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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

New Market Railroad Construction Photograph

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3327

This photograph depicts workers using a steam-driven shovel to repair railroad tracks in New Market, Tennessee. A number of civilians, including women in dresses and hats, are observing them. The damage to the tracks may have been incurred during the New Market Train Wreck (1904). A caption written across the top of the photograph reads Mr. Ed. King, New Market, Tennessee.

Dates

  • circa 1905

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

This photograph depicts workers using a steam-driven shovel to repair railroad tracks in New Market, Tennessee. A number of civilians, including women in dresses and hats, are observing them. The damage to the tracks may have been incurred during the New Market Train Wreck (1904). A caption written across the top of the photograph reads Mr. Ed. King, New Market, Tennessee.

Biographical/Historical Note

The New Market Train Wreck took place on September 24, 1904 and proved the need for a double train track in the city. It involved Train 15 (a local train out of Bristol) and the Carolina Special (out of Chattanooga). Both trains were using the same track, and standard procedure indicated that the local train would pull off at the Hodges Switch between New Market and Strawberry Plains to allow the larger Special to pass. The conductor on Train 15, however, was told stop on a side track in New Market instead. For reasons unknown, Train 15 did not stop when it reached New Market but continued through on the side track. Numerous people saw this error and attempted to warn the Special that their track was not clear, but their warnings were not received in time. By the time the two crews spotted each other (on Joseph Whitaker's farm near Lost Creek) it was too late. The trains collided at a combined speed of approximately 110 miles per hour, and it is estimated that 113 were killed. At the time, the disaster was the worst train wreck in North American history.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

The University of Tennessee's Special Collections Library purchased this photograph in March of 2009.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480