Jack Delano's Color Photos of Chicago's Rail Yards in the 1940s

Jack Delano was one of the photographers who worked in Roy Stryker’s Farm Security Administration photography program in the early 1940s, traveling the American countryside, photographing people and places with the stated goal of “introducing America to Americans.” In 1942 and ’43, Delano spent time in the rail yards of Chicago, documenting the busy freight hub and the countless workers who kept the trains running 24 hours a day. Some of his most striking images were made on Kodachrome color transparencies, wonderfully preserved in the Library of Congress today. Collected below, a handful of images from Chicago as it was some 75 years ago.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Grenadier Guards, Floating Island, Wrapped Arch

    Flooding in southern France, cliff diving in Ireland, civilian astronauts’ launch from Florida, an elephant bath in Pakistan, scenes from the Met Gala in New York City, and much more

  • Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters

    Scenes From Greenland

    Snapshots from the largest island in the world

  • Dr. Andrew Mark Posselt, California

    Photographing the Microscopic: Winners of Nikon Small World 2021

    Some of the winning and honored images from the 2021 Small World Photomicrography Competition

  • Zhe Ji / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Depleted Lake, Wayward Cow, Alligator Reef

    A “Tribute in Light” in New York City, lingering power outages in Louisiana, rice harvesting in Japan, final scenes from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, a Neanderthal in the Netherlands, and much more