Altoona in Blair County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Silver Chief
Rob Fisher 1978
The "Silver Chief" was created by sculptor Rob Fisher of Bellefonte, PA in 1978 and was given to the City of Altoona by the Downtown Altoona Progress Association. The figure is made of stainless steel and Fiberglass and is attached to an antique railroad wheel supported by a section of railroad track.
The lone figure of a space-age Native American runner, sparks flying from its body, is propelled forward by the speed of the railroad wheel. The figure is a fantasy character signifying the future and is based on Fisher's love of comic book heroes. Fisher wanted the figure to symbolize the future of Altoona, riding on its past history of railroading.
The idea of having the figure be a Native American was based in part on the early history of the railroad as it pushed westward into the great plains, largely the domain of the Native American.
Fisher literally cast himself as the runner. The face and body of the figure were made from molds of his face, torso, arms and legs produced by his studio assistants. The molds were then used to make fiberglass parts used in the sculpture. The stainless steel framework was
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Native Americans • Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1978.
Location. 40° 30.865′ N, 78° 24.162′ W. Marker is in Altoona, Pennsylvania, in Blair County. Marker is on 11th Avenue west of 13th Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Altoona PA 16601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Downtown Altoona Historic District (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Pennsylvania Railroad YMCA (about 300 feet away); Logan House (about 400 feet away); Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (about 400 feet away); Blair County Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients (about 400 feet away); Veterans Mall (about 400 feet away); Locomotive 790 Bell (about 500 feet away); Memorial Projectile (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Altoona.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 147 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 22, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.