Building the Central Pacific Railroad:
The Photos of Alfred A. Hart
Considered one of the great engineering feats of the 19th Century, the Central Pacific Railroad was a seven-year, 690-mile undertaking that connected California to the rest of the country.
From 1864 to 1869, Alfred A. Hart, the railroad's official photographer, recorded the progress of the railway from Sacramento, over the Sierra Nevada range, across Nevada to Promontory, Utah, using a 5-by-8 inch wet-plate stereo camera and processing his fragile glass plates in a portable dark tent.
Historian Mead Kibbey has generously donated to the California State Library the glass plate slides Hart took of the railroad's construction.
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