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Reading Company photographs
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Reading Company photographs

Accession 1975.430

Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-06-11T16:27-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Reading Company photographs (Accession 1975.430), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Reading Company photographs
Dates: circa 1842-1960
Accession Number: 1975.430
Creator: Reading Company
Extent: 1054 items
Physical Description: 1054 photographic prints : b&w ; 41.3 x 50 cm. or smaller. 17 photographic prints : color ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. 14 photographic prints : stereograph ; 10.6 x 17.6 cm. 2 photographic prints : cyanotype ; 10 x 12.7 cm. 10 negatives : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 11 negatives : b&w ; 4 x 5 in. 1 album (23 photographic prints) ; 26.2 x 32.7 cm. 1 album (32 photographic prints) ; 17 x 19.5 cm. 3 drawings : engineering drawings ; 24.5 x 94.5 cm or smaller. 5 items : blueprints 55.8 x 69.3 cm or smaller.
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department
Abstract: The Reading Company, chartered in 1871, became the holding company for the system of railroads, canals and coal mines assembled between 1833 and 1896 by its predecessor, the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company. The collection consists of graphic materials relating to the Reading Company and its predecessor, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company
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Administrative Information


Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Use Restrictions

Reproductions permitted.

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Historical Note

The Reading Company, chartered in 1871, became the holding company for the system of railroads, canals and coal mines assembled between 1833 and 1896 by its predecessor, the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company. The Reading Company owned, leased or held a controlling interest in rail lines throughout southeastern and central Pennsylvania, with branches stretching as far north as Scranton and as far west as Williamsport and Shippensburg. The company also held a controlling interest in the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey, giving its lines access to New York City. As a result of anti-trust proceedings, the Reading Company divested itself of its mining subsidiary in 1923. After bankruptcy in the early 1970s, viable portions of the Reading's rail network were conveyed to Conrail on April 1, 1976. The reorganized Reading Company retains real estate and other non-rail assets.

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Scope and Content

The collection consists of graphic materials relating to the Reading Company and its predecessor, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company. Over one third of the collection is made up of photographs of the Reading Locomotive Shop, taken in April, 1976, at the time of its closing. These images feature machinery, parts, office equipment, and trailers which had not yet been removed from the Reading Shop and the surrounding area. A number of other structures owned by the Reading Comany are also featured in the collection, including images of more than ninety stations, several YMCA buildings and the Reading Company Diesel Facilities in Rutherford, Pennsylvania. Trains are included incidentally in many of these photographs, but a number of photographs feature specific locomotives and rolling stock, especially interior images of newly built passenger and freight cars. Locomotives and rolling stock are also prominently featured in a series of accident images, including photographs of train derailments and the aftermath of collisions.

Portraits and more casual photographs of presidents of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company, later the Reading Company, make up a final large portion of the collection. The majority of the more casual images feature Joseph A. Fisher, Reading Company President from 1951-1960, posing with unidentified groups. Two images feature Fisher with then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. A number of miscellaneous images round out the collection, including photographs taken at Annual Meetings from 1958-1964, construction and interior photographs of One Reading Center in Philadelphia, and engineering drawings of an ash pit and the inclined plane at Gordon, Pennsylvania.

These images represent only a fragment of the Reading Company's activities and property holdings during this period. The company's photo archive has been lost or scattered through dispersal.

