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About this collection

 The steam-engine powered Pennsylvania Railroad number 6306 train crosses a small railroad bridge over a gorge in Rockville, Pennsylvania in December of 1956.

The Frank G. Zahn Collection of Pennsylvania Railroad Photographs consists of approximately 1,273 black and white (and a small number of color) photographic prints; 2,027 35mm slides, and 1,331 negatives of various sizes (majority 35mm). While a significant portion of the photographs were taken by Frank Zahn himself, the rest are by other photographers and were purchased or collected by Mr. Zahn. Only the photographs taken by Mr. Zahn are represented in this digital collection.

The photographs depict railroad equipment and facilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania, roughly between 1930 and 2000. Subjects include trains, stations, rail yards, repair shops and other facilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Among the railroads represented in the collection are the Delaware and Hudson; Delaware, Lackawanna and Western; Erie; Erie-Lackawanna; Lehigh and Hudson; Lehigh and New England; Lehigh Valley; New York Central; Penn Central; Pennsylvania; and Reading, plus numerous short lines.

Frank G. Zahn (1925 – 2008) was native of Glendale, Queens, and worked as a freight brakeman and conductor on the Long Island Rail Road from 1944 to 1978. As he traveled all over the United States and Canada, he photographed trains. In his spare time, Mr. Zahn also built O-gauge models of steam engines. He was an original member of the Long Island-Sunrise Trail Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS). Mr. Zahn died on June 8, 2008.

Originally donated to the archives of Queens Borough Public Library, New York, N.Y., the Library made the decision to offer the Pennsylvania portion of the photographs to an archives in Pennsylvania, and donated this collection to the Urban Archives, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries in 2011.

 

 
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