Low Grade Crossing at Whitford (Blank page (verso of .4))

William H. Rau

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

When William H. Rau photographed this massive iron bridge in Whitford, Pennsylvania, it was a vital part of the Pennsylvania Railroad's line between the southeastern part of the state and Philadelphia. Rau set up his camera so that the lower tracks recede into the distance straight ahead while the bridge crosses diagonally above them. This angle allowed him to fully depict the bridge's structure, which still exists, though without any railroad tracks.

As official photographer for the Pennsylvania Railroad, Rau documented many of the company's engineering achievements. This image demonstrates his interests in the formal aspects of composition and in depicting the relation of the railroad to the land.


  • Title: Low Grade Crossing at Whitford (Blank page (verso of .4))
  • Creator: William H. Rau
  • Date Created: about 1905
  • Location Created: Whitford, West Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 44.4 × 54.8 cm (17 1/2 × 21 9/16 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gelatin silver print
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 84.XO.766.3.4
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: William H. Rau (American, 1855 - 1920)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

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