Last summer I posted a photograph inside the Chicago and North Western’s roundhouse in their Proviso yard near Chicago. That scene, captured in December of 1942, is one of my favorite Jack Delano images. While scanning through the vast number of black and white negatives in the collection at the Library of Congress, I was surprised to see that Mr. Delano had recorded a similar view of this roundhouse in B&W. It presents an entirely different feel than the color image, so I thought I’d post it here.
It’s hard to imagine working in such a smoky environment. I would assume that a locomotive has either just entered or departed the house judging from the density of smoke. Looking through the haze, one can discern the image of a worker warming himself by the heater (that open fire of coal in the drum).
As I like to say, “this place is reeking with atmosphere!”.