the North Land were built for the Great Lakes which are to all intents and purposes an inland sea. Designed primarily for long trips to or across the Great Lakes, the ships were quite luxuriously appointed as can be seen from the interior of one of the few remaining steamers SS Keewatin, which was actually built in Scotland.











Boat landing, Kingston Point, N.Y


Boat landing, Kingston Point, N.Y.






Board of Commerce excursion, City of Cleveland, Detroit, Mich


Board of Commerce excursion, City of Cleveland, Detroit, Mich



Steamer North Land at dock, Mackinac Island, Mich


Steamer North Land at dock, Mackinac Island, Mich




Steamer Monitou at dock, Mackinac Island, Mich


Steamer Manitou at dock, Mackinac Island, Mich.



Steamboat landing, Vicksburg, Miss


Steamboat landing, Vicksburg, Miss.






S.S. Northland [sic] at Harbor Springs, Mich


S.S. Northland [sic] at Harbor Springs, Mich.

River front from the Brooklyn Bridge, New York, N.Y

River front from the Brooklyn Bridge, New York, N.Y.

#391 – Library of Congress Images – Switching (shunting) locomotive



This image was simply titled Bethlehem Steel in the Library of Congress archive, and had no supporting information other than it was published in the period 1910-1920.

Interestingly, the engine has written Washington Terminal on the tender, which is confusing given the title of the picture. Wikipedia tells me that the Washington Terminal company provided shunting (or switching in American parlance) services for railways operating into the Washington Terminal railway station. This photo has also been posted on shorpy.com, where someone has commented that it rather Bethlehem Steel being the location, it is probably the turntable that is the product of Bethlehem Steel.

While clearly a staged photograph, it is an interesting one nonetheless. If you look closely at the 100% crop, you will notice that one of the crew is wearing a bow tie – surely this wasn’t regular attire for footplate crew on the railway?!?!!terminalJPG