The F.R. Ritzman collection comprises about 8,700 B&W negatives (116, postcard, 4×5, and 5×7 sizes) of the C&NW, Milwaukee Road, and CB&Q (plus a small number of other roads) in the upper Midwest, spanning from the 1920s to 1972. Floyd Ritzman (1885-1975) lived in DeKalb, Illinois and focused his attention on structures and right-of-way scenes, but also photographed equipment and train operations in the steam and diesel eras. This collection has a robust metadata database that includes railroad, location, subject matter, and date. Ritzman kept a detailed diary which was used to add additional information to many images. Status: complete.
Wauwatosa-native Edward P. Wilkommen (1930-2017) had a lifelong interest in railroads throughout the U.S. and was very active in the railfan world, serving as a director of the Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers, president of the Milwaukee Road Historical Association, and was long active in the NRHS’s Iowa and Wisconsin Chapters. He photographed a wide variety of subjects: steam and diesel locomotives, interurbans and streetcars, many railfan trips, and 1960s-era freight cars. His favorite railroad was the Milwaukee Road. His B&W collection is mostly 616 format, but also contains some 6×9 and 120 format negatives from later years. He also traded negatives extensively, and these are included in the collection, identified by photographer [in brackets] where possible. B&W metadata is somewhat robust, with additional information about trains included where possible. Status: complete.
Ed Wilkommen’s color photography follows his B&W work, covering the same and similar subjects through the years. He shot almost exclusively on 120 medium format film with a mix of Ektachrome, Kodachrome, and Anscochrome. Early transparencies (pre-1960s) suffer from varying color shift. We have attempted to color-correct scans on the more severe cases. Metadata is minimal beyond date and subject, where it was available. Status: Scanning and processing ongoing.
Bruce Meyer (1935-2006) was a prolific Chicago-area photographer from the twilight of steam (mid-1950s) until the early 2000s. Steam locomotives were his main subject, but he also shot Amtrak and diesel trains and locomotives. His best known work was in the B&W 120 format (2-1/4″ square). He began shooting in 1954, concentrating on steam locomotives and trains, often meticulously recording details close-up to aid his drafting and modeling activities. Bruce also purchased others’ negatives (all 116/616 and PC format) to supplement his own locomotive roster photo documentation. As such, any negatives larger than 120 may be assumed to be others’ work. Negatives are arranged by railroad and subdivided by subject matter where quantity dictates. Mr. Meyer’s negative numbering system has been retained, so images are sorted generally by age from older to newer. Metadata is well documented and includes location, dates, and train information where applicable. This is a large collection. Our digitization will concentrate on the pre-1980 era. Status: Scanning and processing ongoing.
Bruce Meyer (1935-2006) was a prolific Chicago-area photographer from the twilight of steam (mid-1950s) until the early 2000s. He supplemented his B&W work with over 10,000 35mm color slides spanning a wide variety of subjects and geographical locations. Bruce traveled extensively in search for steam, and also had his camera with him while working in the field for EMD while observing testing of new diesel locomotives and technology. Images are sorted by railroad. Metadata is minimal and will contain railroad, location, and date, if known. Color correction has been completed on images with moderate to severe color shift (e.g. early Ektachrome), although the majority of the slides are Kodachrome. Digital ICE (Ektachrome only) and some manual dust/scratch digital cleaning have been applied. We have begun chronologically at the beginning of this collection and will concentrate on material dating before 1980. Status: Scanning and processing ongoing.
William S. Kuba (1938-2012) was a lifelong resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He began photographing the railroad scene in his hometown around 1950, initially capturing everyday scenes downtown at the depot, and engines switching in the nearby Quaker Oats yard. He even rode the local C&NW passenger train, hopping off at towns along the way to record life along the railroad. His attention soon turned to locomotives and the trains they pulled, embarking on a quest to collect negatives of most every steam and diesel locomotive that was rostered on hundreds of railroads. The result was over 44,000 B&W negatives ranging from the 1920s to 2010. The vast majority are 116 and smaller. Bill traded or purchased negatives extensively to fill in gaps in his roster, but most of these are not labeled as such. Where photographer names are known, they are indicated by [brackets]. There is a small group of images of structures and diesel action, and Bill purchased postcard-size action negatives taken in the 1930s by Joseph Sleger. We will work to complete entire railroads before 1980 one at a time, but most larger roads will be curated for the subjects of most interest. His early scenes, action, and Sleger’s action photography are featured in separate galleries. Status: Scanning and processing ongoing.
