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The Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) was incorporated in October 1974. It was formed under the auspices of the United States Railway Association, a quasi-public agency established for the purpose of solving the problems of bankrupt railroads in the Northeast and Midwest. The Conrail photograph collection consists of a large number of images from its company files, but the majority of the material comes from its predecessor companies: Pennsylvania Railroad and Penn Central Transportation Company. These items are predominanatly composed of photographs, negatives, transparencies, lantern slides, and films.
The Pennsylvania Railroad Company was the largest railroad in the United States in terms of corporate assets and traffic from the last quarter of the nineteenth century until the decline of the northeast's and midwest's dominance of manufacturing. This collection of photographs primarily depict the PRR itself, but numerous views of similar facilities and equipment on other railroads, of nearby buildings and properties, or of standardized equipment and accessories that were collected for reference are included. Almost all of the photographs are the work of commercial photographers hired on short term contract, but some are prints from the company's own negatives. The collection have been arranged by subject and organized into three series: Equipment, trains, and personnel; Structures and right of way; and Company magazine photographs.
1863-1973; Majority of material found within 1910-1960