Review: “Otto Perry: Master Railroad Photographer”

For the better part of the 20th Century, a mail carrier named Otto C. Perry made an avocation of recording American railroading, producing thousands of images of every major – and many minor – railroads on the North American continent,. Perry started out before WWI, and carried on for decades until his death in 1970, covering the high point of steam and the rise of diesels. On his travels, he was even arrested once, for suspicion of being a spy!

As would be expected, the majority of the book’s photos cover steam subjects, but there are plenty of early diesel shots. These include:

EMDs and Alco PAs on the California Zephyr
Union Pacific E7 #999
C&NW E6A leading the City of San Francisco
Milwaukee Road DL109 #14
Missouri Pacific F3 #564
B&O EMC EA/EB on the National Limited

Fortunately, Perry’s collection was donated to the Denver Public Library upon his death, preserving a cornucopia of images that will interest any railfan, and allowing for the publication of this book of selected photos in 1982.

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