Sunday, March 07, 2010

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Friday, March 05, 2010

CPRR & UPRR went broke and consumed millions of taxpayer dollars vs. debt repaid plus government windfall

Hillsdale College Professor Burt Folsom writes that " ... James J. Hill privately financed his Great Northern Railroad–the only transcontinental railroad never to go bankrupt. By contrast, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads–with massive federal aid–both went broke during the 1890s and both consumed millions of taxpayer dollars in financing."

By contrast, our understanding is that the Central and Union Pacific Railroads did not receive government subsidies because the government railroad bonds had to be and were repaid in full with interest, that according to the U.S. Supreme Court the government and the railroads shared equally in the increased value of the land grants, and that the U.S. government got a billion dollar discount on mail and other transportation costs. So although the CPRR spoke of a "subsidy" in their bond prospectus, the net economic result was that the bonds were a repaid loan (not that the railroad didn't attempt unsuccessfully to avoid repaying), the worthless western lands to the extent they were made valuable by the completion of the railroad (much was so arid that it remained worthless), more of the value went to the government and eventual landowners than to the railroad, and the U.S. government received a financial windfall due to the prolonged subsidy that the railroads provided to the U.S. government for its transportation costs as part of the deal to fund the construction.
See,
No government subsides for CPRR or UPRR;
Role of government in railroad financing.

"Railroad Reorganization: Union Pacific." By Stuart Daggett, Ph.D., Harvard Economic Studies, 1908, states on page 256 that: " ... the government debt was paid off in cash ... both principal and interest were paid in full." Regarding the CPRR and Western Pacific RR, Tutorow, p. 1004 reports that final payment to the government was organized by a commission appointed by an 1898 act of congress, determined to be $58,812,715.48 on Feb. 1, 1899, and that the complex transaction was completed on February 1, 1909 when the last of the government debt was duly paid.
See,
Cost;
Dollars per mile of track;
Railroad Reorganization, 1908.

So which is correct? Did both the CPRR & UPRR go broke and consume millions of taxpayer dollars or was the debt repaid in full plus the U.S. government received a financial windfall due to the prolonged subsidy that the railroads provided to the government for its transportation costs through the mid 20th century?

Monday, March 01, 2010

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Crescent Limited"

From: "C Perry" cperry39402@yahoo.com

My elderly neighbor bought a large print of a railroad station with what looks like 1930's cars near it & I told him that I would "look it up." It was titled The Crescent Limited and signed (what I think was) Davard Taunton – do you know where this is located? ...

—C. Perry

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Southern Pacific Railway, Orange County CA lines

From: "Von Bitner, Theodore" Theodore.VonBitner@ocpw.ocgov.com

I am very interested in the history of the Southern Pacific Railroad through what is now Huntington Beach, Orange County, California. In particular ... about the Smeltzer Branch along the Pacific Ocean coastline. I am very curious about the physical structure of the railroad between Newport Beach and Huntington Beach with respect to any bridges that my have been built along that stretch of the railway. This particular stretch of the coastline appears to have been a sand spit and I interested to find out how the railroad was essentially built on the beach. ...

Ted von Bitner
Chief of Monitoring Programs
County of Orange - OC Watersheds Program

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New website SepiaTown - Over 150 mapped historical San Francisco images for you to explore!

From: "Sepia Town" sepiatown@gmail.com

We're writing to tell you about a new historical image website we've built that we think you and the followers of Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum will be interested in (love your site, by the way)...

Homepage ...  

A sample San Francisco image on the site ...

SepiaTown is a website (mobile version coming soon) that lets people experience the past through a large and growing collection of user-submitted, mapped historical images.

We already have over 150 mapped San Francisco images in the collection for you to explore, plus images from a host of cities around the world.

In the coming months we'll be adding a number of new features to the site: mobile version, filtering by date and media type, film and audio upload, plus individualized pages for registered users.

If you have historical images you'd like to share, we invite you to upload, map and share them through the SepiaTown collection.  Registration is fast and free, and our upload and mapping process is as easy as pie, and each image features a link to your site (if you so choose).

