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C&O OVER-LAND: STRETCHER NECK

This project is about the relationship between land, labor and technology. Wolfgang Schivelbusch writes about the railroad in the UK vs the US: in the UK land was expensive and labor was cheap so the railroad’s course was as straight as possible, necessitating many labor intensive tunnels and bridges. In the US land was cheap (because of forced removal of Native Americans), labor was expensive, and new axle technology allowed for sharper curves, so the railroad followed the twists and turns of the landscape and tunnels were few.

These three peninsulas are the locations where railroad engineers chose to build tunnels to save track. They are the only three points where the railroad diverges significantly from the Greenbriar river’s course in between Clifton Forge, VA and Hinton, WV.

Part of an ongoing project inspired by engineer’s records from the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad through West Virginia in the 1870’s- from the C&O Historical Society in Clifton Forge, Virginia. 

Letterpress collagraph and screenprint on Japanese paper, 14”x20”

2019




                                                                                          
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