Camera and Locomotive – A Mapped Story About the Transcontinental Railroad

Camera and Locomotive is the title of a fantastic mapped story published by the Library of Congress. Camera and Locomotive tells the story of the building of the Transcontinental Railroad and the development of photography in the United States. As you scroll through the story you will find interactive maps that are loaded with photographs taken during the construction of railroads. You can click on any placemarker on the maps to reveal an image. Clicking on an image will take you to a corresponding Library of Congress page where you can learn more about the photograph and download a high resolution copy of it.

Camera and Locomotive has seven connected sections that you can jump to from the introduction. One of the most fascinating sections for me was Plumbe’s Dream. Plumbe’s Dream is about John Plume, Jr. who was a photographer and early advocate for the construction of a transcontinental railroad who never did see any of the tracks of what would become the first Transcontinental Railroad. From the section on Plumbe the story continues to tell readers about other photographers including Andrew Joseph Russell who captured some of the iconic photographs of the west associated with the Transcontinental Railroad.

Applications for Education
If you teach U.S. History Camera and Locomotive could be a great addition to your lists of resources for teaching and learning about the Transcontinental Railroad and the westward expansion of the United States.

A couple of related resources worth noting are Railroad Journey and the Industrial Revolution and this collection of primary sources hosted on DocsTeach.

H/T to Maps Mania for the link to Camera and Locomotive. 


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