Old Aqueduct at Querétaro, Mexico

William Henry Jacksonabout 1886

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Juxtaposing one engineering feat with another, William Henry Jackson made this photograph of a railroad engine passing beneath an arch of an aqueduct, sixty-nine feet high. The aqueduct, which provides water for the city of Querétaro in central Mexico, was built between 1726 and 1738, but the railroad did not arrive there until a hundred and fifty years later, in 1886. A close study of the image reveals a porter standing in the open doorway of the first car and a number of youthful passengers leaning out the windows of the rear car. In any city, the arrival of the railroad was invariably a cause for celebration; Jackson's photograph commemorates the introduction of this new method of transportation in the context of an earlier achievement.

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  • Title: Old Aqueduct at Querétaro, Mexico
  • Creator: William Henry Jackson
  • Date: about 1886
  • Physical Dimensions: 42.9 x 54.3 cm (16 7/8 x 21 3/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Albumen silver print
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Print
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 85.XM.397.1
  • Inscription: (Recto, print) inscribed in negative, in white, at lower left edge: "1127. OLD ACQUEDUCT [sic] AT QUERETARO. MEXICO."; in negative, in white, at lower right edge: "W.H. JACKSON & Co. DENVER. COL." (Verso, mount) inscribed in pencil, at upper left edge: "Property of / the Witkin Gallery"; in pencil, at upper right edge: "Whi [illeg.] / S [illeg.]"; in dark blue ink, at lower left corner: "X"
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: American
  • Classification: Photographs