Barriger Exhibition at St. Louis Mercantile Library

Through June 2013. St. Louis Mercantile Library, First Floor, 7606 Natural Bridge Road, St Louis, Missouri. “Along the Line: 1930s Railroad Photographs by John W. Barriger III” is now on display at the St. Louis Mercantile Library. The exhibition features black-and-white prints of photographs made by John W. Barriger III (1899-1976), whose deep love for railroading led him to create one of the most far-reaching photographic surveys of the nation’s railroads ever undertaken. Most of the photographs in the exhibition focus on the 1930s, when Barriger led the railroad division of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a federal agency that oversaw loans to railroads during the Great Depression. After World War II, Barriger served four different railroads as president, continuing to photograph while advocating for “super-railroads.” For his myriad contributions to the industry, the National Railroad Hall of Fame in Galesburg, Illinois, inducted Barriger into its pantheon of leaders on June 23, 2012. The Center, the Hall, and the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library in St. Louis worked together to present this exhibition.
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Double-headed westbound steam freight train on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in Burlington, Iowa, in the 1930s. Photograph by John W. Barriger III, collection of the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library.