The Coming of the Iron Horse

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Of all the innovations of the nineteenth century, none changed the landscape of the American West more than the steam locomotive. A monument to speed, industry and westward expansion, the locomotive charged across the landscape, changing the face of frontier life forever but it did not happen overnight. Past and present collided in the prairies and plains, as workers laying tracks for the trains met with resistance from local wildlife. Even the mighty locomotive engine itself, with all its power and might, occasionally ran into the unstoppable force of nature. “Huge migrating herds of buffalo could stall a train for hours,” said Frank McCarthy. “For sport, travelers sometimes took potshots at them from the cars while they waited for the procession to pass.” It would not be long before progress and professional hide hunters rendered the threat of buffalo on train tracks nearly extinct.

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Height 22
Width 28
Limited Edition of 75
Published June 2008
Artist Frank C. McCarthy


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