Finding Photos

Rare photos of your subject, like this picture showing the back side of the former freight house with a glimpse of the coal sheds and wire factory in the background are a key to good historical modeling. Jack Leonard photo, Barb Hudson collection, used with permission.

Historical modeling hinges very much having and being able to find good photos of your subject. As such, I’ve been trying to be a little more aggressive in expanding my photo resources. When I started I could only document what the industrial landscape looked like along the line in the late 1990s, since then I’ve found some great period pictures and photographers have been very cooperative in allowing me to share their work here. I’ll describe some recent developments on this front below.

Jack Leonard Collection

Barb Hudson has posted about 150 photos from the collection of her father, Jack Leonard, on the Boston and Albany Railroad and New York Central Railroad Fangroup Facebook pages. I was finally able to catch up with Barb and get the permission to use those on this site from time-to-time. I didn’t realize I was already using one, the photo of the New England States at Jamesville, when I first became aware of this collection. It mainly the B&A east of Springfield covers the 1948-56 timeframe. Jack worked for the B&A and this is an insiders look at the property.

Something about this undated shot of East Brookfield from the 1950s really appeals to me, there is no action, but you can sense the next train arriving any second. Brookfield had a similar configuration to Jamesville. Jack Leonard photo, Barb Hudson collection, used with permission.

1955 Hurricane Diane

One of the first “eureka” moments I had in researching the Worcester area was finding a special edition of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette at my grandparents’ house that covered the damage caused by Hurricane Diane in 1955. This edition included several aerial photos of the Webster Square area. I recently reminded myself of this yesterday. I searched to see if I could find more pictures online and came up with a nice sequence of a washout repair in the vicinity of Heard Street and Thompson Wire.

I had thought the riprap embankment east of Heard Street was a remnant of this great flood and I turned out to be right. What was extra nice was all the photos of the Heard Street bridge. Since all the photos I had from this site were FROM the bridge, it never showed up in any pictures. I had figured out after years of research that this was a truss bridge of unknown design from shadows in aerial photos, but I didn’t know there was a parallel pedestrian bridge as well. Besides the bridge, a couple of exposures with Lombard Machine in the background will be of use. You can view the whole series here: T&G 1955 Flood Photos. Many of the photos are of factories and city-scapes and should be of interest to anyone modeling the industrial Northeast.

Workers survey the scene as they prepare to repair the westbound main underneath the Heard Street Bridge. This single-connected truss is one of many on the B&A. Worcester Telegram & Gazette photo, used under creative commons license.

Bob’s Photos

It appears that Bob’s Photos is thinning down their vast library of black & white negatives. These have been popping up on Ebay on a regular basis since October. Included appears to their collection of 400 B&A negatives taken by Carlton Parker during the 1930s and 40s. I don’t know if Robert Liljestrand is retaining the ability to reproduce these photos by digital means, but for those interested in the B&A please be aware this is happening. They are being listed under this account


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