Learn more about uploading images

Please feel free to contact us with any ideas or questions. If you like the project, we'd greatly appreciate it if you could help us get the word out.

We hope you enjoy the site,

SepiaTown Co-Founders
Jon Protas
Eric Warren
Eric Lehnartz

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Historical Address for CPRR at 303 Broadway in NYC 1870

From: swnort@comcast.net

I am researching a mid 19th Century painting that had an association possibly with 303 Broadway as it existed in the period of o/a 1850-60. I note that CPRR's 1870 address for its NYC office was at 303 Broadway.

I note the voluminous and interesting materials available on your website, but couldn't see anything regarding history of the various physical office sites. Thus, I was wondering if you might have any such information for my research regarding that building at 303 Broadway (i.e. pre/post 1870 building description, occupants, even immediately adjacent buildings*, etc.) That particular area/time was one where there were many artists and theatres in that area of NYC, but the NYC Landmarks Commission does not have this address within its current designated areas.

Thus, any historic info on the building itself would be much appreciated.

(* I am also trying to determine the same information regarding the mid 19th Century address of 289 Broadway which Landmarks advises that currently they show as "not a valid address.") ...

—Phil Norton, Frederick MD

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hart and the Burlington Railroad

From: "Glenn G. Willumson" gwillumson@arts.ufl.edu

I am working on a travel book, A Traveler's Own Book, that the Central Pacific Railroad photographer Alfred Hart published in 1870. In particular, I'm trying to get a date for when it stopped publication, and I have come across a clue that I'm hoping someone can help me with. In what I think is a later edition of the booklet, the map in the back has the Burlington & Missouri Railroad bypassing Omaha and going through Lincoln, Nebraska before heading north again and linking up to the Union Pacific and heading west. Does anyone know when this bypass of Omaha was completed?

I appreciate any help you can give me.

—Glenn Willumson

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Old Union Pacific and Southern Pacific publicity photos

From: "Vivian Schueler" vschueler@wi.rr.com

We have Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroad publicity photos and are trying to find out what they are worth. Can you help us or direct us. Any assistance you can give us would be greatly appreciated.

—William Schueler, Jr.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Texas and Pacific Railroad step stool

From: "Pat James" jamesgang@sstelco.com

We have a T&PRY (Texas and Pacific Railroad Co.) metal Conductor's Boarding step stool, or sometimes, called a Pullman step stool. It has been in our family for at least 60 years. We can't seem to find out anything about it. Could you please direct me in the right direction to find out more about it and what is its worth. I have searched Google and just can't seem to get in the right hole. I did find out that Texas and Pacific Railway was the only railroad in Texas in 1871, then was merged into the Missouri Pacific in 1976. ...

—Pat and Gary James

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Construction of the transcontinental railroad

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How much was paid to the railroad companies per mile?

From: "Anthony Bageant" abageant@verizon.net

How much was paid to the railroad companies per mile?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Animals

What were some animals back in the 1870s in Nebraska through California?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Current research on the Sacramento Valley RR since Gilbert Kneiss

From: "Robert Field" clearfox@dsl.pipex.com

Am researching for an article which in part covers the SVRR. There is a lot of small-scale info available on the net but I am wondering if one of your posters could point me in the direction of a general survey of new material. ...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

50' Passenger cars 1800's to 1900's

From: "Rob Schwab" frome2u4us@yahoo.com

I am working on a model 50' Passenger car by (Roundhouse) and I am interested as to where I could find any information on interior drawings, and to know what type trucks are prototypical for these cars, can you help me with this???

—Fritz Schwalb

Monday, February 01, 2010

Two views of Humboldt House

From: "jc cain" jccain@bellsouth.net

Have you ever noticed these two views of Humboldt House are exactly the same?


