Trained as a civil engineer, photographer O. Winston Link was captivated by the American steam locomotive and its imminent demise, spending the late 1950s documenting its final years before the advent of diesel engine trains. His best-known work, the resulting portfolio of black-and-white photographs captures the last steam trains of the Norfolk & Western Railway line and the small Virginia towns through which they ran—an elegiac portrait of the end of an era. By photographing the trains as seen through a living room window, from the edge of a public pool, or over the tops of cars parked at a drive-in, Link effectively showed how closely interwoven these technological relics were with the landscapes and lives through which they passed. Winston helped establish the ubiquity of rail photography and pioneered the use of night photography significantly.
O. Winston Link
b. 1914, U.S.A.; d. 2001, U.S.A.
NW1103, Hot Shot Eastbound at the laeger Drive-in (West Virginia)
Gelatin Silver Print
15 1/2 x 19 1/4 in.
(39.4 x 48.9 cm)
© O. Winston Link