Francis Cole (1895-1957) was a traveling businessman based in the Chicago area. He started photography in the early 1900s and mostly concentrated on the C&NW and Milwaukee Road in Illinois and Wisconsin. For a time, he was a close friend of A.W. Johnson, accompanying him on forays to record freshly-shopped C&NW steam locomotives on breaking-in runs on the mainline west of downtown Chicago. Initially he used a smaller format camera creating images of lesser quality, but the subject matter is of great interest. He paused his photography during the Great Depression through WWII but returned in the late 1940s with a better camera to document the last days of steam, particularly on the C&NW. His widow passed his collection on to Clint Jones who in turn has donated it to Lake States. There are a small number of trader negatives by other photographers. Every view is well identified by location and date. Status: complete.
John S. Ingles (1907-2003) perhaps is best known by name recognition as the father of renown rail photographer and journalist Dave Ingles. John was the son of a Soo Line conductor and a Santa Fe “Harvey Girl” waitress. He had a longtime interest in steam locomotives, starting with live steam models in his teen years. He befriended many fellow live steamers and traveled the country to seek them out in the 1930s. He graduated from University of Illinois in 1933 with a Railway Mechanical Engineering masters degree and began a career in the motive power department of the Illinois Central at Homewood, Illinois. He moved to the Detroit area in the late 1950s to serve the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton as Assistant Supt. of Mechanical Engineering, retiring in 1968. John was also an O-scale modeler and voracious hobbyist. He was a charter subscriber of TRAINS magazine and maintained memberships in many rail historical groups such as R&LHS and CERA. His activities included photo-documenting locomotives. In the summer of 1932, he visited an impressive number of railroads large and small on what must have been a whirlwind tour given the primitive roads of the time. His interest appeared to be in smaller, older, obscure, and lesser-known power. John kept a logbook of roads visited, complete with a list of master mechanics to contact at each location. He again traveled in the late 1930s and later 1950s seeking out steam. In retirement, he vigorously shot 35mm slides of his many travels. To supplement his own photography, he traded and purchased numerous locomotive negatives from the 1930s until the end of steam and 35mm color slides in the diesel era. The collection presented here consists of both his negatives (almost exclusively postcard format with a few 127 format) and those of others (all 116/616 format), his 35mm color photography (including traders) of passenger cars organized by type, as well as some miscellaneous prints from various sources. Any photography identified as taken by others will contain that information in [brackets]. The collection is mostly organized by railroad. Basic metadata accompanies this important and historical collection. Status: complete.
J. David Ingles (1941-2020) was well known to the railfan community as a longtime employee of Kalmbach, serving in various editorial positions for TRAINS magazine and Classic Trains. His journalism training and background made him a reliable and prolific author and photographer, capturing the railroad scene and documenting locomotives and equipment from the late 1950s through the 2010s through extensive travels. His collection at Lake States (about 20,000 slides) comprises mostly of 35mm color slides of shortline and industrial railroads, northern Minnesota ore railroads, CRI&P, cabooses, passenger cars, work equipment, and railroad logos. Dave also shot B&W film (another 10,000 B&W negatives) in his earlier days while living in the Detroit area. He was an avid collector and trader in a quest to fill out coverage of various railroads across the U.S. as part of an active community known as Worlds Greatest Railfan (WGRF). Consequently, many of the slides in his collection are the work of others, and when known will be identified in [brackets]. We will continue to curate “JDI” 35mm slides and B&W negatives to select for scanning. The Ingles collections are now a major component of our photographic holdings. Status: Scanning and processing ongoing.
