Title: Arts & Living
Author: Staff Writer
Publisher: The Times-Tribune
David Crosby's interest in local history began at an early age when the Dunmore man and his family moved to Scranton. According to his publishing company, Mr. Crosby, 35, made a career out of his interest, first as a park ranger and, later, as a steam locomotive fireman at Steamtown National Historic Site.
In his new book, "Images of Rail: Scranton Railroads," Mr. Crosby takes readers on a pictorial journey through Scranton's historic railroads. He hopes the book will help others understand how the railroad impacted the lives of nearly every area resident, his publisher said.
The book features never-before-seen vintage photographs from both public and private collections. It shows how the fortunes of Scranton's railroads and the Anthracite industry were inextricably linked.
The 128-page book also shares how the extensive railroad around Scranton attracted the textile industry to the area, when at one time more than 50 silk mills operated in the city.
Finally, the book showcases Scranton as the "Electric City" because it ran the nation's first commercially operated electric streetcar system.
Mr. Crosby is scheduled to hold book signings Sept. 5 and 6 during Lackawanna Railfest 2009 at the Steamtown National Historic Site, Sept. 12 at Barnes and Noble at the Arena Hub in Wilkes-Barre and Nov. 12 at the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Rail Historical Society in Dupont.
Title: Book Review: Scranton Railroads
Author: Dave Lathrop
Publisher: Railway Preservation News
Images of Rail
By frequent contributor David Crosby
128 pages, softcover
This is a recent installment from Arcadia Publishing in their IMAGES series of compilations of chapters of captioned images following short historic monographs. The high quality of reproduction and familiar page layout found in all Arcadia IMAGES books is evident throughout.
Crosby has chosen a particularly fertile ground for his pictorial historical overview - Scranton was home to an interesting and diverse collection of railroads and facilities from shortly after the town was founded as an ironmaking center, through the Anthracite age, and into the present. Starting in 1829 with the Delaware and Hudson, Crosby follows the fluctuations of railroading fortune in the area through present day operations at Steamtown NHS. He provides contextual information as well as documenting the ebbs and flows in railroading such that they are understandably part and parcel of the greater economic and industrial evolution of the city and its fortunes - a most appreciated addition to this history, which is missing in many specialized short histories I have seen.
If you are looking for political intrigue, however, don't look here - Steamtown is presented as the centerpiece of a larger historic tourism group enterprise without a dissection of its (or NPS) management and operating practices. Given the very small part of the larger picture of Scranton's rail heritage Steamtown plays, it isn't missed at all in the context of the mission of this book.
I found the book successfully presents a lot of good information as images and captions which are tied into a coherent picture loosely based on the several railroad maps of Scranton and its environs, such that armed with this book and a modern road map of the city, you could take yourself on a tour of the historic industrial and railroad sites and have good pictorial evidence showing what they were decades ago to contrast with how they look today.
Obligatory language: "Scranton Railroads, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665."
In short, I recommend this book highly to any industrial or railroad historian planning to visit Scranton and wishing to find interesting places to see apart from those operated for tourist consumption during their visit.