Rare Photo Collection of Bolivia and Its Railways in the 1910s

[Album with 141 Original Gelatin Silver Photographs of the Bolivian Andes, Railway Tracks, Cars and Infrastructure, Potosi and Environs, Expedition Camps and Members, Bolivian Porters and Locals, etc.].

Ca. 1910s. Oblong Folio album (ca. 28x39,5 cm). 54 card stock leaves (several blank). With 138 mounted gelatin silver photographs, including a two-part panorama ca. 6,5x16 cm (2 ½ x 6 ¼ in); the other photos are from ca. 8,5x11 cm (3 ¼ x 4 ¼ in) to ca. 7x10 cm (2 ¾ x 4 in). No captions. With three loosely inserted large photos ca. 19,5x25 cm (7 ¾ x 9 ¾ in). Period brown “Heinn Co.’s” faux leather album fastened with a string. Album rubbed and worn on extremities, corners bumped, several images have been previously removed from the album, a couple photos mildly faded or with mild silvering, but overall a very good album with strong interesting photos.

Historically significant collection of original photos of the Bolivian Andes, Potosi and environs, most likely taken in the 1910s during the surveying and construction of the country’s railway network, showing tracks of Ferrocarril de Bolivia (“Bolivia Railway”) and Ferrocarril La Paz Yungas. Over thirty photos show railway tracks and stations, water towers, bridges, steam engines, railway cars (with the sign “F.C. de B. 2006”), the expedition party members riding a railway car with the sign “La Paz-Yungas,” a part of a track destroyed by a landslide, etc. There are also photos of the expedition tent camp, the expedition car going on mountainous roads, crossing a makeshift bridge or stuck in the mud; several photos feature the expedition members setting up a triangulation tripod, examining charts, etc. There are also several excellent street views of Potosi. Two photos show the pedestrian suspension bridge over the Pilcomayo River near Sucre, Chuquisaca Department (built in 1890). The other photos show Andean foothills and valleys, dirt roads, settlements (one of the houses with a sign “Ventas por mayor e menor”), adobe shanties, rivers and riverbank levees made of rocks, cargo carts, Bolivian porters, women and children, a llama caravan at a resting station, etc. The two-part panorama shows a town at the Andean foothills. Overall an interesting first-hand visual account of a trip to the Bolivian Andes in the 1910s, with a strong railway connection.

Item #422

Price: $2,750.00 USD