Mixed media on canvas

 30" x 40" (framed)


A great joy of my childhood was watching these big steam engines go by.   This one represents a significant part of 20th-century California heritage---the importance of the citrus industry.   It is a Southern Pacific cab-forward engine which pulled the yellow-orange refrigerated cars of citrus fruit, known as the Pacific Fruit Express.    These steam engines were designed to put the engineers forward for increased visibility and to put them ahead of the build-up of soot and smoke that would otherwise fill a cab when it went through the many tunnels on the route.    This painting, to me, personifies the power of commerce.

Where this painting is coming from:

SP cab-forward engine 1920s-era bridge Pacific Fruit Express

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Back to California in the 40s & 50s

2018 Donald Archer

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