Conestoga Bridge
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William H. Rau Photograph of Conestoga Bridge, 1891. 

A lone man stands in his boat and pushes it along the water with an oar. A train passes over the Conestoga Bridge as the sun casts shadows of the bridge, the train, the man, and his boat.

Credit: Courtesy of the American Premier Underwriters, Inc (reproduction provided by the Library Company of Philadelphia)

Hired by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1891 to take photographs that would promote its passenger service, Philadelphia photographer William H. Rau created some of the most memorable images of American railroading. Traveling in a special rail car fitted as a mobile darkroom–which one can see in this photograph of the Conestoga Bridge, east of Lancaster– Rau photographed the landscapes that passengers would see as they traveled the PRR's lines. He later worked as official photographer for the Lehigh Valley Railroad.

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