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Famous photo features Wilson resident

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Hotshot Eastbound features a young couple sitting in a Buick Convertible at a drive-in theater as a steam train passes by in the background. The photo was taken at the Iager, W. Va. drive-in theater on Aug. 2, 1956.

Allen explained that the night started as an ordinary date at the drive-in. The 23-year-old Army corporal on leave from Ft. Campbell, Ky., was walking to the refreshments stand when a stranger asked if Allen and his date would like to watch the movie from a shiny Buick convertible.

"I asked, what's the catch? And he said all I had to do was sit in the car until this train passed and he'd give us both $10," Allen said. "He was a very polite man and he explained his project, so Dorothy and I climbed inside the car and waited for the flash bulbs to go off."

The O. Winston Link photo went on to become one of the most famous transportation photos in history.  The photo was even recreated on “The Simpsons” episode number 194. It features five different modes of transportation: automobile, train, plane, bicycle and pedestrian. 

According to the O. Winston Link Museum, this was the most equipment-involved picture in Link's collection. Seen in the background is Class Y6 Locomotive 2133 Eastbound. Link had timed the Norfolk and Western Freight No. 78 and had set up 42 flashbulbs throughout the scene.

Allie Hasson of the Link Museum explained, "At the time of night Link wanted to take the photograph, the scene from "Battle Taxi" on the screen would not show up because it was backlit by a flashbulb. So, Link had to print the image of the plane from a negative he'd taken separately that night and placed it on top of the other negative to produce the famous photo Hotshot Eastbound."

O. Winston Link, who died in 2001, spent five years in the 1950s documenting the last days of steam-powered locomotion in the United States. For more information visit the O. Winston Link Museum web site at:

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