The Lamp Room

One of the things that interests me about Jack Delano’s photographs is that he explores the often unseen areas of railroading. He captures the human element in many of his photographs, and he likes to poke around in the support infrastructure of the railroads.

Here is a great example of that. Pictured is the lamp room of the Chicago Union Station. This was simply a place where the lanterns (mostly kerosene fueled) were cleaned and repaired. The worker is busy cleaning what appears to be a marker lamp for the end of a train. Note the Pennsylvania Railroad bulletin board behind him, and the metal cages at left to store the lanterns from the various roads.

This image was recorded on January 1st of 1943, and if you look carefully, you’ll see the obligatory war bonds poster at right rear.

Lamp Room, Chicago Union Station