Frank F. Sornberger
Railroad Photographs Collection, ca. 1872-ca. 1965

PRI5347

Quantity: 4 Boxes (1.25 cu.ft.)
65 black-and-white photographic prints, 27 safety negatives, 2 glass negatives
Access: Open for research. Negatives for images 66-94 are stored in the vault and require two business days notice for retrieval. All the negatives have been scanned; thus, digital images of the negatives are available. Print-outs of the digital images of Negatives 75, 79-81 and 83-94 file in Box 2. Please use white gloves when handling prints and negatives.
Acquisition: Information available upon request.
Processed By: Billie Aul, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts and Special Collections, December 1997 and February 1999; revised November 2010

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Biographical Note:

Dr. Frank F. Sornberger (ca. 1881-1974) was a specialist in radiology medicine who lived in Cortland, New York. He was a graduate of Syracuse University, and was married to Bessie Rood of Syracuse, New York, in 1910. He also appears to have been a rail fan and avid collector of rail road-related ephemera.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection of black-and-white photographs reflects Dr. Sornberger’s interest in photographs related to railroads, particularly the history of railroads in Cortland and central New York State. The collection consists chiefly of photographs of steam-powered locomotives (many with tenders) that were operated by railroad companies that served the region. A few of the photographs feature rail inspection engines and snow removal equipment. Many of these photographs also offer glimpses of passenger coaches, rail post office cars, coal hoppers, box cars, and other freight train equipment as well as railroad stations, yards, and workers.

Pictured are rolling stock of the Delaware and Hudson Company, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, the Erie Railroad Company, the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company, New York, Ontario, and Western Railway Company, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Cortland was served by branch lines of major railroad companies that began as independent operations such as the Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, the Utica, Ithaca, and Elmira, and the Syracuse, Binghamton, and New York. Some of the locomotives have names, such as “Dorothy” and “Horseheads.”

Information in the captions was taken from notes on the back of the photographs. In some cases there is additional information on the backs of the photographs that is not noted in this finding aid, such the year the engine was built, the manufacturer, and the year it was scrapped.  The date in the caption refers to the date the photograph was taken.

List of Images

All negatives are housed in Boxes 3 (Negatives 66-92) and 4 (Negatives 93 and 94).

