Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Train Movie: Bill Darrough Railroad Photographer

UP steam locomotive

Ken and I are making a movie
My youngest son Kenneth has been scanning hundreds of train photos taken in the late thirties and early forties. These were taken by and/or are from the collection of Bill Darrough. This is an amazing collection of photographs. In a conversation with Bill's brother Jack in August of 1988 Jack said, "Bill died in 1942, he was 22 years-old. He suffered from severe teenage acne and they had treated it with massive doses of radiation, which at the time was thought harmless. The radiation cleared his acne but Bill died of cancer." According to Jack, he and Bill came from a railroad family. The members of a railroaders family were then given passes and could travel free on the nation's passenger trains. The period that Bill lived in was near the climax of the era of steam railroading in this country. Jack said Bill would pack two suitcases, one with film and the other with sandwiches and the young man would go on trips alone photographing trains. In my opinion had he lived he would have been one of the greatest railroad photographers of the twentieth century. It is an amazing story and so Ken and I are trying to tell it. We will be presenting the video movie in March at a railroad convention named Winterail.

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