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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, 1876, marks the joining of Los Angeles to the San Joaquin Valley and San Francisco, a full seven years after the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. The difficult terrain accounted for this prolonged construction period. While the composition is routine, the reaction of the "professionals" compared to the reaction of the "workers" demonstrates the difference between those accustomed to having their pictures taken and those who were not. The surveyors and crew boss seem rather nonchalant but the workers seem pleased about being recognized for their labor and glad to be photographed.
Source Oakland Museum of California
Coverage Spatial, Tehachapi Loop, California; temporal, c. 1875
Rights Oakland Museum of California
Date Created c1875
Resource Type
Extent Not available.
Depicted Railroad
Location Tehachapi Loop, California
Image Type Construction workers in landscape
Collection Oakland Museum of California, Gift of Mrs. Paul R. Day
Image ID H4362.59
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