Women in Overalls and Northwestern Railroad Maps.
A delightful group image of young women and men in a small northwestern railroad or telegraph office. It is most uncommon to see such western railroad maps in original photographs of this time, especially within the context of a group portrait including women dressed in work clothes. At least three of the six young women in the image are dressed in overalls and dark overcoats. The women, who pose with five young men, are standing in a row within an office with two large wall maps displayed prominently in the background: The North-Western Line and Oregon Railroad & Navigation Co. While it is not possible to say exactly where and when this photograph was made, the presence of the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Co. map together with the North-Western Line map suggests a date of 1900.
The Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company started as an independent railroad line about 1896. In 1898 the Union Pacific purchased a majority stake in the line. By 1936 the Union Pacific completely absorbed the OR&N system.