new books


Tony Thompson
 

Bob Witt wrote:
I offer the suggestion that photographers usually take photos of what interest them. Their mission is not to record a random sample of the freight cars that pass through a given area. Wheel reports and other similar records are the "hard data". Photographs are someone's vision of their "world".
Of course. Who could argue?
But if a photographer takes, say, a thousand images and no bias is obvious; or if we have the work of numerous photographers in an area, none of whose bias is obvious, what "vision of the world" is at stake? Are these photo sets NECESSARILY unrepresentative?
Bob, if you trouble to read the introduction to the NMRA book presenting the Bob Charles collection (unfortunately, the photographer's name is unknown), you will find that the photos in fact ARE rather representative of the statistics Messrs. Gilbert and Nelson have developed for us.
Of course a particular set of photographs may be far from representative; but let us NOT conclude therefrom that ALL sets of photographs are without statistical value.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


armprem
 

Gentlemen,Permit me to dip my oar into the discussion.......You can only
photograph what is on a wheel report.Photographs are extremely valuable in
the absence of a wheel report on a given day or of a given train.Armand
Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Thompson" <thompsonmarytony@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 23, 2006 11:23 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: new books


Bob Witt wrote:
I offer the suggestion that photographers usually take photos of what
interest them. Their mission is not to record a random sample of the
freight cars that pass through a given area. Wheel reports and other
similar records are the "hard data". Photographs are someone's vision
of their "world".
Of course. Who could argue?
But if a photographer takes, say, a thousand images and no bias is
obvious; or if we have the work of numerous photographers in an area,
none of whose bias is obvious, what "vision of the world" is at stake?
Are these photo sets NECESSARILY unrepresentative?
Bob, if you trouble to read the introduction to the NMRA book
presenting the Bob Charles collection (unfortunately, the
photographer's name is unknown), you will find that the photos in fact
ARE rather representative of the statistics Messrs. Gilbert and Nelson
have developed for us.
Of course a particular set of photographs may be far from
representative; but let us NOT conclude therefrom that ALL sets of
photographs are without statistical value.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history




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rwitt_2000 <rmwitt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tony Thompson <thompsonmarytony@...> wrote:


Of course. Who could argue?
But if a photographer takes, say, a thousand images and no
bias is
obvious; or if we have the work of numerous photographers in an area,
none of whose bias is obvious, what "vision of the world" is at stake?
Are these photo sets NECESSARILY unrepresentative?
Bob, if you trouble to read the introduction to the NMRA book
presenting the Bob Charles collection (unfortunately, the
photographer's name is unknown), you will find that the photos in fact
ARE rather representative of the statistics Messrs. Gilbert and Nelson
have developed for us.
Of course a particular set of photographs may be far from
representative; but let us NOT conclude therefrom that ALL sets of
photographs are without statistical value.
Tony,

I didn't mean to imply that photographic collections have no value
when trying to estimate the types of freight cars and from which
railroads pass through a given area. I only wanted to suggest that as
you stated in your reply, there could be some bias in a given
collection of photographs.

In my talk in Naperville a few years ago, I in fact used interchange
data from Illinois and demonstrated that it agreed with my observation
made in Madison, Wisconsin. The interchange data showed that the vast
majority of B&O freight cars observed in the Midwest would be boxcars.
This would be confirmed by sampling my photographs and the records of
my freight cars observations.

FWIW the B&O only had 500 USRA SS boxcars and these were the only
single sheathed boxcars in their entire fleet. I would not expect to
see many of these cars in interchange service anywhere in North America.

Bob Witt

P.S. I haven't seen the NMRA book.


Tony Thompson
 

Bob Witt wrote:
I didn't mean to imply that photographic collections have no value when trying to estimate the types of freight cars and from which railroads pass through a given area. I only wanted to suggest that as you stated in your reply, there could be some bias in a given collection of photographs.
Of course there is bias. But it may not necessarily be damaging to statistical content. Bill Sheehan, who bought the Morris Abowitz slides (around a thousand images, taken approx. 1961-1965 but primarily of older cars), said that Morris liked to photograph "clean" cars, whatever the owner. And naturally, we always have to struggle with the bias that the cars photographed are on the outside tracks of the yard . . . <g>

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history