The 1890 Bengal-Nagpur Railway Construction, Photograph No. 14 picture by Townshend Phot. shows a group of Indians digging through a hill in order to make room for the railroad. The photo clearly shows the harsh and unsafe work conditions that the natives were subjected to. The rock that they are digging through appears dense, and thus not easy to break through. Furthermore, the attire and equipment they are working with is less than accommodating to the work environment. None of them have shoes, they are dressed in rags, the tools appear to be low-grade pickaxes, and they are carrying the rock out in baskets that they balance on their heads. The poor conditions and equipment, coupled with the fact that there are no Anglos present, shines a light on their position in the social hierarchy of the time. It portrays a work environment where the local labor is viewed as disposable. However, other photos depict Anglos taking part in the construction, so it brings up the question of to what extent was Anglo labor used. Further research is necessary to answer that question, and to shed light on the work conditions for the Anglos and whether they were provided more efficient equipment.
The 1915 Bridge at Tandy’s Station, Burned by Mexican Bandits postcard photo depicts the wreckage of what used to be a railroad bridge. This photo gives a glimpse into the social and political turmoil of the time. The fact that bandits committed this act presents the disorganized environment of this time. Because bandits were a noteworthy force means that a key player in this war was a grassroots force that would target the infrastructure of the state. In order for common people to find it necessary to take up arms and commit acts like this shows the extent in which the controlling power was disliked. Them targeting a railroad bridge also shows how pivotal the railroad system was for the infrastructure at the time. Furthermore, this photo was taken in Cameron County, Texas, which shows that the war crossed over into the United States. More research is needed to figure out to what extent the bandits influenced the war, and also to answer how much of the struggle took place in the United States.