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David H. Cope photographs

1890-1988
 Collection
Accession: 2001-242

Abstract

David Harrison Cope (1913-2001) held a lifelong interest in railroads and, in particular, steam locomotives. He began collecting photographs at an early age. This collection primarily consists of black and white photographs and negatives of steam locomotives from a variety of railroads, but it includes some other rolling stock, station photos, related railroad items such as coaling stations and some street railroads, interurbans, and trolley images.

Dates

  • 1890-1988

Creator

Extent

3 Linear Feet

General Physical Description

87 photographic prints : b&w ; 4 x7.5 in. 1806 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x10 in. or smaller. 79 photographic prints : color ; 4 x 6 in. or smaller. 874 negatives : b&w ; 4x5 in. or smaller. 90 negatives : glass ; 4 x 5 in. 8 negatives : glass ; 5 x7 in. 48 negatives : b&w ; 3.5 x 5.5 in. 26 slides : lantern ; 3 x 4 in. 1080 transparencies : color ; 35 mm.

Biographical Note

David Harrison Cope (1913-2001) held a lifelong interest in railroads and, in particular, steam locomotives. From an early age, he began a collection consisting of photographs, negatives, and eventually 35 mm slides of mostly locomotives and trains from southeastern Pennsylvania. His own photography began in the 1930s. His collection also includes images from other railfans from about 1890 to the 1960s. The David Cope collection is a permanent remembrance of locomotives and trains, which came and went within his long lifetime.

Scope and Content

The collection primarily consists of black and white photographs and negatives of steam locomotives from a variety of railroads, but it includes some other rolling stock, station photos, related railroad items such as coaling stations and some street railroads, interurbans, and trolley images. In addition, from The Baldwin Locomotive Works there are locomotive information cards with all the specifications printed on the reverse of the photograph; the oldest negative number is 887 (undated) and the latest, negative number 12,971, was built in 1945. The earliest items in the Cope collection are 4x5 glass plate negatives generally unidentified of locomotives, many on the Main Line outside of Philadelphia.

The railroads (chiefly steam locomotives) represented the most prominantly are the Louisville & Nashville, Pennsylvania Railroad, Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, and the Western Maryland Railway Company. An interesting inclusion is photographs of the Baldwin 60000 locomotive entering the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 1933. In addition to railroad related images, there are twenty-six lantern slides documenting the construction of the Panama Canal distributed by C. T. Milligan firm of Philadelphia.

Cope also photographed and collected 35mm color slides of his subjects. The color slides are an important component of the collection and date predominantly from the 1970s. Subjects include views from Cope's trips to Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, Canada, Denmark, Sweden; views of Amtrak, Conrail, Penn Central, Septa lines mostly in S.E. Pennsylvania; locomotives, railroad cars, stations, towers and trestles, railroad bridges; Paoli and Wilmington shops; some street railroads, interurbans and trolleys; Octoraro Railway images.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Access to view lantern slides is at the discretion of the conservator. Please inquire in advance of your visit.

Glass plate negatives do not circulate.

Related Material

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, 300 Gap Road, Route 741 East, Strasburg, PA 17579.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
David H. Cope photographs
Status:
Author:
Barbara Hall and encoded by Laurie Rizzo
Date:
2013
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400