The heart of America grows with Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad | WBEZ
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Eight Forty-Eight

The heart of America grows with Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad

In 1849, a little rail line started shuttling passengers from Chicago to Aurora and back. Within a few years, the company merged with other smaller lines, and within decades, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy tracks would cover most of the United States. 

The railroad workers and the communities they built would become an integral part of American history. So for the company’s centennial in 1949, the CB&Qcommissioned two well-known photographers to document life along the tracks. Few of those images had been seen, until now. 

They’re the centerpiece of a new exhibition at the Newberry Library -Everywhere West: Daily Life Along the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad

It’s co-curated by Martha Briggs and Ginger Frere. They give Alison Cuddy a tour recently.

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