Box Print Number Negative Number Caption / [Notes]
1 1   [Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western], Engine #6 [4-4-0] “Sam Sloan,” Cortland, N.Y., November 6, 1896; originally [Syracuse, Binghamton and New York]; built, Syracuse, 1879; renumbered in 1899 - #46; [Dr. Sornberger remembers it usually pulled the pay car into Cortland on the 15th of each month] (13 x 20.5 cm.)
1 2   [Syracuse, Binghamton, and New York], Engine #18, “G.M. Hallstead,” Cortland, N.Y., October 1897. Rebuilt from Syracuse, Binghamton and New York’s “Marathon” 4-4-0, Syracuse, 1880; Scrapped 1914 (20.5 x 25 cm.)
1 3   Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western inspection engine, “Comet,” Cortland, N.Y., June 17, 1893 (14 x 24 cm.)
1 4   [Syracuse, Binghamton, and New York], Engine #10, “Binghamton,” Cortland, N.Y., 1892 (Syracuse Herald photo) (19.5 x 24.5 cm.)
1 5   [Erie and Central New York Railroad, Engine #535, 4-4-0; “first train over Erie and Central New York”; later the Cincinnatus Branch of the D.L. & W. Railroad / [Engine with tender and passenger coach at station] (Syracuse Herald photo) (19 x 24 cm.)
1 6   Syracuse, Binghamton, and New York, Engine #5 [4-4-0], at old Cortland, [N.Y.] station, ca. 1898; renumbered #913, 1899 (18.5 x 24 cm.)
1 7   Erie and Central New York, Engine #1, “I.H. Palmer.” [4-4-0]; [at unidentified station, n.d.]; pictured left to right Ted Ray, Nellie Ray, Frank Newkirk, John Ray and Supt. Frederick (20 x 24.5 cm.)
1 8 66 Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, Engine #127, [4-6-0], Cortland, N.Y., 1897 / [View of a freight train] (6 x 11 cm.) (Negative: 10 x 12.5 cm.)
1 9 68 Syracuse, Binghamton, and New York, Engine #2, [2-6-0], Cortland, N.Y., 1897 (6.5 x 11.5 cm.) (Negative: 9.5 x 12 cm.)
1 10 67 Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, Engine #51, Cortland, N.Y., November 9, 1899; derailment after striking streetcar  at Homer Avenue crossing; two killed in car (7.5 x 11.5 cm.) (Negative: 10 x 12.5 cm.)
1 11 69 Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, Engine #20 [4-4-0], Cortland, N.Y., June 14, 1899 (8 x 11.5 cm.) (Negative: 10 x 12.5 cm.)
1 12 71 Syracuse, Binghamton, and New York, Inspection Engine #4, Cortland, N.Y., 1897 (9 x 11.5 cm.) (Negative: 9.5 x 12.5 cm.)
1 13 70 Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, Engine #84 [4-6-0], Cortland, N.Y., 1897 / [View showing tender behind the locomotive] (8.5 x 11.5 cm.) (Negative: 9.5 x 12 cm.)
1 14   [Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western], Engine #1117, [4-6-2] Semi-streamlined Lackawanna, between Blodgett’s Mills and Cortland, N.Y., February 12, 1937 / [View of steam-powered locomotive and passenger train] (19 x 24.5 cm.)
1 15   Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, Engine #2131, December 1936 / [Smoke spewing from smokestack] (24 x 19 cm.)
1 16   [Pennsylvania Railroad freight train near Ralston, Pa. (between Williamsport, Pa. and Elmira, N.Y.), ca. 1965] (7.5 x 7.5 cm.)
1 17   [Lehigh Valley Railroad]. The Black Diamond, [at ] Brown Road crossing south of Ithaca, N.Y., August 1934 / [Aerial view of passenger train showing two engines, baggage, mail car, and passenger coaches; helper engine will cut off at North Spencer.] (19 x 24.5 cm.)
1 18   Lehigh Valley, Engine #1141, [4-6-0], October 1933 [Unattributed] (11 x 16.5 cm.)
1 19   [Pennsylvania Railroad freight train near Ralston, Pa., ca. 1965] / [View of two steam locomotives behind the caboose of a freight train] (See also print #16) (7.5 x 7.5 cm.)
1 20   Same as 19 (8 x 7.5 cm.)
1 21   [Lehigh Valley Engine #5121 and train], Black Diamond Express, south of Tunkhammock, Pa., September 22, 1935; (8 x 10 cm.)
1 22   One of the last passenger trains on the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York division of the Lackawanna [D.L. & W], 1950 / [Diesel electric locomotive and passenger train equipment] (8 x 10 cm.)
1 23   Lehigh Valley, Engine #907 at Malloryville, Tompkins County N.Y., [formerly] Utica, Ithaca, and Elmira, Engine, “Horseheads,” / [Unattributed. Engine pulling at least three passenger coaches across a wooden bridge over Fall Creek.] (12.5 x 18 cm.)
1 24   Lehigh Valley, Engine #571, Cortland County, N.Y. / [Unattributed. Distance view showing steam locomotive and freight train taken in winter] (12.5 x 18 cm.)
1 25   Lehigh Valley, Engine #1133, Cortland County, N.Y.  / [Unattributed. Distance view of a freight train in winter] (11 x 16.5 cm.)
1 26   Lehigh Valley, Engine #1133, Cortland County, N.Y., November 1935 / [Unattributed. Steam locomotive and freight train crossing over a bridge in winter.] (11 x 16.5 cm.)
1 27   Lehigh Valley, Engine #1155, October 1933 / [Unattributed. Steam locomotive and freight train] (11 x 16.5 cm.)
1 28   Lehigh Valley, Engine #2098, south of Ithaca, N.Y., November 22, 1939 / [Unattributed. Steam locomotive and freight train] (11 x 16.5 cm.)
1 29   Lehigh Valley Engine #2149, south of Ithaca, N.Y., November 24, 1932 / [Unattributed. Steam locomotive and freight train rounding a bend] (11 x 16.5 cm.)
1 30   Lehigh Valley, Engine #668, Black Diamond Express at Sayre, Pa., June 1, 1897 / [Unattributed. Engineer is partially visible leaning out the window; steam locomotive with passenger train.] (19.5 x 24.5 cm.)