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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Accidents
117 photographs
Scope and Content
Shows the aftermath of train derailments and collisions, plus images recreating an employee accident.
1 Reenactment of Mary Meehan’s fall from Engine 2110, 1946 March 5; 2 b&w photographs
1 Derailment of Engine 2105 and 19 Cars – Lebanon Valley Jct, 1948 June 4; 15 b&w photographs
1 B&O 430672 – Struck Signal East of Brandtsville, 1950 April 4; 7 b&w photographs
1 Derailment West of Myerstown, 1946 January 18; 6 b&w photographs
1 Collision, West End of Receiving Track, Belt Line Junction, 1946 June 17; 6 b&w photographs
1 Derailment of “The Blue Comet,” NJ Central Railroad, undated; 7 b&w photographs
1 Damage from Unknown Accident, Newbold Street - Town Unknown, 1949 September 21; 37 b&w photographs
1 Miscellaneous Train Derailments and Collisions, undated; 37 b&w photographs
II. Locomotives
15 photographs
Scope and Content
Features specific locomotives with interior and exterior details
1 Alco Diesel Unit 302-A, Engine 1690, and Miscellaneous; 12 b&w photographs
1 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad – “Royal Blue” on Thomas Viaduct, Relay, MD, and at Unidentified Location, ca. 1950s; 3 b&w photographs
III. Rolling Stock
87 photographs, 3 blueprint copies and 1 negative
Scope and Content
Features images of interior and exterior details of Reading Company rolling stock, as well as images of rolling stock construction and parts.
1 Class “LOH” Hopper Cars; 4 b&w photographs, 3 blueprints
1 Proposed (Never Built) Gallery Cars for Commuter Service – Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, 1966; 2 b&w photographs
1 Construction of 55-Ton Welded Steel Hopper Car, June 1941; 41 b&w photographs
1 Air Conditioned Cars, Exterior Views and Details of Parts, 1934; 18 b&w photographs
1 Passenger Cars Built by the Pullman Company, Interior and Exterior Views, “Suburban”, 1921; 7 b&w photographs
1 Interiors and Details of Cars Built by the American Car and Foundry Co. for/with the Reading Company; 14 b&w photographs
1 120 Passenger Multiple Unit AC-DC Motor Cars & 40’6” Box Car; 2 blueprints
1 Miscellaneous; 2 b&w photographs, 1 b&w negative
IV. Right-of-Way, undated (Box 1)
5 b&w photographs and 2 negatives
Scope and Content
Scenes along trackage both in Philadelphia and along unidentified Reading lines outside the city.
V. Stations
83 photographs, 14 stereographs and 3 items
Scope and Content
Featuring stations on the Reading lines, as well as nearby buildings.
2A Alburtis, 1939; 1 b&w photograph
2A Allentown Freight Station, 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A Barto, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Belle Mead, NJ – Central RR of NJ Passenger Station, 1941; 1 b&w photograph
2A Bethlehem – Aerial View of New Reading-Lehigh Station, 1929; 1 b&w photograph
2A Bethlehem – Central RR of NJ Passenger Station, 1941; 1 b&w photograph
2A Bound Brook Freight and Passenger Stations, 1941; 3 b&w photographs
2A Boyertown, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Chalfont, 1939; 1 b&w photograph
2A Chester, 1943; 1 b&w photograph
2A Colmar, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Douglassville, 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A Elizabethport, NJ, 1941; 1 b&w photograph
2A Emmaus (Men Removing Snow from Tracks near Station), undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A First Depot built by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, corner of Broad and Cherry Streets, Philadelphia, 1840; 1 b&w photograph
2A Fort Washington, undated; 2 b&w photographs
2A Frackville, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Franklin Street Station, Reading, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Germansville, 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A Glen Gardner, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Gravers, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Hatboro, 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A High Bridge, 1941; 1 b&w photograph
2A High Bridge, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Ironstone, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Jenkintown, with “Crusader” coming into station, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Jenkintown – photographs of paintings of the station and surrounding area by Ray Thompson, 1953; 4 b&w photographs
2A Lansdale, 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A Leesport, 1941; 1 b&w photograph
2A Lenhartsville, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Macungie, 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A Milton Freight Station, 1941; 2 b&w photographs
2A Minersville, 1939; 1 b&w photograph
2A Miquon, December 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A Mount Carmel Freight Station, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Newark, NJ – Central RR of NJ Freight Station, 1942; 1 b&w photograph
2A Newark, NJ – Central RR of NJ Passenger Station, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Outer Depot, Reading, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Park Junction Tower, 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A Phillips – Central RR of NJ Passenger Station, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Plainfield, 1941; 1 b&w photograph
2A Pottstown, February 1930; 1 b&w photograph
2A Reading Terminal Station, Philadelphia – construction and finished structure, ca 1890s; 5 b&w photographs, 2 cyanotypes
2A Reynolds, 1942; 1 b&w photograph
2A Rupert, 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A Scranton – Central RR of NJ Freight Station, Office Building and Lackawanna Boulevard Bridge, 1942; 2 b&w photographs
