Guide to the Niagara Railroad Negatives

Collection ID:
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI
Niagara Railroad
Physical Description:
1 Cubic foot
3 boxes

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Glass plate negatives (silver gelatin) documenting the Niagara Railroad and its architectural structures.

Collection arranged into one series.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Niagara Railroad Company has two beginnings as the result of being merged from two companies, one American, the other Canadian. The American company was the Niagara Falls and Whirlpool Company and aimed for a track that spanned from Prospect Point to Whirlpool. Before construction could begin, however, the company went bankrupt. It was reorganized by American Businessmen Captain George M. Brinker and George A. Ricker as the Niagara Falls and Lewiston Railroad, which opened its railway in April of 1895 after 75 days of construction. Thanks to the view it gave to tourists, the track was an immediate success and within a year warranted the construction of a second track. The Canadian company was commissioned by Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park, which was then in need of a larger source of income. The company was named the Niagara Falls Park & River Railroad Company and was to span from Queenston to Chippawa. The track opened in May of 1893 and transported 354,000 people in its first season. As with its American counterpart, the company added a second track within a year of opening.
The Niagara Falls and Lewiston Railroad was sold to General Francis V. Green and Herbert P. Bissell in 1899 and renamed the Niagara Gorge Railroad Company. Three years later, the Niagara Falls Park and River Railroad was sold to its American counterpart and the result was the International Railway Company. Although it was prosperous for a number of decades, the company went into decline due to a series of accidents that forced parts of the railway to be abandoned and the rise of the automobile which rendered the railway obsolete.
Great Gorge Route and the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway at: (last accessed December 3, 2019)
Amtrak, The Great American Stations at: (last accessed December 3, 2019)

Processing Information
Collection processed by John Benko, intern, 2019; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2019.
John Benko, intern
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research by appointment. Glass plate negatives must be handled with gloves.
Preferred Citation
Niagara Railroad Negatives, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Ownership and Custodial History
Ownership and Custodial History
Transferred to the Archives Center by the Division of Work and Industry in 2007.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Stations -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trains -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012