Smithsonian to open new displays on transcontinental railroad

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This and other historic images from the building of the Transcontinental Railroad will be part of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
National Museum of American History

WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad by opening two new exhibits on Friday.

“Forgotten Workers: Chinese Migrants and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad” and the accompanying “The Transcontinental Railroad” will be on display until spring 2020.

“Forgotten Workers” will focus on the Chinese laborers whose work made possible completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, with objects providing a look into the daily lives of Chinese laborers, a large floor map showing the terrain that challenged the builders of the railroad, and two interpretive carts. The “Stereoscope Cart: Building the Transcontinental Railroad” will feature historic 3-D images from the construction. The “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” cart will learn about the jobs involved in building and operating the railroad.

“The Transcontinental Railroad” display will feature models of the locomotives that met at Promontory Summit, Utah, and a replica spike donated by Union Pacific in 1958. More information on the displays is available here; additional information on the museum is available here.



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