1 31   [Lehigh Valley, Engine #666] Westbound Black Diamond Express taken from the window of the eastbound Black Diamond Express as they passed in Wilkes Barre, Pa., June 1, 1897; both trains moving slowly. (24 x 19 cm.)
1 32   Lehigh Valley, Engine #919,  Formerly Elmira Cortland, and Northern Engine #19 Cortland, N.Y., June 1, 1897 [Unattributed] (19.5 x 24.5 cm.)
1 33   Elmira, Cortland. and Northern Engine #4, Cortland, N.Y., January 1, 1897 (19 x 24.5 cm.)
1 34   Lehigh Valley, Inspection Engine #1, “Dorothy,” on John E. Vaughn’s estate, Kingston, Pa. (19 x 24 cm.)
1 35 76 Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, Engine #10 [4-4-0], Sylvan Beach, [N.Y.], 1893; formerly Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Engine #12; later Lehigh Valley Engine #912 (11 x 16.5 cm.) (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
2 36   Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, Engine #7 [4-4-0]; [formerly] Utica, Ithaca and Elmira, Engine #4, “Horseheads”; [later] Lehigh Valley Engine #907 / [Unattributed. Parked in front of station at Cortland, N.Y.; in the background is a wooden bridge and a three-and-a-half-story wooden building; unidentified man stands next to the engine.] (11.5 x 14.5 cm.)
2 37 77 Lehigh Valley, Engine #252, “A.W. Stedman” [4-4-0] / [Unattributed. Engine, tender, and caboose; six unidentified men are posing on or near the engine.] (11 x 16 cm.) (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
2 38 73 Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, Engine #21; [later] Lehigh Valley, Engine #921, 2-6-0 / [Unattributed. Engine with tender at unidentified station] (11 x 16.5 cm.) (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
2 39   Lehigh Valley Engine #251, “Robert Lockhart,” [4-4-0] Moravia, 1898 / [Engine, tender and two passenger coaches] (19.5 x 24.5 cm.)
2 40   Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, [Engine #2, 4-4-0], ca. 1890; / [Five men posing along side of engine with tender] (14 x 24.5 cm.)
2 41   Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, [Engine #5, 4-4-0], Elmira, 1890; [later] Lehigh Valley Engine #2523; passenger train leaving Elmira (14 x 24.5 cm.)
2 42   Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, Engine #5 [4-4-0], at Cortland, N.Y., 1890; [later] Lehigh Valley Engine #2523; Cortland, N.Y., ca. 1890 / [Engine and tender parked in front of buildings; five men posing on or along side of the engine] (14 x 24.5 cm.)
2 43 82 Lehigh Valley, Engine #918, at Cortland, N.Y., 1897. Inscription with negative: Elmira, Cortland, and Northern snow plow /  [Snowplow attached to front of engine that is removing snow from tracks in front of the station] (19.5 x 24.5 cm.) (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
2 44 74 [Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, Engine #10, [2-6-0] / [Inscription indicates it was a “freight engine’; engine with tender; three unidentified men posing on and near engine] (14 x 24.5 cm.) (Negative: 10 x 12.5 cm.)
2 45   Utica, Ithaca, and Elmira, [#10], “H.P. Goodrich,” 1875 / [Unattributed. According to the quote from the Ithaca Democrat, dated Sept. 2, 1875, typed on the back of the photograph, the engine was to be used as a superintendent’s and paymaster’s car and could accommodate about 20 passengers.] (10.5 x 14 cm.)
2 46   Fall Brook Railway, Inspection Car, “John” / [Unattributed. Four unidentified men are posing in or near the car.] (10 x 16 cm.)
2 47   Fall Brook Railway, Inspection Car, “John,” Watkins Glen, N.Y. / [Unattributed. Several unidentified men and women are posing with the engine at Watkins Glen Railroad Station (10 x 16 cm.)
2 48   Fall Brook Railway, Inspection Car, “John” / [Unattributed. The car is stopped on the track that is flanked by a hill on the left and a river on the right; six unidentified men are standing on or near the car.] (9.5 x 16.5 cm.)
2 49   New York, Auburn, and Lansing, Engine #2, [4-4-0] / [Unattributed. Engine, tender, and caboose emerging between box cars on second track in front of an unidentified building, possibly a station] (11 x 18 cm.)
2 50   New York, Auburn, and Lansing, Engine #2, [4-4-0] derailed at South Lansing, N.Y., in front of the Rogues Harbor Inn [Unattributed] (11.5 x 16.5 cm.)
2 51   [New York Central and Hudson River Railroad. Engine #74, 4-4-0, 1880] (Syracuse Herald photo) (14 x 24.5 cm.)
2 52   Erie Railway, Engine #144, [4-4-0], Paterson, N.J., February 1867. Benjamin Carlough, the engineer, is standing near the engine; Vernon Royle is the photographer. / [View of passenger train emerging from covered platform at the station] (15 x 19.5 cm.)
2 53   Lehigh Valley, Engine #251, “R.A. Packer,” [?] (11 x 16.5 cm.)
2 54   [Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, Engine #731, 2-8-0 Ithaca, N.Y.] / [Lewis W. Bullock, photographer; side view of engine with tender] (11.5 x 16.5 cm.)
2 55   [Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, Engine #731, 2-8-0 Ithaca, N.Y.] / [Lewis W. Bullock, photographer; view showing the front of the engine] (11.5 x 16.5 cm.)
