Carleton Watkins's arresting image of the Devil's Slide, an unusual limestone slab formation in Weber Canyon, Utah, was probably made as a souvenir for railroad tourists. Watkins likely traveled aboard this train, which was clearly posed for the photograph. Despite the steam that continues to escape from the engine, the engineer stands in the locomotive's doorway beside the wood supply, far from the controls and looking directly at the photographer.

Recognizing that attractive images promoted tourism, railroad officials instructed engineers to be accommodating about stopping for the purposes of photographers.


  • Title: [The Devil's Slide, Utah]
  • Creator: Carleton Watkins
  • Date Created: 1873 - 1874
  • Location Created: Utah, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 52.1 × 39.1 cm (20 1/2 × 15 3/8 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: 85.XM.11.18
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

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