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  • | Illustration

    Taking Posession of the West Albany Freight Yards

    This August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated depicts the firmness and order of the Ninth New York State National Guard Regiment as it takes "posession" of the West Albany, New York freight yards on July 24, 1877, in the face of a pressing crowd.

  • | Illustration

    The Blockade of Engines at Martinsburg, West Virginia

    This August 11, 1877 image depicts the blockade of railroad engines in Martinsburg, West Virginia, by orderly and well-dressed citizens. Unlike Allan Pinkerton's depictions, this Harper's illustration features the role of women less as unruly participants and more as witnesses and forces of restraint and care in the stand-off.

  • | Illustration

    The Burning of the Lebanon Valley Railroad Bridge, August 11, 1877

    This August 11, 1877 image from Harper's Weekly depicts the burning of the Lebanon Valley Railroad bridge by rioters during the Great Railroad Strike.

  • | Illustration

    The Police Watching, In Concealement, The Crowd in Tompkins Square

    Although there was no large-scale unrest in New York, crowds did gather in Tompkins Square during the Railroad Strike. Tompkins Square had been the site of civil unrest and rioting at several points in New York history, including during the 1863 Draft Riots, and police feared speakers would rile up strike supporters.

  • | Illustration

    Women Leading a Mob in Baltimore

    Railroad detective Allan Pinkerton's history of the strike emphasized the unruliness of the mob and the threat of foreign, anarchist, and communist influences on American labor. He also emphasized the role of women in inciting the conflict. Here, his illustration shows women leading a mob against the police during the 1877 railroad strike in Baltimore.

  • | Broadsides

    General Superintendent S.T. Smith's General Order Implementing Standard Time, November 14, 1883

    This General Order from November 14, 1883, circulated by S. T. Smith, General Superintendent of the Kansas Division of the Union Pacific Railroad, notifies all stations on the Kansas Division that "standard time" will begin at exactly 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 18, 1883. This order coincides with the establishment of time zones throughout the United States, a development necessitated by the speed of railroad travel.

  • | Photograph

    A Freight Crew and Its Hack

    This image from The Modern Railroad (1911) captures a railroad freight crew posing with an Erie Railroad car in the background.

  • | Photograph

    A Railroad Engineer "Fussing At His Machine"

    This image from The Modern Railroad (1911), shows a railroad engineer, "oil-can in hand," lubricating the wheel of a locomotive.

  • | Photograph

    A Railroad Fireman Shoveling Coal

    This image from The Modern Railroad (1911), captures a railroad fireman shoveling coal into the firebox.

  • | Photograph

    An Army of Clerks

    This image from The Modern Railroad (1911), depicts a room full of freight department clerks.

  • | Photograph

    The "Industrial Army of America"

    This image from The Modern Railroad (1911) depicts a large number of railroad mechanics posing with a locomotive.

  • | Photograph

    The Railroad Conductor

    This image from The Modern Railroad (1911), shows a railroad conductor at work.

  • | Photograph

    The Railroad Track Walker

    This image from The Modern Railroad (1911), captures a track walker, lantern in hand, performing his nightly duties.

  • | Photograph

    The Wrecking Train

    This image from The Modern Railroad (1911) shows a number of railroad workers standing atop a wrecking train.

  • | Photograph

    John W. Garrett

    John W. Garrett, President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from 1858-1884, steered the railroad through the crisis of the Civil War, maintaining a firm commitment to the Union. In the strike Garrett regretted pay cuts and attempted to retain his employees, but firmly held to the principle of free labor's right to contract.