Humboldt House, Crofutt

eement/Savage.Humboldt_Station_BW.jpg

National History Day Project

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Color Scheme

From: "Karen & Dan Dishno" kdishno@centurytel.net

The red background is a no no!!! Makes it very hard to read. Also, not good for those who are low vision. Please get rid of it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Port Costa & Benicia rail yards

From: lambsydivy@juno.com

... My husband's grandfather, Frank J. Douglas, was yardmaster for several years in the early 1900's at Port Costa. We have visited Port Costa on several occasions; there is basically no rail yard/buildings remaining at Port Costa. We would really like to see any photos of the Port Costa and Benicia rail yards that transferred the freight via the "Solano". I see a lot of photos of the Solano, but very little of the ports and the port personnel.

We have, in our family archive, three photos of a group of men posed in front of an engine and a small building nearby. There is no identifying information, but we are certain that one of the men was Frank J. Douglas. The family story is that Frank was one of the youngest men ever to attain yard master status. He apparently trained at Denison, TX.

—Bobette Doulas

DRUM, Rail Road Photo Car

From: "Leah Olson" leaholson525@yahoo.com

I enjoyed browsing your site today...especially the old pictures. I have a question, my father has an old family photograph. The bottom says DRUM, Rail Road Photo Car ... it's printed on stiff card stock type paper. Can you tell me how I can know which rail road car this picture came from? It's of two men ... unfortunately, we don't know who ... we believe it's our Hutcheson family who went through Iowa and into Kansas.

—Leah Olson, Aiken, South Carolina

Monday, January 25, 2010

Google Books - CPRR Documents

From: kylewyatt@aol.com

A whole bunch of CPRR original documents are up on the web from Stanford University.

—Kyle

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CPRR Finance and Accounting

Inventory of the Central Pacific Railroad Collection:
SERIES ONE: FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING, 1861-1885

A. J. Russell Stereoview #539. "Chinese at Laying Last Rail UPRR."

From: "Norton Wheeler" Wheeler-N@MSSU.EDU

I am a little confused by all the explanations. ... the photo of the completion of the Intercontinental [sic] Railroad that, according to your website's caption, depicts at least one Chinese worker. ... can you tell me which individual is definitely Chinese? Is this a version of the photo with an enlargement of the relevant section? Is your identification made on the basis of clothing, facial features, or what? Given the quality of the photo, it is difficult for me to make this identification, based on viewing the image on my computer screen.

My purpose is to make the students in my US History survey course aware of the problems that Chinese immigrants faced in the Western United States in the late 19th century, even at the level of public representation. ...

Norton Wheeler, Ph.D.
Social Science Deparatment
Missouri Southern State University


A. J. Russell Stereoview #539.

Strobridge

AFT "Tools for Teachers"

We received a Google Web Alert regarding posting of the following webpage. What of this "Tools for Teachers" description is historically correct and what is incorrect?:

" ... Despite their hard work, the Chinese still faced discrimination. They experienced more difficult conditions than the white workers while receiving less pay for their work. In 1867, the Chinese workers organized a strike demanding higher pay and safer working conditions. The officials ignored their demands and forced them the workers to return to work."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Judah and the 1862 Pacific Railroad Act

From: "Warren Awtrey" young.house@verizon.net

I've read that Judah was a participant in writing the 1862 Pacific Railroad Bill – Is it known if he originated the idea of having competing roads build the Pacific Railroad from its eastern and western termini?

—Warren Awtrey

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Surviving Central Pacific Railroad Depot (Lovelock, Nevada)

Monday, January 11, 2010

History of Reno, Nevada railroad depots

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Chinese Railroad Labor camps in Kansas

From: "Linda Katz" gossamer@odsgc.net, gcri1@odsgc.net

Is there any place that will give us the locations of the Chinese labor camps for the railroad going through kansas. ...

Oliver Denny, photographer

From: "Barry Swackhamer" barry_sue90@hotmail.com

I am interested in the photographs of Oliver Denny. The Canadian born photographer is known to have worked in Grass Valley, Sacramento, Nevada City, Suisun and Marysville between 1865 and 1871 before moving to Portland, Oregon. While he was at Marysville, he issued a series of stereographs entitled “California Pacific Railroad.”

