Let these historic photos speak and tell the story of the Chinese Railroad Workers. With Beijing photographer, Li Ju’s shots with the exact location to guide us, travel back in time and trace the 150-year old footsteps of the Chinese pioneers.
About the Photographer Li Ju and His Work.
On May 10th, 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed. It was ahead of schedule. Thousands of hard-working Chinese laborers formed the main workforce for the Western half of the railroad. They had had the hardest parts of construction. Their route took them across higher mountains, deeper canyons, and harsher deserts. Yet for too many years, their stories went untold.
Two famous photographers went out to record the work on the Transcontinental Railroad. Mr. Alfred Hart photographed the work from the West with the Central Pacific Railroad. Mr. Andrew J. Russel worked from the East with the Union Pacific Railroad.
More than 140 years later, a photographer from China was inspired by these men’s work. Mr. Ju Li came halfway across the world to travel in their footsteps. He made 8 trips trekking across mountains, canyons, and deserts to retrace their route.
After checking and rechecking every detail, Mr. Li found the exact spots where the first photos were taken. Li’s modern photos show us those same sites today. The lenses of these 3 men captured the feeling of just how hard the workers’ lives, the land, and the challenges were in the 1860s. Now, we too feel those hardships. We see how rough and lonely these places were.
This display lets the photos speak. Here, they tell the story of the Chinese workers. With Li’s shots to guide us, let’s travel back in time. Let’s walk in the 150-year old footsteps of the Chinese pioneers.