2 56   [Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, Engine #942, 4-4-0] / Front label: American Locomotive Company, New York City. Penciled on verso: Schenectady Locomotive works, 1906 (15.5 x 25.5 cm.)
2 57 72 Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, Engine #5, [4-4-0], Cortland, N.Y., 1897 / [Engine, tender, caboose and three passenger cars] (8.5 x 11 cm.) (Negative: 9.5 x 12.5 cm.)
2 58   [Pennsylvania Railroad freight train near Ralston, Pa. (between Williamsport, Pa. and Elmira, N.Y.), ca. 1965] / Two helper engines pushing train uphill] [Unattributed]; see also items 16, 19 and 20 (7.5 x 7.5 cm.)
2 59 78 Elmira, Cortland, and Northern #12 on coal dock, Cortland, N.Y.  / [Unattributed. Engine on bridge is detached from two coal hoppers.] (11 x 14.5 cm.) (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
2 60   Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, Engine #7 in front of Cortland station [Unattributed; same as print #36] (11 x 14.5 cm.)
2 61   [Lehigh Valley?, Engine #?] [Unattributed;  passenger train rounding a bend in winter] (11 x 16 cm.)
2 62   [Two Lehigh Valley Railroad engines rounding a bend in winter] [Unattributed] 11 x 16 cm.)
2 63   [Lehigh Valley Railroad]; The Black Diamond, [at] Brown Road crossing south of Ithaca, N.Y., August 1934 / [Aerial view of passenger train showing two engines, baggage car, mail car, and passenger coaches; helper engine will cut off at North Spencer.] (copy of print #17) (11 x 16.5 cm.)
2 64   [Engine with tender, mail car, and passenger coach on bridge.  Unattributed] (11 x 16 cm.)
2 65   [Lehigh Valley] Engine 1155 and passenger train (12.5 x 18 cm.)
2     Folder with print-outs of digital images of Negatives 75, 79-81 and 83-94.
3   75 Photograph of a painting of Lehigh Valley Engine #2010, The Black Diamond. / [Unattributed. Engine with tender and at least three passenger coaches] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   79 Lehigh Valley, Engine #383, [4-4-0], “Elisha Hancock,” at Wilkes Barre shop, 1883. Roundhouse in background [Unattributed] / [Engine and tender; engineer in cab and two other men standing next to train.] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   80 New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, Engine #999 cresting West Albany Hill, westbound, July 27, 1899 / [Engine with tender and passenger train; train is on center of three tracks; box car on third track labeled: New York Central and Hudson River R.R. 5509] (Negative: 9.5 x 12 cm.)
3   81 New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Engine #2903, eastbound at Syracuse, N.Y., under the Erie Canal aqueduct, leaving East Washington St., December 18, 1904. (Negative: 10 x 12.5 cm.)
3   83 Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, Snow Plow, Cortland, N.Y. (or possibly Lehigh Valley Snow Plow Engine #918, see print #43). (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   84 Delaware and Hudson, Engine #239, “Adirondack Special,” Round Lake, N.Y., August 17, 1899 / [Unattributed; railroad station in the background] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   85 Utica, Ithaca and Elmira, [Engine] “Horseheads” [4-4-0] built at Portland Co.’s works, 1872 / [Unattributed. Photograph of a print showing engine with tender] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   86 New York, Ontario, and Western, Engine #68, [4-4-0] / [Unattributed. Engine with tender situated in railroad yard; engineer in cab of engine] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   87 [Chicago and St. Louis Railroad?] Engine [#?], 4-4-0 [4-6-0?], [and] caboose / [Unattributed. Engine, tender, and caboose in a multi-track railroad yard] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   88 New York, Auburn, and Short Line, Engine #1 at the South Lansing, N.Y., railroad station / [Unattributed] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   89 Lehigh Valley Inspection Engine #300, “Dorothy” / [Unattributed] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   90 Elmira, Cortland, and Northern Engine #7, [4-4-0], Cortland, N.Y. / [Unattributed. Man standing next to engine with tender in front of a station] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   91 Lehigh Valley Engine #664, [4-6-0?] / [Unattributed. The photograph is labeled: “‘Black Diamond Express,’ at the Speed of 55 Miles an Hour. Lehigh Valley R.R. Copyright 1896.” [View of engine with tender and passenger coaches] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
3   92 Erie Railroad, Engine #3357, [2-8-4?], action shot, place unknown / [Unattributed. Engine and freight train] (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
4   93 Rear view of passenger train / [Unattributed. View of the observation lounge car and passenger coaches; possibly the train pulled by Erie Railroad, Engine #3357] – (Glass-plate negative; negative is cracked) (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
4   94 Train wreck on Lehigh Valley RR, place unknown. / [Unattributed. View of a crane lifting a coal hopper] – (Glass-plate negative) (Negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.)
Last Updated: January 26, 2011