Railroad Crew Group Photo
Some clues allow us to estimate timeline on this image. In the 19th Century railroads provided quick transportation for goods as the population expanded to the West. The Star Union Line offered shipping between cities on the East Coast and the Midwest as a fast freight company.
The Star Union Line was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in 1873 was short lived after the merger, dissolved by the PRR amongst few hundred other subsidiaries when it was investigated for monopoly on railroad company mergers.
The gang stand infront of the Pennsylvania Star Union Line wood boxcar. Early Wood Beam Freight with a five point star in a circle logo (pre-dates 1893), the iconic PRR logo (1902) as the herald.
The Pennsylvania Railroad Company (1846 - 1976), also known as PRR or “Pennsy”, grew to be the largest railroad company, transportation enterprise and corporation in the world by the late 1800’s. At its height, its rail network far surpassed that of its competition, reaching over 11,640 miles in total length.
The proliferation and success of the railroad network and industrial revolution it supported, in PA and the U.S., would not have been possible were it not for the discovery and subsequent industry of anthracite coal. Beyond resulting in the construction of the first railroad in PA, it contributed to greater efficiency and was the preferred energy and heat source for factories and dwellings alike, due to its uniquely energy-dense, clean and long burning qualities.
Together these two industries were the core of the PA Industrial Revolution, helping to change the face of American industry and very fabric of the country.