Alfred A. Hart Photos

Alfred A. Hart, born in Norwich, Connecticut on March 16, 1816, was the principal photographer for the Central Pacific Railroad during the construction of the Overland Route. He photographed the construction from 1865 to 1869 when the last spike was driven by Leland Stanford at Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869. Although he worked as a photographer as early as 1857, Hart was trained as a portrait and landscape artist; after his work for the Central Pacific, he continued to paint and was awarded the gold medal for his paintings at an exhibition at the California State Fair in 1872. Nonetheless, Hart is remembered for his work in visually documenting the construction of the western half of the first transcontinental railroad.

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