Coal Piers at North Fair Haven. L.V.R.R.

William H. Rau1895–1899

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Calm waters fill the foreground of the image, action takes place in the middle ground, and an empty sky fills the upper third of this print. William Rau often used such a three-part arrangement in his formally composed photographs.

Though the purpose of the photograph was to document the Lehigh Valley Railroad's coal piers, an engineering innovation, Rau also captured two sailing vessels. On the left, a small boat moves away from the shore. On the right, the three tall masts of a larger docked ship extend past the top of the coal pier. While it illustrates the new, mechanized form of transportation that evolved during the industrial revolution, the image also presents a traditional form of sea travel.


  • Title: Coal Piers at North Fair Haven. L.V.R.R.
  • Creator: William H. Rau
  • Date Created: 1895–1899
  • Location Created: North Fair Haven, New York, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 44 × 51.9 cm (17 5/16 × 20 7/16 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Albumen silver print
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 84.XP.220.34
  • 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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