The Loop, S.P.R.R.

Carleton Watkinsabout 1876 - 1880

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

When tracks were laid for the new Southern Pacific Railroad, two teams raced to join each other, one moving south through the Central Valley and the other heading north from Los Angeles. Many geological obstacles along the route required innovative solutions, such as the circling Tehachapi Loop seen here.

After 1860, the railroad was a persistent subject in Carleton Watkins's photographs. As a close friend of Collis P. Huntington, one of the executives of the Central Pacific Railroad and its extension, the Southern Pacific, Watkins traveled along the railways for many years with complementary annual passes. He essentially functioned as an unofficial photographer of the railroads, often taking images on or near the new tracks.

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  • Title: The Loop, S.P.R.R.
  • Creator: Carleton Watkins
  • Date: about 1876 - 1880
  • Physical Dimensions: 39.1 x 54 cm (15 3/8 x 21 1/4 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, Gift in memory of Kathleen W. Naef
  • Object Type: Print
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 94.XM.109.3
  • Markings: (Recto, mount: rectangular imprinted cream-colored label in black ink, affixed to lower center under image: "THE LOOP. / S.P.R.R. / WATKINS' NEW SERIES. / 427 Montgomery St., S. F. [space] No. 1133. [all within black ink border]"
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: Gift in memory of Kathleen W. Naef
  • Classification: Photographs