Re: Who writes titles and captions for these photos?

Everett Lueck

Everyone who does research (no matter what sort) makes mistakes along the way,  A piece of information shows up the day after the article was printed, or the book left the printer.  It happens.  The same thing with stuff published out on the internet and archived at museums etc.  The difference is what people do with it when either they find the mistake, or it is professionally pointed out to them, (not called stupid or insulted in a forum etc).   The real professional will either publish a correction, or somehow do their best to make sure that the correct data or interpretation is out there.  The ones that do not, their ego overrides the desire for the correct knowledge to be made available.

Several years back, I wrote an article for a national magazine and I adopted the "conventional" history for a locomotive. An innocent question from a friend prompted me to look at a source that I had not even thought to look in.  That source was an unimpeachable source, and it turned things upside down from the "conventional" history.  So I wrote another short article which corrected the history and it was published a couple of months later.    The same unimpeachable source also contradicted the "conventional" history of a sister locomotive on display at a well known national museum.   I sent the director all of the information that I had found on the locomotive which proved the "conventional" history wrong.  I told him that if he wanted to be 100% sure, all that the museum had to do was to find the Baldwin class number stamped anywhere on the engine and get back to me.   The response was that it would be too much work for them to try and find the number, and that if they were wrong, who was I to question the "conventional" history as it was written by the late editor of a famous magazine.   So, there you have it.  Someday, I will go up there or find someone who will, and will get the right answer, one way or another.

On Thursday, July 22, 2021, 07:28:09 AM CDT, Barton Jennings <be.jennings3009@...> wrote:

Having written a number of books and lots of academic articles, I can tell you that I never trust captions and materials. Many are wrong, written by local volunteers who often guess or go by local legend. A few examples I have recently researched.
[1] A small town in Oklahoma that boomed during the oil years that claims to have had the most railroad side tracks of any town between Memphis and Amarillo (forgot about Little Rock and others?). Valuation and track charts clearly show the answer.
[2] A photo of a 4-6-2 pulling a 3-car passenger train, and the caption claims that this was one of the largest steam locomotives ever built.
[3] A claim that Jesse James held up a series of trains in the area, years after he was dead.

Bart Jennings

On Wed, Jul 21, 2021 at 9:27 PM Dennis Hogan <denmeg_hogan@...> wrote:
So many photos in collections, libraries, and museums have misleading information!
Pecos High Bridge not a bridge at El Paso!

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