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William H. Rau

Cathedral Rocks, Susquehanna River near Meghoppen, for the Lehigh Valley Railroad
1899
albumen print
17 1/4 x 20 3/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Charles T. Isaacs

At the turn of the century, when the automobile was still a novelty, Americans viewed rail travel through romantic lenses. The Lehigh Valley Railroad promoted tourism by hiring William Rau to photograph along its routes in Pennsylvania and New York. In this scene, Rau may be perched on the front of a locomotive to view the railroad tracks as they sinuously traverse the landscape. The figure on the tracks and the canoe on the river bank provide human interest.