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  • Writer's pictureBecky Fifield

Railroads: What’s Your Sign?

Cafe Witteveen (run by friend Jeremy W.) featured a website dedicated to the insignias of railroads long gone by. Honoring my Maryland roots, here’s a Baltimore & Ohio insignia from 1945:

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad insignia (1945). Photo:

This reminded me of a job Walker Evans did in 1956 for a Fortune Magazine article entitled “Before They Disappear.”  The film is housed in the Walker Evans Archive at The Metropolitan Museum of art, 1994.259.11.1-155. Interestingly, the Fortune article did not mean “before trains disappear,” but was focusing on older railroad insignias being replaced by mid-century commercial designers, “lurking near, T square poised.”

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Walker Evans Archive, 1994.259.11.1.

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