Today a used copy of the book, "Otto Perry: Master Railroad Photographer", was delivered in the mail to my doorstep and I spent the afternoon reading and studying Otto Perry's photographs.
The Book is 336 pages long and covers many images by Otto Perry. Of course, no single book could display all 20,000 of his photographs, but this one does a heck of a job showing a sampling of selected images. A rough estimate is about 400 images are shown, though it may be more or less. What I can tell you is that the subjects range from the Mountains of Colorado to the Grand Canyon to the Great Plains to Chicago to Dixie and a few other places in between.
This was published as a joint effort between the Western History Division of the Denver Public Library, and the Colorado Railroad Museum. First printed in 1982. ISBN #0-918654-32-7.
Anyways, on to the review:
In short, I'm glad I got this book. For my own collection, it's invaluable. There are not only many photographs, but also detailed descriptions of each photograph and plenty of text relating to the trains, the railroad, and Otto Perry himself. The sheer variety of subjects is nothing short of amazing. From mainline steam and diesel trains, to the small branch lines as well as a good portion of the unique trains that ran in the US such as the Pioneer Zephyr.
Not every photograph could make it to this book, unfortunately, but it seems the best photographs made the cut. The Denver Public Library has most of the collection digitized on their website, but the advantage of this book is twofold: 1) you don't have to search through 20,000 photographs, and 2) the text in the book describing the images provides much needed context.
I recommend this book for anyone who focuses anywhere from the 1920's until the 1960's on American Railroads. I would also recommend this book for anyone who wants to take great pictures of railroads across the globe. Besides being one of the best known railfans in the country, Otto Perry was an experienced photographer that knew his craft well. We're spoiled by the technology at our fingertips today, this gentleman was lugging large and medium format cameras across the country with a uniquely high level of dedication.
The book is out of print, but copies are available online and you may be able to pick up a copy at a train show. Prices vary widely depending on the condition of the book. Mine is in great shape and I bought it for $27.00. I would say expect to pay $15-$40 to a good copy.
I have that book in the loft , packed away the last 20 odd years. boxed! with other out of publication railroad books.I seem to recollect it was a dark red hardback copy with all pages glossy Must get them down and re read them.. Also have the original O.Weston Link book. Brilliant photographers.
Yes, it's a bright red book. Be careful on the binding though, mine was a bit stiff so it needed to be flexed a bit. Just thought I would add that info to the review. Happens a lot with old books.
Thanks for the confirmation (and yes..the old books were glued in a lot of cases and it breaks down over the years.).......
By the way,..the book "The "Iron Sherpa" Vol 1 & 2 ( about the Darjeeling Railway)...are even heavier and printed on glossy paper..both are expensive even second hand. I think VOL 1 is now out of print ...not sure about Vol 2. Superb publications with Vol 2 full of scale drawings or Locos..coaches..wagons and other equipment.
Last edited on Thu Nov 2nd, 2017 08:56 am by William M