One of the most prominent and successful photographic pioneers was John Carbutt of Chicago, who made major advances in the materials used to create and develop film. But decades before he did that, Carbutt journeyed to Nebraska and the Platte Valley as the official photographer for an amazingly large publicity stunt by the Union Pacific Rail Company as it rushed to complete the transcontinental railroad.

Many early bridge builders constructed embankments out into the Platte River, shortening the total length of the bridge and reducing construction costs and labor. The constrained banks make the river more narrow, creating faster currents and deeper channels.

For two decades Fort Kearny served as a symbol of American westward expansion, an outpost on the frontier as settlers headed west.

From the time of the first agricultural societies, farmers have experimented with various ways to get enough water to their crops.