We have a treasure trove of old negatives and photos at The Herald-Dispatch. Some of the images, we know. Others, we have no idea.
We are scanning the negatives and photos and running some of the photos in the newspaper.
These photos were from a box of 4x5 negatives.
Browse through the gallery. If you can add caption information to any of the photos (or correct a caption we already have), e-mail online editor Andrea Copley-Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-526-2764. Be sure to include the title of the gallery, details of the photo, your name and phone number.
Herald-Dispatch photo archive -
The Huntington Shops of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Co. Thanks to Richard McCoy for the identification. These photos ran in the June 19, 1954, Huntington Advertiser about the shops preparing for a new age in railroading -- the diesels. The story said the main building, located on 6th Avenue between 23rd and 29th streets, is more than two city blocks long and nearly as wide. The shops were "born with Huntington and have been an integral part of the city since they were built in 1873, when T.J. Hamer was master mechanic and 250 men were employed." The machines in the photo handle work weighing into the tons. An overhead crane can pick up a 250-ton engine and set it down. In the corner stood a machine, almost two stories high, that could pull a piece of steel four inches thick apart "like a child pulling taffy." According to plant superintendent Lester Savage, "Everybody knows we are here, but hardly anybody knows how big we are. There isn't much we can't do here." The shops employed 1,159 mechanics, helpers, scientist and laborers at the time. The shops were undergoing a drastic overhauling and redesigning to make way for a "new age" in railroading. According to the story, the men at the shops worked out the comprehensive plan and "sold" the idea to the road's directors. It meant a complete conversion from steam locomotive work to diesels and cards, with installation of a large wheel shop, and electrical shop and other departments. According to the story, the railroad men were saddened when the changeover was made. "The diesels' voice is a sorrowing sort of 'boop-boop,' not at all like the lonesome 'who-o-o-w-o-o' of the coal burning giants of the old days. ... But diesels have their points. For one thing, they don't have to be put on a turntable and turned around. Therefore, the ancient roundhouse, center of folklore and legend on the railroad, now is forlorn and abandoned. It is used for a paint shop and storage. The Huntington shops serviced cars and locomotives from Handley (southeast of Charleston) to Chicago (the story mentions that there were shops at Peru, Ind., and Russell, Ky., but many of the jobs still came to Huntington).