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Field Trip Report: O. Winston Link Museum - Part 1 of 2

Click on each image for a closer look!
In a recent news item, I reported on my visit to the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Within a few blocks of that museum exists a relatively new museum devoted to chronicling the life of O. Winston Link and displaying much of his incredible collection of photographs of railways and railway life. This museum was opened in 2004 shortly after his death. O. Winston Link was a very successful industrial and advertising photographer who had a passion for railways and especially steam engines. He invested $150,000 of his own money in documenting the last days of steam, focusing on the Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W) whose President gave him the "run of the place" allowing him to even have trains started and operated according to his instructions. He also produced and sold audio recordings of these engines in action.
The O. Winston Link Museum is appropriately housed in Roanoke's former passenger train station. The top floor which is at street level houses a tourist visitor's centre, a museum foyer and the museum's gift shop. At the upper right, we see a picture of a seasonal model railroad display in the main entrance of the station when the station was operational. The main foyer features a number "windows" dramatically presenting a few of his images as shown at the lower left and middle. The middle image is a self portrait of O. Winston Link with his complex photographic setup.
The main display area of the museum is in the basement of the station where passengers used to congregate to board the trains which arrived at this level. As shown in the lower right image, that trackside wall of the museum is covered by an enormous photograph of an N&W steam engine.
Click here to read part 2 of this series,
Posting by Russ Milland; Pictures by Russ Milland

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