William A. Raia (1944-2012) was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and spent 45 years of his life working for the Soo Line Railroad. He had a fascination with railroading and started photographing trains at a young age. During the early 1960s, Bill began trading and collecting negatives. Over the next 45 years, Bill accumulated one of the largest steam negative collections in the country. Images from the collection have been in numerous magazines and books. Bill was active in coordinating photographic sessions, most notably at Mid-Continent Railway Museum for their annual Snow Train and later with the non-profit group Historic Transportation Preservation. He had a strong passion for railroad imagery, also selling prints from his collection at train shows. Most of the steam material from Bill’s collection was purchased from Charles T. Felstead, another well known Chicago-area photographer-collector. Through Charles, other notable photographers’ negatives (almost all entirely 616 format) have been brought into the fold, including R.J. Foster (he shot postcard size negatives), Harold K. Vollrath, Harold Van Horn, Jim Boose, and Paul Eilenberger. Bill’s sons Mike and Tony have donated the steam and diesel negatives from shortlines and some larger roads such as CNJ, DL&W, SP, MP, NYC, and PRR. We are beginning work on this large and historic collection. The steam side consists mostly of roster photographs, while the diesel portion contains roster, plus some equipment, structures, and scenes. If photographers are know, they are indicated in [brackets], including any collection genealogy. Status: Scanning and processing ongoing.
Edward Garrett Baker (??-1988), who preferred his first and middle initials, was a railroad photographer concentrating near the areas he lived, beginning in the mid-1930s. He concentrated almost exclusively on steam locomotives and trains, producing postcard-size negatives with a high quality camera. His last known photography was of the American Freedom Train in 1976. E.G. grew up in Harrison, Arkansas where he documented the ups and downs of the Missouri & Arkansas railroad during the Great Depression. His work figured prominently in the book “The North Arkansas Line” published by Howell-North in 1969. Author James Fair called Baker “the REAL historian of the North Arkansas.” Baker moved to Louisville in his adult life where he worked as an agent of the Washington National Life Insurance Company and was active in the local railfan community. He traveled modestly, photographing railroads across the Midwest, but his heavy concentration was in southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, and the Louisville areas. He was also published in TRAINS magazine in its early days. He did trade or purchase 116/616 size negatives extensively, most notably with a person by the name of William L Greenaway. His negatives were eventually passed on to friend Ernie Gibson. Gibson’s son Steve, a UP engineer, ended up with the collection. Brother-in-law and LSRHA member Rory Peterson recently received the E.G. Baker collection from Steve and immediately donated it to Lake States. Lake States thanks Steven Gibson and Rory Peterson for preserving this historic collection of steam-era railroading. Status: Scanning and processing in progress. Anticipated completion Summer 2023.
Henry E. “Hank” Balinski (1941-2016) was born and raised in Chicago. He became a railfan after he received a Lionel set as a child. Henry began photographing Midwest railroads in the late 1950s with a 35mm Nikon F-1 and quickly changed over to a Graflex Speed Graphic 4×5 camera. He shot color and B&W in tandem to document the last of steam and fantrips, but also turned to equipment and structures, particularly of his favorite railroad CB&Q. Henry also documented nearly every EMD FT diesel on the CB&Q before they were retired. Henry loved the Q fantrips where he rode or followed every one that operated. Henry also acquired older negatives of many various railroads by trading with other photographers. He stopped shooting in 1970 with the formation of the Burlington Northern. Henry was a machinist and mold-maker by trade and was one of the first to develop CNC machining in the late 1960s. He moved to Detroit and Canada, eventually returning to Lindenhurst. In his later years, he applied his machinist skills to build a ¼ scale operating railroad on his 9-acre property in rural Kenosha. The main motive power is a beautifully constructed live steam CB&Q 4-4-0 accompanied by finely crafted freight cars and a wood caboose. We have scanned over 4,300 negatives and color slides, including the traders. Status: complete.
Harry Evans (1943-2022) grew up in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois. With frequent rides on his bike to swim in Lake Michigan, he would stop at the railroad tracks to watch many locomotives pass by with trains. In short time, the C&NW became his favorite railroad. He was always interested in photography. As an eighth grade graduation present, his uncle gave him a used 35mm Voightlander camera. Thanks to an older brother, at the age of 14, his first railroad subject was a Nickel Plate double-header mainline steam freight roaring through Knox, Indiana in 1957. “It changed my life,” he reflects. From that moment on he was hooked on trains and model railroading. He traveled with his brother in search of the last of steam in the Midwest, including capturing the last gasp of DM&IR during the steel strike in 1959, chasing the GTW in 1960, and western narrow gauge in 1961. His brother soon lost interest with the assimilation of diesels but Harry carried on documenting C&NW, MILW, CB&Q, EJ&E, the North Shore and many others on Kodachrome and Ektachrome film through his college years 1961-65 in Iowa. He continued on throughout the Midwest, expanding to Canada and Europe on occasion. During 1965-69 he worked in the Freight Traffic and Marketing Department at C&NW’s 400 West Madison Street headquarters in Chicago. Harry returned to photography in the 1980s, eventually converting to all digital. Scanning of Harry’s collection of about 4,500 35mm slides concentrated on the pre-1990 era after which his primary interest has been HO modeling. Status: complete.
