William Rittase, Photographer and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway

  • Model: BK-22-006


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William M. Rittase, Photographer, and the Chesapeake & Ohio by Thomas W. Dixon, Jr. and Karen Parker

Hardbound (gold stamped cloth covers with dustjacket)

176 pages, 100-pound glossy paper


This is one of the most unusual books we have done. It has full page photos all taken by William M. Rittase when he was contracted by C&O to supply images it could use in publications and advertising, taken 1942-46.

Rittase was one of the best-known industrial photographers in America at the time. – His photos for about a dozen railroads and many industries have been recognized as high art and his original prints sell at large prices.

Illustrations are gleaned from about 800 of his original 4x5 negatives in our collection. Ours are believed to be his only surviving negatives.

C&OHS received a grant from Virginia Humanities, the state Humanities organization located at UVa, to organize and design the book because of the importance of the collection 

Selected photos depict C&O in all its elements, trains, engines, people, facilities. Rittase was famous in his day for in-depth, evocative photos including people that give full appreciation for the time, place, and “mood.”

Rittase works are in many important libraries and institutions, but the man himself is largely forgotten. We hope this gives him credit for his C&O and PM work that is so important to us in our own publications work today.

Few railroad-related books have ever attempted to convey this.

This book would normally sell for $65.00 but we were able to modify that price based on the Humanities grant! 

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