A Trailblazer in Railroad Photography
Can you name any of the photographers who helped document American Railroad History?
You might have said Lucius Beebe or Charles Clegg. But what about Phil Hastings?
Dr. Philip “Phil” Hastings is less well-known than other photographers. Yet, his works left an important mark on railroading history.
A psychiatrist and photographer, Hastings developed a love for trains at an early age. Throughout his life, he traveled the United States documenting the end of the "Age of Steam". Hastings's many images tell the stories of railroad employees, communities, and landscapes. He also used a variety of photography techniques. His images help us understand American Railroading in a time of change.
This exhibit explores some of Hastings's images selected by author Tony Reevy.
A lasting Legacy
Hastings's works ushered in a new era for railroad photography. Focusing on people and communities, he introduced a new way of capturing railroad history. In doing so, Hastings reminded others of how the railroad shaped their lives.
In 1997, Marian Hastings donated her late-husband's collection to the California State Railroad Museum’s Library & Archives. His collection has more than 46,000 negatives and 4,000 railroad prints taken across the county. Hastings's work continues to help us to understand the end of the "Age of Steam."
Tony Reevy's latest work, The Railroad Photography of Phil Hastings, provides a deeper look into the work of Phil Hastings. You can also view more of Hastings's work at the CSRM Library & Archives. Book an appointment on our website today to visit.