Sunday, May 28, 2017

Digging the Cut

Today, as giant earthmovers constantly recarve the landscape, it's easy to forget that there was a time when it was men, not machine, that cut away the hillsides to make our roads and railroads possible. It was men, not machine, who built America.

A work gang, probably composed of immigrants, likely Irishmen, uses picks and shovels to move a bit of a mountain out of the way. In an era when photography usually relied on long exposure times, the freezing of a shovelfull of dirt in mid-air before it drops into the railcar is remarkable.

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