[The Devil's Slide, Utah]

Carleton Watkins1873 - 1874

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

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.

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  • Title: [The Devil's Slide, Utah]
  • Creator: Carleton Watkins
  • Date: 1873 - 1874
  • Location Created: Utah, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 52.1 x 39.1 cm (20 1/2 x 15 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.11.18
  • Inscription: (Recto, mount) inscribed in pencil, at bottom right edge: "The Devils [sic] Slide [space] Utah"; in pencil, at lower right corner: "9317"; in pencil, at lower right corner: "4000"
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: American
  • Classification: Photographs