Photograph album of views of the Ferrocarril Central from Callao to Chicla, Peru, 1882-1889

Processed by Jane Carpenter with assistance from Simon Elliott; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Photograph album of views of the Ferrocarril Central from Callao to Chicla, Peru
Date (inclusive): 1882-1889
Collection number: 94/322
Physical Description: 1 album (50 photographic prints) : albumen, 29 x 38 cm (album)

Photographs are mounted on 24 stiff white card leaves mounted on stubs; ms. stock numbers [?] 172-202 below lower left-hand corner of photo; ms. captions in pen below each photo, written in English, with numerous errors in spelling of Spanish place names.

Spec. Coll. copy: large oblong folio half-bound in brown cloth and black leather; gold-stamped cover title "Album of Photographs;" textured white endpapers. Small red label on front pastedown of Partridge Photo Supplier of San Francisco [Calif.]. Monogrammed label on front pastedown, with initials "M.S. Co." or "S.M. Co." and caption above and below "Established A.D. 1802." In modern beige cloth clamshell box.
Abstract: Album of photographs of travel through Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Hawaii, probably dating from 1883-1889.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Joint Special Collections-CRIS purchase, Charles B. Wood, 2011.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Photograph album of views of the Ferrocarril Central from Callao to Chicla, Peru (Collection 94/322). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233582 

Scope and Content

The album, perhaps compiled for an ambassador, government official, or high-ranking businessman or railroad official, documents the arrival of the traveler--perhaps from San Francisco--in Corinto, Nicaragua, aboard the Pacific Mail steamer "San José." The journey continues probably aboard a U.S. Navy ship, the officers of which were photographed on deck in a group portrait. The ship stops in Panama--there are photos of Chiriqui Prison there--and then the port of Paita in northern Peru, a desolate town. The final stop is the port city of Callao, near Lima. A sign in the port announces the "Ferrocarril a Lima y Chorrillos"; there are also photos of the plaza and the Calle Constitución. In the capital city of Lima, photos capture splendid examples of colonial architecture, with photos of the elaborately carved wooden balconies of the Torre Tagle Palace, the baroque facade of the church of San Juan de Dios, and the towers of the great cathedral of Lima. Also included are views of the Palacio de Gobierno, the arcades along the Plaza, the Bolívar statue in the Plaza Bolívar, and a garden path in the Lima suburb of Miraflores. The next 18 photos document a journey on the Ferrocaril Central, which runs from Callao up the Peruvian Andes to La Oroya, one of the greatest feats of railroad engineering in the world. The railroad was designed by an American, Henry Meiggs of San Francisco; construction began in Callao in 1870 under the direction of two Polish engineers, Ernest Malinowski, and Edward Jan Habich, and was completed as far as Chicla by 1878; the final stretch to the smelter at La Oroya (12,178 feet above sea level) was delayed by the international economic crisis, Meiggs's death in 1877, and the outbreak of the War of the Pacific in 1879, and was not completed until 1893. Ascending from Callao, the tracks run along the Rimac River, to Chicla (12,225 ft. elev.), passing herds of llamas, mountain hamlets, and the old terraced fields of the Incas, now overgrown with turf. The train makes its way through the Andes, through tunnels (there are a total of 63 tunnels on the route), switchbacks, and narrow gorges, climbing higher and higher. Three important railroad bridges are pictured: the Infiernillo bridge (Puente Infiernillo) spans a chasm over 1000 feet deep, with a tunnel at both ends; the Verrugas viaduct is made of hollow wrought iron columns 252 feet tall at its highest point, and was manufactured in Phoenixville, Pa. at a cost of $63,000; and the Challape viaduct, near Matucana. The travelers return to Callao by handcar, as seen in the final Peru photo which captures four gentlemen posing in a handcar on the Infiernillo Bridge tracks. The album concludes with a series of photos of Hawaii, probably added at a later time, after the Peruvian railroad photos. The Hawaiian photos include portraits of the Hawaiian royal family--Queen Kapiolani, King David Kalakaua, his niece, Princess Victoria Kaiulani Cleghorn as a young girl; their royal residence, the Iolani Palace in Honolulu, in both interior and exterior shots; and Hale Akala, a bungalow which the king had built in 1882 as a more informal residence for everyday living. Also pictured in the album is the "Residence of H.M. Cleghorn," home of Princess Kaiulani, daughter of King David's sister, Miriam Likelike and Archibald Cleghorn, a Scottish businessman.
Possible range of dates suggested by historic references in photos, and date of album patent, April 1882, stamped in blue along gutter of album at end.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Kapiolani, Queen of Hawaii, 1834-1899 --Photographs.
Kalakaua, David, King of Hawaii, 1836-1891 --Photographs.
Kaiulani, Princess of Hawaii, 1875-1899 --Photographs.
Pacific Mail Steamship Company.
Palacio de Torre-Tagle (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Chiriqui Prison (Chiriqui, Panama) --Photographs.
Catedral de Lima --Photographs.
San Juan de Dios (Church : Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Palacio de Gobierno (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Ferrocarril Central (Peru) --Photographs.
Paita-Piura Railway --Photographs.
United States. Navy --Officers --Photographs.
Iolani Palace --Photographs.
Parliament House (Honolulu, Hawaii) --Photographs.
Steamboats --Nicaragua --Corinto --Photographs.
Balconies --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Facades --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Plazas --Peru --Callao (Callao) --Photographs.
Plazas --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Gardens --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Windmills --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Llamas --Peru --Chicla --Photographs.
Terracing --Andes Region --Photographs.
Railroads --Peru --Photographs.
Railroad tunnels --Andes Region --Photographs.
Railroad bridges --Andes Region --Photographs.
Handcars --Andes Region --Photographs.
Corinto (Nicaragua) --Photographs.
Paita (Peru) --Photographs.
Paita (Peru) --Buildings, structures, etc. --Photographs.
Callao (Callao, Peru) --Photographs.
Callao (Callao, Peru) --Buildings, structures, etc. --Photographs.
Lima (Peru) --Photographs.
Miraflores (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Plaza Bolívar (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Chicla (Peru) --Photographs.
Andes --Photographs.
La Oroya (Peru) --Photographs.
Rimac River (Peru) --Photographs.
Honolulu (Hawaii) --Photographs.

Genres and Forms of Material

Photographic prints
Albumen prints.
Portrait photographs.
Photograph albums

Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

Partridge Photo Supplier.

Related Material

For additional information on the photographs of the La Oroya (Central) railroad, see Natalia Majluf, "Photographers in Andean visual culture: traces of an absent landscape," History of photography 24, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 91-100, especially p. 93-95.
Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94)   in UCLA Library Special Collections.