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About the Cover Photograph

The cover photograph of a Denver and Rio Grande Railroad passenger train was taken between 1890 and 1910 for the railroad. The location is the Texas Creek Bridge, over the Arkansas River in Fremont County. The passenger train is climbing the steep grade on its way up Texas Creek to Westcliffe. Although the route was abandoned in 1937, remains of the stone embankment on the distant mountainside can still be seen today.

The brown tone of the photo is indicative of an albumen print, a popular photographic method from 1860-90, the first commercially used method of producing a photograph on paper using a negative. Albumen, which is found in egg whites, is used to bind the photo chemicals to the paper. This photo was likely given a selenium toning bath to improve both its tone and longevity.
The photo, credited to the D&R.G.R.R., is the property of the Denver Public Library, which maintains a huge database of historical documents. The online collection contains a selection of photographs, maps, broadsides, architectural drawings and other documents from the collections of the Western History/Genealogy Department chronicling the people, places, and events that shaped the settlement and growth of the Western United States. The work of many outstanding photographers is represented, and the collection includes images of Native Americans, pioneers, railroads, mining, Denver and Colorado towns, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, the 10th Mountain Division ski troops and many more. New images chronicling the ongoing development of Western America are continually being added.

Founded in 1889, the Denver Public Library connects people with information, ideas and experiences to provide enjoyment, enrich lives and strengthen the community. With 26 locations throughout Denver, the library provides essential resources to the community, including early literacy programs, computer and internet access and training, family and adult programs.
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