2A Schuylkill Haven (overview of town with rail yards), undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Shamokin, 1940; 1 b&w photograph
2A Southampton Railroad Depot, undated; 2 b&w photographs
2A Telford, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Temple, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Vine – Central RR of NJ Freight Station and Yard, 1941; 1 b&w photograph
2A Washington Lane, 1941; 1 b&w photograph
2A Wilkes Barre – Central RR of NJ Passenger Station, 1942; 1 b&w photograph
2A Williamsport, Freight and passenger Stations, undated; 2 b&w photographs
2A Wister, undated; 1 b&w photograph
2A Abington Station; stereograph
2A Bound Brook Station; stereograph
2A Cooper’s Stock Farm, Saucon Valley; stereograph
2A Glen Lake, Bound Brook Route; stereograph
2A Hellertown Station; stereograph
2A Jenkintown Junction, Bound Brook Route; stereograph
2A Lansdale Station; stereograph
2A Reading Terminal Station, Philadelphia; stereograph
2A Saucon Creek, Bingen; stereograph
2A Shoemakertown; stereograph
2A Skillman’s Residence, Bound Brook Route; stereograph
2A Souderton; stereograph
2A View along Tracks from Bethayre’s Station; stereograph
2A York Road Station, Shoemakertown; stereograph
2A Philadelphia and Reading Freight Station, Front and Noble Streets, Philadelphia, PA; 7 b&w photographs
2A Unidentified Station Gardens, 1914, 1917, 1922; 3 b&w photographs
2A Miscellaneous and Unidentified Stations; 6 b&w photographs, 3 clippings
VI. Facilities
35 photographs
Scope and Content
Buildings or structures (not stations) owned by the Reading Company
2A Rest Houses and YMCA’s – Saucon Creek and Hatboro Rest Houses; Tamaqua, Port Richmond and Rutherford Reading Company YMCAs; 5 b&w photographs
2A Reading Company Diesel Facilities, Rutherford PA, 1950-1951; 30 b&w photographs
VII. Presidents
158 photographs
Scope and Content
Portraits of Reading Railroad and Reading Company Presidents, as well as informal and group portraits of Joseph A. Fisher, Reading Company President from 1951 to 1960.
Box
2A Photographs of Presidents – The Philadelphia and Reading RR Company, Philadelphia and Reading Rwy. Company, Reading Company; album with 23 b&w photographs
2A Elihu Chauncey (1834–1842); 1 b&w photograph, 1 b&w negative
2A Joseph Smith Harris (1893–1901); 1 b&w photograph, 1 b&w negative
2A George Baer (1901–1914); 2 b&w photographs, 2 b&w negatives
2A Theodore Vorhees (1914–1916); 2 b&w photographs, 1 b&w negative
2A Joseph A. Fisher (1951–1960) – Portrait; 1 b&w photograph, 1 b&w negative
Box
2B Joseph A. Fisher (1951–1960) – Testimonial Luncheon near Retirement; album with 32 b&w photographs
2B Joseph A. Fisher (1951–1960) – Groups (mostly unidentified), ca. 1950s; 79 b&w photographs
2B Miscellaneous [largely copies of portraits from the Photographs of Presidents album]; 7 b&w photographs, 8 b&w negatives, notes
Box
3 Presidents of the Reading Company [retouched with “Rembrandt Tint”, a process by which charcoal sketching is done over a photograph; largely copies of the portraits in the Photographs of Presidents album]; 20 photographs
VIII. People
Box
2B Groups of workers at the Port Richmond Shops, undated; 2 photographs
Box
3 Groups at unidentified board meetings and presentations; 5 photographs
IX. Reading Locomotive Shop, April 1, 1976
452 photographs
Scope and Content
Machinery, parts, office and storage areas, trailers and views of the 6th Street Bridge, taken after the Locomotive Shop was closed by the Reading Company in April 1976. Prepared by D.C. Lengle.
Box
4 Machinery; 122 b&w photographs, 2 color photographs
4 Mechanical; 77 b&w photographs
4 Electrical; 35 b&w photographs
4 Air; 9 b&w photographs
4 MU Car; 11 b&w photographs
4 ALCO Parts; 12 b&w photographs
4 RDC Car; 10 b&w photographs
4 General Shop; 79 b&w photographs
Box
5 6th Street Bridge and East Trestle; 7 b&w photographs
5 Storehouse; 9 b&w photographs
5 CMO Building; 32 b&w photographs
5 Test Department; 8 b&w photographs
5 Trailers; 39 b&w photographs
X. Annual Meetings, 1958–1964
Scope and Content
Images from the Reading Railroad’s Annual stockholders meetings
Box
5 Annual Meeting 1958; 2 b&w photographs
5 Annual Meeting 1959; 9 b&w photographs
5 Annual Meeting 1960; 8 b&w photographs
5 Annual Meeting 1961; 6 b&w photographs
5 Annual Meeting 1962; 9 b&w photographs
5 Annual Meeting 1963
5 Annual Meeting 1964; 14 b&w photographs
XI. Engineering Drawings
MD-A-3 Inclined Plane #2 of the Mine Hill and Schuylkill Valley Railroad at Gordon, PA; 2 drawings
MD-A-3 Plan of Ash Pit at Gordon, PA Engine House, 1870; 1 drawing
XII. Miscellaneous
Scope and Content
Includes miscellaneous photographs of the Pennsylvania Company for Banking at the Reading Terminal, electric cranes, ships built by J. H. Dialogue & Son, construction and interior images of One Reading Center, photographs taken during an inspection trip and images of coalfields near Catawissa, Pennsylvania.
Box
3 Engraving showing tall ships, titled “Port Richmond in 1852”; 1 photograph
Box
5 One Reading Center – Construction and Interior – completed, 1984; 2 b&w photographs, 14 color photographs
5 Catawissa Coal Lands at Silver Brook – Leased to Trader Horn Coal Company [photographs by W.A. Werner], 1957 December; 7 b&w photographs
5 Pennsylvania Company For Banking and Trusts – Branch in Reading Terminal; 4 b&w photographs
5 Central Railroad of New Jersey – Inspection of New Westbound Hump Yard near Allentown, PA; 6 b&w photographs
5 Road Trip - Financial Analysis, October 9-10, 1956; 18 b&w photographs
5 Electric Cranes – Built in connection with proposed crane installation at Port Richmond, Philadelphia, by William Sellers & Co. of Philadelphia, 1898; 4 sketches, 3 b&w photographs
5 J. H. Dialogue & Son, Shipbuilders, Camden, NJ, 1890-1895; 3 b&w photographs, 1 business card, 1 envelope
5 Miscellaneous; 3 b&w photographs, 2 b&w negatives, 1 topographic map