Guide to the Harold F. Stewart Negatives MS 888

Library & Archives staff
California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives

Contributing Institution: California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives
Title: Harold F. Stewart Negatives
Creator: Stewart, Harold F., 1922-2005
Identifier/Call Number: MS 888
Physical Description: 1.68 Linear Feet 4 "shoe boxes"
Date (inclusive): 1937-1970
Abstract: This collection is comprised of 2.5" x 4.5" black and white photograph negatives taken by Harold F. Stewart between 1937 and 1970, primarily of locomotives in California.
Physical Location: Big Four Building
Language of Material: English .


United Stated railroads arranged alphabetically by the name of the railroad. Each railroad is further arranged by locomotive or rolling stock number. Railroads related to Mexico are arranged at the end of the series, alphabetically by railroads and then arranged by locomotive or rolling stock number.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Stan Kistler, 2008

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the CSRM Library & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Negatives by Doug Richter within this collection cannot be reproduced by CSRM. Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. Permission to use must be submitted in writing to Doug Richter.

Biographical / Historical

Harold Fiske Stewart was born 15 March 1922 in Pasadena, California and passed away 26 December 2005. Stewart was a Motorman with the Pacific Electric and later a Locomotive Engineer with the Southern Pacific. From the mid 1930's on, Stewart was an avid photographer of the Pacific Electric system in Southern California. From the late 1950's to the 1960's Stewart dedicated his free time to traveling throughout the West to document steam locomotives of the Southern Pacific, Colorado & Southern, Northern Pacific and Union Pacific.
When he retired in the spring of 2002, it was from a career that spanned almost 62 years. At the age of 17, in 1939, Stewart began working for the Pacific Electric Railway as a statistical clerk. In November of 1943, he established his road seniority date as a fireman on one of Pacific Electric's steam switch engines. In 1965, when Southern Pacific absorbed Pacific Electric, he stayed on. Again in 1996, when the Union Pacific absorbed Southern Pacific, Stewart continued to stay on.
In approximately 1936, Stewart's parents purchased a folding "116" camera for him and he began to take photos in earnest. According to the Spring 2008, "Classic Trains" article written by Stan Kistler, Stewart had a special interest in the Pacific Electric and made a point to ride all the Southern California lines and photograph them all. Purchasing a Sunday pass for $1 that allowed for unlimited riding over the system for the entire day, Stewart would photograph all the Pacific Electric that he could. Several of the other young men that he met on these Sunday photograph trips, would go on to form the Railroad Boosters, the first organized railfan club in Southern California.
In 1954, Stewart began to photograph and record the remaining steam and electric operations in the West. Stewart made short trips to the Imperial Valley, San Joaquin Valley, the Coast, Beaumount Hill and Indio, the Bay Are and Modoc lines to document Southern Pacific steam where it was still running. His camera of choice was a Kodak Monitor 616, a hig-end folding camera that made 2.5 x 4.25" images. He owned a Zeiss Contaflix dedicated to Kodachrome color slides.
Stewart continued to photograph steam and electric lines throughout the 1970's, '80's, and '90's. Frequently he traveled abroad, traveling to Spain, Portugal, Germany and the Scandinavian countries.
Stewart served during World War II, beginning in June 1944 in the Army's 303rd Infantry Regiment. He participated in the liberation of the Philippines and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant in May 1946. He was married to Dorothy A. (nee' Wilson) from 9 November 1949 to February 1975. Stewart married for a second time on 11 October 1975 to Wilma P. (nee' Hinshaw).
For additional reading about Stewart, please see the "Classic Trains", Spring 2008 article, "Harold Stewart and the Pacific Electric", written by Stan Kistler.

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of 2.5" x 4.5" black and white photograph negatives taken by Harold F. Stewart between 1937 and 1970 primarily of locomotives in California. Most of the photographs were taken in the Los Angeles basin, the California Central Valley, and the Central Coast of California. The images are primarily 3/4 angle compositions of locomotives with some background details viewable. There are a limited number of images of maintenance of way rolling stock and passenger cars.
Railroads photographed in the collection are: Amador Central; Arcata & River; Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; Bakersfield & Kern Railway Co.; Blake Brothers; Clover Valley Lumber Co.; Columbia Construction Co.; Consolidated Rock Products; Feather River Railway; Fruit Growers Supply Co.; Holly Sugar; Howard Terminal Railway; Kaiser Quarries; Mojave Northern Railroad; Northwestern Pacific; Pacific Coast Railway; Pickering Lumber Corp.; Quincy Railroad; Sacramento Northern; San Diego & Arizona Eastern; Sierra Railroad; Stockton Terminal & Eastern; Southern Pacific; Union Pacific; Ventura County Railway; West Side Lumber Co.; Western Pacific; Yreka Western; Western Pacific
Mexico Railways: FC Interoceanico; Norte de Mexico; Oriental Mexicano; Teziutlan Copper Co.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Harold F. Stewart Collection, MS 888, California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives, Sacramento, California

Separated Materials

Additonal Harold F. Stewart photographs can be found in the Southern California Railway Museum Archives.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Photograph collections
Photography of railroads
Railroads--United States--Photography
Southern Pacific Railroad Company
Southern Pacific Company
Amador Central Railroad
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company
Union Pacific Railroad Company
Sacramento Northern
Sierra Railroad Company
Western Pacific Railroad Company