Various locations: 1902-1907. Various.
Journals and a photograph album recording an early 20th surveyor’s work on eight different railroad and river system projects.
There are three items in this lot: a journal kept from April 1903 through December 1904; an album with photographs taken between 1902 and 1907, and a small pocket diary used in 1907. The journal (7" x 8.5" is legible and includes a number of news clippings; it has a sound binding and worn cover. The photograph album (11" x 7.25") holds around 130 captioned and glued-in photographs ranging in approximate size from 3" x 3' to 5" x 7". About ten pages are loose, and the cover has some minor wear. The small one-year pocket diary for 1907 measures 2.75" x 5.75".
Appling's journal and photograph album both begin in earnest in April 1903.
At the time, he was working as a low-level supervisor, jack-of-all-trades, and surveyor-in- training at Pennsylvania Railroad's Linwood Yards at Cincinnati, Ohio while simultaneously taking correspondence courses for a college degree.
He next began work with a Corps of Engineers Ohio River surveying project later that year in August.
Appling's journal reflects that between December 1903 and August 1904, he spent most of his time as a full-time student, probably at the University of Cincinnati, until he secured a job with the Big Four (Cleveland Cincinnati Chicago and St. Louis Railroad) in Illinois.
After his journal ends, it is still possible to track Appling's career through the captioned photographs in his album. Over the next three years, he worked in succession for the
Chicago, Quincy & Burlington Railroad at Wind River Canyon and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming,
Chicago, Northwestern Railroad in Wisconsin,
Illinois Central Railroad in Tennessee, and the
Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad in Mississippi.
The photographs in Appling's album provide an exceptional window into the field-life of a railroad surveyor showing small-town life, surveying equipment and teams, track gangs, immigrant labor, locomotives, riverboats, bridges, handcars, train wrecks, desert camps and tent cities, wagon trains and freighters, log cabins, bunk furnishings, wildlife, livestock pens, lumbering operations, hoists and other machinery, mile markers, railroad offices, "A little Nigger cabin", and more. Very good. Item #009528
A unique and extremely detailed first-hand visual and textual record of railroad fieldwork in the early years of the 20th-century.