New Book for Frisco Steam Fans

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Larry Parrish, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Larry Parrish

    Larry Parrish Frisco Supporter

    Smoke over Oklahoma is a book recently published by The University of Oklahoma Press. A collection of the photographs of Preston George, it features steam on the major railroads of Oklahoma compiled by Augustus J. Veenendaal Jr., a resident of the Netherlands! In the section dedicated to the Frisco, there are no less than 32 photos of Frisco motive power, 31 of them steam, and most of them rolling, I have seen several of these photos published elsewhere, but most of them are new to me. It would make no difference if they had all been published somewhere else in the past, however. This pulling together in one place of photographs of one of the pioneers and masters of rail photography makes this book a must have for anyone interested in the steam era.

    Besides the Frisco, the Santa Fe, Rock Island, Katy and Kansas City Southern are featured. I find it odd that the Missouri Pacific is not! Maybe Mr. George wasn't a MOPAC fan? There is one MOP photo in a section on "Other Railroads in Oklahoma and Surrounding States," and that is of a diesel powered streamliner. That section also includes photos of Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf, and Midland Valley power. There is also a short section on "Interurbans and Stations," which includes a couple of Frisco related photos.

    The book begins with a concise history of railroads in Oklahoma (there are a couple of "old time" Frisco photos in it) and ends with a bio of Preston George. It is hardbound and has high production values. It is also inexpensive. I paid $27.75, shipping included, for mine from Ron's Books (
    It will make a nice addition to any Frisco fan's library.

    Postscript: On the back of the dust cover is a photo of two clean and classy Frisco 1306 class consolidations pulling a train upgrade through the Winding Stair Mountains of Oklahoma. It is reproduced inside the book, and I have seen it in several places in the past. To me, it is an iconic photo of Frisco Steam. About 35 years ago, I had Don Wirth paint my two Hallmark models of these engines numbered for the ones in the photo. I still have them.
  2. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks for the heads up, I just ordered mine.
  3. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    I've hoped for years that the Preston George photo collection would be made public! So glad this book has been published.

    Tom G.
  4. tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018)

    tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018) Passed Away February 11, 2018

    Veenendaal has done an interesting book on Dutch financing of US railroads (think Kansas City Southern and its predecessors ) and has written several scholarly articles including some for the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society.
  5. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Will order!

  6. Thanks for the info.
  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    FYI, I did some searching on and found the "Smoke over Oklahoma" book available (new copy) for $24.72 from a highly rated Amazon dealer with no shipping charge. I ordered it. He has about ten copies left. I have purchased lots of books from Ron's Books, a great railroad book supplier, but here is a way to save a few bucks on this one.
    Amazon is in the process of buying Whole Foods as an entry into the grocery business. In a few years, I think we will be able to buy anything from Amazon. Wish they would buy up a big model RR supply house!
    modeltruckshop likes this.
  8. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Amazon is dependable but I hate giving them money.

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  9. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    That was quick. Ordered Monday when I saw this thread and the book arrived today. I haven't looked through it all, but there are certainly some interesting shots.

  10. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Got my copy today and like it. I kinda wish it was on enameled paper, but the reproduction is good and its a good buy for a hardcover book.
    Preston was a nice guy and interesting to talk to. Doug, he was also a ham radio op and we chatted often on 20 meters.
    He did an excellent job covering the Frisco down there. There are still a lot of his Frisco shots that aren't in the book.
    Very interesting book!
  11. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Likewise, I received my copy a few days ago. Lots of interesting shots. Like Don, I wish it was on slick paper as the print would look better. I'm also a bit disappointed in the quality of several of the images, but, as the author pointed out, Preston was using some early photo equipment on some of the shots. I like the many photos of the smaller steam locomotives that are included. It's nice to see action shots of the little guys to go along with all the shots we have seen of the big fellas.
    Glad I bought the book.
  12. Steamnut

    Steamnut cinder sniffer

    Got mine yesterday, and am happy with the shots and history. PLUS a good shot of 1060 in OKC :D.
  13. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Mine arrived too but I am not home. :(
  14. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    I picked up a copy from Ron's. Very good book, with lots of good shot's. Nice that it's preserved.
  15. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    Getting greedy now, I'm sure Preston over the years shot enough photos for there to be a volume TWO! Anyone at the University Of Oklahoma Press listening?

    Tom G.
  16. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    The two Preston George photos I recall the most, both Oklahoma shots, are the aerial shot of SLSF 1017 with her train and the shot of SLSF 1520 hammering along close to Poole, OK. on #9. The 1017 shot is in the new book, but the 1520 shot is not in the book. Surprising, as that seems to me to be one of the best known Preston George shots. So be it.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  17. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    At least the 1520 shot is in "Frisco Power." And the diesel powered Meteor shot a few years earlier at the same location.

    Tom G.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  18. U-3-b

    U-3-b Member Supporter

    Just ordered mine.
  19. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Gotta get this one! Not Frisco related but does anyone know if Preston photographed the Ft. Smith & Western? This is one obscure Oklahoma railroad if there ever was one.
  20. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I don't know how I missed this thread before, but ordered one today.
    FriscoCharlie likes this.

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