Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Railroad Photograph Car Photos

Sometimes when going through family photographs you may encounter one stamped "Railroad Photo Car."  From the Civil War to the early 1900s Photographers instead of staying in a fixed location would convert a Railroad car to a rolling photograph studio.  They would travel over a thousand mile route (mainly in the mid-west and west) stopping in small town taking photographs and then moving on to the next town.  Naturally they were not liked by the local town photographer, but they filled a need for towns too small to have a photograph studio. 

The rail car would usually have a studio, darkroom, and living quarters for the photographer and staff.

Other photographers would set up shop on ships or convert a horse drawn wagon to a studio.  After WW2 it was popular for a photographer to come into a neighborhood with a pony and take a photograph of your child on the pony.  

Today these traveling photographers are best known as being school pictures photographers and tour ship photographers.  

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