(American, c. 1821-)
Albumen print from wet collodion negative
Image: 30.5 x 38.5 cm (12 x 15 3/16 in.); Mounted: 45.4 x 55.7 cm (17 7/8 x 21 15/16 in.); Matted: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2002.42
This engaging industrial scene is from a small, rare group of large-format photographs taken in the eastern United States during the Civil War era. Thomas H. Johnson operated a studio in Scranton, Pennsylvania, from 1861 until at least 1865. He made a series of images documenting the Delaware & Hudson Canal and Gravity Railroad operations—primarily views of the Gravity Railroad's route through northeastern Pennsylvania. For this image, one of only a few the photographer made of inclined tracks, company employees stood on the railroad ties while Johnson set up his camera, coated, and then exposed his large glass negative in the early morning light. Seen from afar, the unidentified men provide a sense of scale for the large building and the expansive landscape in which the facility was located.
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