In March, 1891 a small group of B&O Railroad employees set
out from Baltimore riding on a railroad hand cart to inspect and
photograph bridges and stations along the recently completed 111-mile
Philadelphia Division linking Baltimore and Philadelphia. Under
the supervision of Division Engineer Maintenance-of-Way William
A. Pratt and Foreman of Bridges and Buildings George W. Andrews,
the group photographed 78 bridges and culverts spanning rivers,
creeks, runs, and roads in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania,
and 37 of the nearly 70 stations along the line. The resulting album
containing 129 cyanotype photographs depicts a variety of late 19th-century
railroad architecture and engineering works.
Jennifer Ambrose, Associate Curator of Prints and Photographs
B&O survey team posed with the hand cart.
The front row from left to right includes George W. Andrews, Foreman
of Bridges and Buildings; Dr. Robb, Medical Examiner; William Pratt,
Division Engineer Maintenance-of-Way; and P.G. McNamee, Section
The B&O album documents several common types of
railroad bridges and culverts used to span waterways and roadways
along the Philadelphia Division. The photographs depict almost 30
truss bridges (including both through truss and deck truss bridges);
more than 20 girder bridges (including both pony plate girders and
deck plate girders); and over two dozen stone arch culverts including
two double arched culverts. Below is a sampling of images illustrating
the variety of bridges depicted.
Gray's Avenue Bridge, Philadelphia
Frenchtown Road and Mill Creek Bridge
West Branch Naaman's Creek Culvert
addition to the common railroad bridges found along the line, the
album depicts two larger bridges spanning the Susquehanna River
near Havre de Grace and the Brandywine River in Wilmington.The Susquehanna
River Bridge was over 6,000 feet in length comprised of twelve 250
foot spans with a through truss at the center and rose 94 feet above
mean low tide. left: Susquehanna River Bridge near Havre de Grace
single track Pratt truss bridge over the Brandywine River, known
as Augustine Bridge, was built 1883-5 on five granite masonry piers
by B&O contractors Andrews & Locke of Baltimore. Right:
Augustine Bridge over the Brandywine River in Wilmington.
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Railroad companies regularly used identical designs for small railroad
stations in different locations. The B&O album effectively illustrates
the repetitive use of architectural designs depicting eight designs
for stations which were used in two or more locations including
one design which appeared in five different locations along the
Below are images of the eight common designs with a list of stations
illustrated in the album utilizing the identical design followed
by the album page number.
Stepney Station (26); Carpenter Station (81); Twin Oaks Station
(86); Holmes Station (104); and Llanwellyn Station (104).
Ridley Station (99); Collingdale Station (106); Boone Station (108);
and Sixtieth Street Station (116).
Van Bibber Station (18); Havre de Grace Station (31); Whitaker
Station (37) and Singerly Station (50)
Van Bibber Station
Bradshaw Station (16); Leslie Station (41); Childs Station (47);
and Kiamensi Station (62).
Harford Station (21); Aiken Station (35); Baldwin Station (51);
and Upland Station (89).
Carrcroft Station (78); Darby Station (110); and Folsom Station
Cowenton Station (18) and Aberdeen Station (28).
Boothwyn Station (84); Felton Station (87).
The album also depicts three unique, urban railroad stations designed
for the B&O by Philadelphia architect Frank Furness (1839-1912).
Popular with Pennsylvania railroad companies, Furness designed stations,
towers, and ferryboats for two other railroads receiving 37 commissions
from the Reading Railroad and 16 commissions from the Pennsylvania
Railroad. The B&O album depicts Philadelphia Terminal of the
B&O located at 24th and Chestnut streets and the Water Street
and Delaware Avenue Stations in Wilmington, Delaware. In addition
to these three, Furness designed four other stations for the B&O's
Philadelphia Division which were not included in the album (Bellaire
Station, Chester Station, Frenchtown Station , and Newark Station)
and the B&O's Pittsburgh Terminal.
B&O Terminal at 24th and Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia
Water [or Market] Street Depot, Wilmington
Delaware Avenue Station, Wilmington
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