James A. Neubauer (1933-2013) was a life-long Chicago resident with a passion for passenger trains and steam locomotives. His photography reflects this passion. Jim started shooting at an early age of 16 when he visited the Chicago Railroad Fair. Armed with a 120-format camera, he documented the parade of C&NW (his favorite road) steam commuter trains passing near his house on the city’s near west side. Soon he switched to a Kodak Pony (828) and then 35mm, documenting passenger operations in the Chicago area and traveling with fellow enthusiasts. His focus was and remained passenger operations and he followed steam wherever he could find it. Jim hired on with the Rock Island in the 1950s, working in the public relations department. He finished out his railroad career with the C&NW as a clerk in Chicago. In the 1960s he rode many passenger trains to experience and document the twilight of the pre-Amtrak era. Jim’s collection received at Lake States consists mostly of 35mm color slides, plus about 400 black & white negatives from his early era. Most of Jim’s photos are organized by railroad, chronologically. He switched exclusively to color by 1955. We have digitized about 60% of Jim’s collection that was received at Lake States. His Mid-Continent, later steam museum/excursion, and post-1980 photography will not be scanned at this time but may be viewed in person by appointment. Status: complete.
Lee Allen Hastman (1946-2011) was a well-known Chicago-area based enthusiast, historian, and photographer. He worked for the Illinois Central Railroad in train service before becoming a load supervisor and dispatcher for many years, eventually retiring from Metra. His collection is organized into three groups. Lee maintained a large B&W collection of diesel roster photos (but also included a small amount of action, equipment, structures, and scenes). Most of these are his own photography, almost exclusively in 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 format. The second group consists entirely of Lee’s own color 35mm photography of a few specific subjects. The third group is an aggregation of Lee’s collecting of others’ negatives and slides over the years. These include various formats and railroads across the U.S. Individual photographers, if known, as are shown in [brackets] in metadata. There is also a small group of cabinet card prints covering right-of-way improvements along the Panhandle line near Brighton Park, Illinois from 1903, and also a selection of B&W prints of Illinois Central steam locomotives featuring many rare older images. Metadata is basic, identifying location and date when known. Separately we have also received additional 35mm color photography by Lee that he traded to others. While we have completed his primary collection up to the early 1970s, originally donated in 2013, we will curate and scan his additional work as time allows. Status: main collection complete, auxiliary collection ongoing.
Charles Stats (1933-2021) was a passionate and voracious collector based in Oak Park, Illinois for many years. His grandfather was a conductor on the C&NW, and as such, he was able to travel on an employee pass to Kaukauna, Wisconsin from Chicago to visit when he was a child. Charles was very active in the Chicago railfan scene, heading the Chicago Chapter of R&LHS for many years. Charles was a lawyer and accountant. Although his own photography was infrequent and incidental with the exception of some later exploration during participation in railfan conventions, he served as executor for many estates and in turn, inherited photo collections. These comprise the majority of the Charles Stats collection at Lake States. Included is Don Davis who worked for the Rock Island in the Chicago area as a tower operator. Don had exclusive access to several towers, offering a unique view into the Rock Island’s operations, and traveled in the 1950s, shooting Kodachrome of mostly steam and smaller shortline operations. D.W. “Doc” Yungmeyer shot the postcard format extensively in the 1930s and 1940s, often featuring employees and railfans posing with steam locomotives. Charles Stats’ focus on steam, traction, shortlines, and obscure builders—it seemed nothing was off limits—guided the holdings of his collection. We have curated his collection of photography to select original material of interest. Status: complete.
