cover of book

The Steam and Diesel Era in Wheeling, West Virginia: Photographs by J. J. Young Jr.
by Nicholas Fry, Gregory Smith and Elizabeth Davis-Young
West Virginia University Press, 2016
Cloth: 978-1-943665-03-7
Library of Congress Classification TF25.W48Y68 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 385.0975414


For nearly seventy years, John J. Young Jr. photographed railroads. With unparalleled scope and span, he documented the impact and beauty of railways in American life from 1936 to 2004.

As a child during the Great Depression, J. J. Young Jr. began to photograph railroads in Wheeling, West Virginia. This book collects over one hundred fifty of those images—some unpublished until now—documenting the railroads of Wheeling and the surrounding area from the 1930s until the 1960s.

The photographs within this book highlight the major railroads of Wheeling: the Baltimore & Ohio, the Pennsylvania, the Wheeling & Lake Erie, the Pittsburgh & West Virginia, the New York Central, and the industrial and interurban rail lines that crisscrossed the region. These images capture the routine activities of trains that carried passengers and freight to and from the city and its industries, as well as more unusual traffic, such as a circus-advertising car, the General Motors Train of Tomorrow, and the 1947 American Freedom Train.

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