Train Wreck near Clinton, Iowa

attributed to J. Blackhall

Although unsigned, this carte de visite was found with others from Blackhall's Gallery--one showing another view of this wreck, the other showing a railroad bridge. As with any photograph taken away from the studio in the wet-plate era, this early (probably late 1860s) news photograph would have required the use of a portable darkroom to sensitize and then process the glass negative in the field. The number of spectators indicates the strong local interest in this disaster and suggests that those unable to reach the scene might have been happy to have a print of this photograph in order to "see for themselves."

P R E V I O U S     I M  A G E

SMALL WORLDS: The Art of the Carte de Visite

A Brief History of the Carte de Visite


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