Ralph Wehlitz’s interest in railroads was nurtured at an early age. Growing up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, he frequently rode his bike down to the C&NW’s lakefront engine terminal to observe steam locomotives in action. At age 11, he took his first photographs using a Kodak camera. The Milwaukee Road’s fast Hiawatha trains heading west from Milwaukee were also a frequent subject. He graduated from high school in 1942 and worked for Packard until drafted on May 1, 1943. After sustaining an injury during WWII, he attended college in Madison, Wisconsin and took on teaching as a career. After a three-year stint in Mellen, Wisconsin, he moved to Merrill in 1954 to teach English and social studies. Ralph finished his teaching career there and still resides in his home where he has built an impressive model railroad layout. Ralph’s photography throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s was driven by his desire to document prototype examples that he could model in HO scale. Many of his photos include buildings, scenes, and outlying industries with heavy concentration on Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Ralph has donated his B&W negatives, mostly 35mm with some 616 format, to Lakes States. Images are organized mostly by railroad with metadata. Status: complete.
Raconteur and entrepreneur Clint Jones was born and raised in the Milwaukee area. His interest in railroading began with trips to the Upper Peninsula via the C&NW and Milwaukee Road to visit relatives in his teen years. Thus began his long and storied railroad career which continues to this day. After a brief stint studying business at Michigan Technological University, he hired out as a diesel locomotive mechanic for the Milwaukee Road at their Milwaukee shops. But his passion and pluck led him to form his own company Trans Northern, Inc. to operate a steam passenger tourist railroad in Michigan and act as a dealer of vintage railroad equipment. Clint later worked for the C&NW in train service and also served as a trainmaster for Wisconsin Central Railway from 1987 to 1997, supervising train operations and train crews from Marquette, Michigan. He currently owns Mineral Range, Inc., a railway equipment, industry switching, and transportation consulting firm. Over the years, Clint has assembled a personal collection of photographs (many taken by himself) and paper documents, mostly focused upon railroads of the Michigan Upper Peninsula. This collection is growing and we will scan material as it available. Status: ongoing.
Beloit-based Fairbanks, Morse & Co. was a well-known and diversified manufacturer of scales, pumps, and other industrial equipment. In the rail industry, FM built coaling and water facilities for steam locomotives, track motor cars (sold under the name of Sheffield, which FM had merged in the early 1900s), and diesel locomotives. Lake States’ Fairbanks Morse Collection comprises a large collection of papers, publications, construction and maintenance records, and builders photographs of FM’s railroad products. Through an agreement with Fairbanks Morse Defense, the current iteration of FM, we are able to make available to the public through our on-line photo archive, company photos of coal docks, water stations, motor cars, locomotives, and more. Many of these photos were already at Baraboo from a previous donation, but we have also been receiving new material from FM’s Beloit plant. We are grateful for FM’s foresight to preserve and pass on the storied history of FM and its contribution to the rail industry. A large collection of coal dock and related facilities, and Sheffield motor cars are already on-line. Diesel locomotives will be added when available. Status: ongoing.
Holman Braden (1909-1995) grew up in a railroad family. His father was Division Superintendent of C&NW’s Nelson-South Pekin, Illinois line. Holman went to college at Bradley University in Peoria to earn a Civil engineering degree while living in Pekin. He then hired on the C&NW as a division engineer, working at many locations in Wisconsin such as Green Bay and Antigo. He eventually transferred to the western lines, based at Norfolk, Nebraska. His career path is reflected in his photography, with heavy coverage of C&NW, Omaha Road, as well as substantial CB&Q and UP subjects near where he lived and worked. Holman shot almost exclusively postcard-size negatives with several cameras. He retired in Norfolk. His negatives that are at Lake States were acquired by Stan Mailer directly from Holman. They were later passed on to Ray Buhrmaster who donated them to Lake States in 2022. Status: complete.
As a youth living in Madison, Wisconsin in the late 1940s, Stanley H. Mailer witnessed the Illinois Central’s Mikes working hard up the 1% grade out of town a few blocks from his boyhood home. Determined and armed with an ailing camera, he took a bus to Freeport, Illinois to document his now favorite railroad on the “big main.” Soon he convinced his mother to allow his use of the family car and his photo activities quickly expanded. Stan acquired better camera equipment and developed an interest in smaller and less fortunate independent shortlines as well as the backwoods branchlines of the big players. He traveled around the upper Midwest to record the last decade of steam and ascent of diesel power. Stan’s advocacy for rail history was manifested in his active involvement at Mid-Continent Railway Museum in the 1960s, the authoring of many articles and two major books, and included a stint at Kalmbach in the early 1970s. Mailer’s name is well known and respected among rail historians. His documentation of “last runs” and rare equipment are his hallmarks. Stan’s negatives at Lake States were donated by Ray Buhrmaster and represent his early work 1949-1951. Status: complete.
