Harold K. Vollrath, photo by John Gruber, October 24, 2013
Harold K. Vollrath, Kansas City, has received the 2013 Fred A. and Jane R. Stindt photography award for lifetime achievements in railroad history.
"A Depression-era engine picture kid also produced fine action photos as he turned his passion for steam locomotives into a 46-year railroad career," Fred B. Frominger wrote in a profile in Classic Trains magazine, Fall 2011. Trains magazine printed Vollrath's photo of a Reading 2-8-0 on the cover of its December 1941 issue.
Vollrath started trading photos with members of the Railroad Stories' International Engine Picture Club in the 1930s. With this beginning, he built a collection of about 8,000 of his own negatives and 37,000 from others, which are seen frequently in publications and albums of railfans.
He started his railroad career in 1942 as a telegrapher for the T&NO in Morgan City, La., worked for several lines until hired by the Kansas City Southern in its dispatching office in Shreveport, La., in 1949. He moved to the KCS headquarters in Kansas City in 1964, where he retired in 1988 as director of labor relations.
David Hertenstein, K's grandson, is finalizing a new digital scanning and printing process as well as an online and smart phone purchasing application. This is to continue the work that K did for many years taking orders based on his extensive list of negatives, numbering more than 45,000. The collection should be available via the website or via the.major smart phone app stores. Anyone can contact Hertenstein as well to place an order or to get more information.
The announcement will appear in Railroad History.