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David W. Salter

By | May 9, 2006

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David W. Salter’s natural curiosity took him trackside throughout the South in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, photographing railroads in both color and black-and-white.

Photography took a back seat when he was drafted into the Navy in 1950, and bounced to places as far-flung as Boston and Seattle, but Salter returned to his hobby after a 1960 transfer brought him back to Atlanta. By the time he moved to Denver in 1975, Salter had already familiarized himself with Colorado railroads like the Rio Grande and Burlington.

While some fans stopped photographing when railroads retired steam, Salter did not. Salter’s collection of photographs from the South, taken by him and others, will be donated to the Smithsonian Institution.

“All I did was throw up the camera and shoot,” says Salter in the Spring 2002 issue of Classic Trains magazine, commenting on his efforts to record the rapid transition from steam to diesel. “I’m glad I didn’t stop, for the younger generations now would rather see those early diesels than the steam.”

See outstanding photographs by David W. Salter in the Spring 2002 issue of Classic Trains magazine.

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