Lifelong Madison, Wisconsin resident Ron Jones worked for Madison-based Oscar Meyer as an auditor. His railroad modeling activities required taking photographs of prototype equipment, trains, and scenes. There were plenty of examples in his hometown which he covered extensively from the late 1940s for more than a decade. Later, he traveled to various locations, photographing rail equipment and operations with heavy emphasis on steam. His financial management experience was put to good use in the early success of Mid-Continent Railway Museum where he also was instrumental in restoration of two cabooses (12 inches = 1’0” scale). Donated by Ray Buhrmaster, Ron’s negatives are all 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 in size and of excellent quality. Status: complete.
Donald Kotz (1920-2002) was a lifelong resident of Kenosha, Wisconsin who worked in the commodities business at the Chicago Board of Trade. As such, he was well known as a daily commuter on C&NW/Metra. He was active with the Railroad Club of Chicago, serving as their president and could identify trains by their horns. Photography was a natural outlet to serve his interests. Our small collection of about 265 Kotz negatives is primarily of the C&NW, but also other Midwest area roads, and is believed to be only a small portion of his lifelong output. Ray Buhrmaster donated these excellent quality negatives which are organized by railroad. Status: complete.
The Piersen-Kamacher Collection consists of images created by Joe Piersen (1940-2014) and John Kamacher, Jr. (1941-2018). Both were from the Chicago area and volunteers for and active in the C&NW Historical Society for many years. C&NWHS has donated their non-C&NW material to various historical societies. Lake States was chosen to receive their Rock Island photography. Joe photographed the Rock Island in medium format B&W beginning in the late 1950s and switched to 35mm color by the 1970s. John Kamacher shot 35mm B&W, mostly of action and freight cars at Joliet, Illinois plus some views at the Rock’s downtown Chicago passenger station at LaSalle Street. Status: complete.
Ron Sims (1939- ) is life-long Des Moines, Iowa resident and railroad photographer and historian with a strong interest in electric railways and branchline, shortline, and industrial rail operations. These interests were cemented by his childhood memories of riding Des Moines Railway streetcars at the tender young age of 5 and later growing up just blocks from the Des Moines & Central Iowa. He first started taking photos in 1954. A DM&CI 70-ton diesel locomotive was an early subject. Over the years he accumulated much considerable research materials, some of which are now at LSRHA. He also authored a book on GE 70-ton locomotives. Depots, signboards, and interlocking towers also piqued his interest. Ron continues to reside in Des Moines. Dana Grefe donated Ron’s industrial and shortline trader collection of about 500 photographs to LSRHA in 2022. Status: complete.
Philip A. Weibler is a well-known photographer and collector based in West Chicago, Illinois. His railroad career began in 1956 in a roundhouse full of steam locomotives on the Norfolk & Western. Upon graduation from college in 1960 he went to work for the Rock Island and by 1964 was in the Assistant Mechanical Engineer’s office at Silvis, Illinois. In 1972 he moved over to the C&NW and was qualified as a locomotive engineer in 1975, retiring in 1999. The collection of photographs here were donated by Phil and are grouped by subject matter. Status: complete.
Madison-native Gilford Heath’s railroad photographs number about 1,000 B&W and color negatives. They center mostly on C&NW, ICRR, Milwaukee Road, and even some museum and Circus Train views, taken in the 1960s and 1970s in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. He photographed trains, but concentrated on locomotive roster shots and depots. Heath was primarily a camera enthusiast, using a variety of film formats in the medium format, including 120, 620, and 116 (616). We have attempted to cull duplicate views (he often shot multiple images while testing his cameras), keeping the highest quality images. Color scans were color-corrected as best as possible, but as these were made on negative film, their color shift varies and was, in some cases, severe. Images are organized first by railroad, then by subject matter. Metadata is minimal and will contain railroad, location, and date. Status: complete.
This potpourri of photographs is from smaller collections and organized by photo formats and subject matter as appropriate. See the gallery for details. Status: ongoing.
