[Last Rail Laid at Promontory Point, May 10th, 1869]

Object Details

Title:

[Last Rail Laid at Promontory Point, May 10th, 1869]

Artist/Maker(s):

Alfred A. Hart (American, 1816 - 1908)

Culture:

American

Date:

May 10, 1869

Medium:

Albumen silver

Dimensions:

Mount: 8.3 x 17.1 cm (3 1/4 x 6 3/4 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Weston J. and Mary M. Naef

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The construction of the transcontinental railroad required overcoming political, financial, and geological obstacles; significantly, it also shifted the attention of the American public away from the sorrows of the Civil War to the promise of westward expansion. This photograph displays the crowd of workers and dignitaries gathered in Utah to commemorate and celebrate its completion. To properly mark the occasion, the last spike tying the rails was made of solid gold.

Gift of Weston J. and Mary M. Naef

Exhibitions
Railroad Vision (March 3 to June 23, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 5 to June 23, 2002