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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 century, brute labor was required to accomplish many seemingly insurmountable tasks such as tunneling through solid rock on a mountainside. The work was not random; a surveyor stands on the right, making sure of levels. Photographing men in drab work clothes against a drab mountainside results in a monochromatic image that requires close viewing to interpret.
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
Collection Oakland Museum of California, Gift of Mrs. Paul R. Day
Image ID H4362.61
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