Tui or Parson Bird Prosthemadera Novae Zealandiae. From: 'A history of the birds of New Zealand' by Walter Lawry Buller | OUR Heritage

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Hear the Train Blow: A Pictorial Epic of America in the Railroad Age





Webber Collection



New York: E.P. Dutton & Co.


On 10 May 1869, after six years of laying rails, the last spike was hammered into the ground during an apparently alcohol-soaked ceremony in Promontory, Utah. One of the photographs, here, features a champagne bottle extended between the two train drivers. The joining together of the track was seven years ahead of schedule, and nothing of the sort had ever been built in America before: ‘there were no precedents for a work of this magnitude, especially at such high elevations’. The construction of the 3077 kilometre railroad helped to ease the white settlement of the West Coast, reducing travelling time from weeks to days. Little thought was given to the encroachment of the railroad onto native lands, and the changes that this would bring about.


Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg, “Hear the Train Blow: A Pictorial Epic of America in the Railroad Age,” | OUR Heritage, accessed January 28, 2022,

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