In the early 1970s, the Illinois Central corporate headquarters moved from its long-time location at 12th Street in downtown Chicago. Corporate photographic records deemed surplus were offered to employees. Over the years, Lee Hastman accumulated additional prints from fellow employees to supplement his own inventory which today exists as this collection. Most images for which we possess glass plate or sheet film negatives are not included here as they appear in the Glass Plate and Sheet Film galleries. Prints of right-of-way and construction are organized to illustrate the ICRR by geographical location starting at South Water Street in Chicago. There are additional subjects such as scenes, structures, trains, and equipment. Metadata is minimal, determined from identification on the original images and visual inspection. Status: complete.
Midwest-based railroad car restorer and historian Glenn Guerra’s collection of period photography includes public relations photos from the defunct magazine Modern Railroads, several real photo postcards, builders photos of freight and passenger cars, and a variety of older steam and wooden car era scene photography. Status: complete.
Philip A. Weibler was working for the Rock Island’s Mechanical Engineering Department at Silvis, Illinois in the mid-1960s when management decided to move the department to Kansas City. Phil was in position to save files that were deemed obsolete and discarded by the Rock Island. These included drawings, photographs, correspondence, and equipment files, which he hauled home in his Chevy Nomad station wagon. Over the years, the files moved with him and his family as he eventually ended up in West Chicago working for the C&NW. Phil has chosen Lake States as the new home for these valuable remnants of the Rock. We have scanned the photographic portion of this collection (B&W 8×10 prints, a few are larger), which contains mostly builders photos from various suppliers, but also some in-house documentation of the department’s work over the years. As these prints are original survivors from the era when they were created, many wear a coat of steam-era office environment coal dust and soot as a badge of honor. Some of the images may show additional deterioration from their age. Status: complete.
James Everett “Buster” Brown (1882-1949) was a Rock Island draftsman and shop foreman at their Silvis, Illinois shops for many years. From 1914 to about 1922, he documented work performed at the shops on 5×7 glass plate negatives. Silvis was a huge facility performing major steam locomotive and car rebuilding for many years. His work documents the scale of operations, employees, the tools they used, and environment they worked in. Phil Weibler saved these priceless images from destruction in the mid-1960s when the Rock Island discarded them. In later years, more of Brown’s glass plates surfaced. All were reunited back together and donated to Lake States by Phil. Each image was reviewed by Gary Bensman to add metadata describing equipment and procedures illustrated. Status: complete.
This collection comprises company photographs of the Illinois Central Railroad dating from 1894 to the mid-1920s in the glass plate format. The early plates (pre-1895) are 6.5″ x 8.5″. The remainder are 8″ x 10″. Metadata is minimal and contains a brief description of the subject, and the date if it was engraved on the negative. These plates were saved and preserved by Chicago-area rail historian Lee A. Hastman (1946-2011) when they were discarded by the railroad in the early 1970s. Status: complete.
This collection comprises company photographs of the Illinois Central Railroad dating from the 1890s to about WWII, made on nitrate and acetate (Kodak Safety) sheet film. Almost all are 8″ x 10″ size. There are a few older images that appear to be copies. Many of these sheet negatives have begun to chemically deteriorate. As such, image quality may vary. After scanning, the negatives were placed in freezer storage to preserve them. As with the glass plates, metadata is minimal and contains a brief description of the subject, and the date if it was marked on the negative. Lee A. Hastman (1946-2011) was a Chicago-area rail enthusiast who acquired these negatives when the railroad disposed of them in the early 1970s. Status: complete.
This small collection of builders photos from 100+ years ago were donated by Glenn Guerra. The Ohio Falls Car Manufacturing Company was located in Jeffersonville, Indiana starting in 1895. In the 1910s, they merged into American Car & Foundry. The Jeffersonville plant closed in 1930. Earlier prints in this collection are mounted on cabinet cards. Subject matter ranges from wooden freight and electric railroad cars to steel passenger cars (exteriors and interiors), various parts, and a few shop scenes. Status: complete.
Bruce Black was a Colorado-based photographer originally from Chicago. His work in B&W and color was of very high quality. His collection at Lake States is limited to his late work in the 1990s documenting diesel locomotives with well-lit and composed roster views, however a small cache of earlier work of interest is also included and is presented here. Status: complete.
Michigan-based Kevin Musser (1960-2007) had a strong interest in the Upper Michigan mining industry, its history, and the railroads that served it. He maintained a website with photos, maps, and historical information. His collection at Lake States contains research documents and present-day photography of mine sites, plus a small collection of acquired negatives. The latter is presented here. Status: complete.
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