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Labor and Workers

View Resource Service for Side Rods
Workers servicing the side rods of a Union Pacific steam passenger locomotive

Two members of a Union Pacific crew lubricating the side-rod bearings on an intermediate drive wheel of a 4-8-2 attached to the Overland Limited at Laramine, Wyoming. The worker on the left is feeding grease cartridges into the automatic grease gun and the worker on the right is holding more cartridges. The men wear caps; the one on the left wears bib overalls and a dark shirt and the one on the...

View Resource Tehachapi Railroad Workers and Surveyors
Workers and Surveyors

Fifteen men arranged in a loose row next to the Tehachapi construction site, with the mountainside at the left. A surveyor with a transit and another with a pole stand next to a supervisor wearing "good" clothes and eyeglasses. The other men are in ragtag work clothes, and these men wear huge grins probably because of the novelty of being photographed. Completion of this route on September 8,...

View Resource Western Pacific, Tehachapi Tunnel
Tehachapai Tunnel

A construction photograph of one of the spectacular stretches of railroad construction in the United States--the first line between San Francisco and Los Angeles--finished in 1876. Nine men stand dwarfed at the entrance of the tunnel, with four men standing below. The rest of the image is taken up with tunneling debris and the vast mountainside. Even as technology advanced rapidly in the 19th...

View Resource First Braceros
First Braceros, c. 1942

Portrait of one of the first Mexican "braceros" evidently brought to California to supplement the work force during World War II. The man is leaning out a half-opened window of a passenger car on an unidentified rail line in an unidentified location. The car bears two chalked inscriptions, one reading "Braceros / Mexicanos / Mexico," and the other, "Viva M[exico]." The worker wears a badge...

View Resource Group Portrait of Braceros, 1
Group photo of braceros, photo 1

A candid, snapshot-like photograph of workers on the Southern Pacific in Oakland in 1944. The workers were Mexican Braceros "brought up" from Mexico to perform railroad work during World War II. There are six full figures, with others in background. They may be checking the track gauge.

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Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
and Trainmen

Brotherhood's Relief and Compensation Fund
California State Railroad Museum
Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Cleveland Memory Project (CSU)
Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Lake Forest College Special Collections
McLean County Museum of History
Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive
Norfolk Southern Corporation
North American Railway Foundation
New York Transit Museum
Oakland Museum of California
Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

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