A photograph of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Point, Utah, May 10, 1869.

This photograph commemorates the joining of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, marking the beginning of transcontinental railroad travel across the United States. A previous owner of the photograph has drawn an ink hand and written a name to identify someone in the center of the image.

With the advent of relatively inexpensive rail travel, westbound settlers no longer needed to purchase oxen and wagons, pull their own handcarts, or navigate by ship around South America. The coming of the railroad also opened up the Utah region, previously isolated within the Rocky Mountains, to economic and cultural influences from the rest of the nation.