There was in fact a California Pacific Rail Road operating between Sacramento and Vallejo with a branch from Davis to Marysville at this time. Several of Denny’s views that I have seen (online) only make sense if Denny was photographing the California Pacific.

However, there have been some references to Central Pacific Rail Road views published in the “California Pacific Railroad” series “some of which may have been from negatives by Alfred A. Hart” (Palmquist, Pioneer Photographers of the Far West, pg. 200). I have one of these views, a variant of Hart 61 Hydraulic Mining, in my collection.

There is also an interesting CDV take by Denny of “Virginia Street, Reno” in the Union Pacific Museum. Item X364 from the Southern Pacific Collection. It is quite similar of Hart 286 of the same name and appears to have been taken about (but not exactly) the same time. See Myrick, Railroads of Nevada, pg. 15.

I would like to obtain more examples (copies?) of Oliver Denny’s images so that more light may be shed on the subject. Any information would be helpful.

—Barry Swackhamer

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Railroad Map Survey Nomenclature

From: "Sprinkler Service & Supply" sssprinkler1@earthlink.net

We are trying to understand some of the nomemclature used on the SVRR Extension Folsom to Maryville Map, 1857. The railroad bed bends are noted by an angle measurement with a degree at the apex and numbers at the ends of the radii such as 429+60 and 432+10. Obviously these notes refer to the degree bend in road bed, radius and length. However, we are not educated in how to read the surveying notations. We would like to plot the line against present day street maps. ...

Kevin Knauss
Sprinkler Service & Supply, Inc.
Carmichael, CA

Snowsheds and bridges

From: "McGuire, Margit" MMCGUIRE@seattleu.edu

How many snowsheds were built through the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the time the railroad was built?

How many bridges/trestles were built through the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the time the railroad was built?

Margit E. McGuire, PhD
College of Education
Seattle University

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Chamber pots

From: NVSILVER42@aol.com
I enjoyed your comments about the fakes and when they were made – do you have any pictures of a "real chamber pot." For those of us who would really like to know?
I understand that the original also had the enameled logo on it, is this correct?
Where would be a good source to research Central Pacific chamber pots?
Thank you for your very informative site.

—Anna Jure

Note: My great-great grandfather worked for the Central Pacific – in his albums we have an endorsed pay check, never cashed, for $.10 for his wages. ... The check is for ten cents - it is in an album (loose) – we never found out why he endorsed it but never cashed it. It was an actual signed check not one with a stamped signature.

Friday, January 01, 2010

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Monday, December 28, 2009

CPRR Logo

From: "Thomas Rubarth" trubarth@cox.net
Did the Central Pacific Railroad have a logo or shield associated with it? If so, where can I find an image of it?

—Thomas

Sunday, December 27, 2009

CPRR Emigrant Baggage Tags

From: "Jason Sanford" parkcitybranch@yahoo.com
Looking to Trade CPRR Emigrant Baggage Tags for Iron.

I have a matched pair of Central Pacific Hoole Emigrant Tags that I am looking to trade for some Central Pacific iron. I am interested in link and pin coupler set, journal box covers, and tools. If you have extra iron and would like to acquire these extremely rare tags please contact me for information and pictures. I also have a pair of Wilcox tags available.

—Jason


CPRR Baggage Tags

CPRR Baggage Tags

CPRR Baggage Tags

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hoisting engine for Summit tunnel

From: "Ken Miller" kcmiller@starstream.net

Do you know what ever happened to the old steam locomotive that was used as a hoisting engine for the mid-way vertical shaft on CPRR's Summit tunnel (tunnel no. 6)?? It was originally known as the "Sacramento" and belonged to the Sacramento Valley Railroad before CPRR bought it.

—Ken Miller

Thursday, December 10, 2009

San Francisco and San Jose Railroad corporate records

From: "Scott Soper" fosterkane@hotmail.com

I am seeking the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad corporate records, specifically the minutes. Does anyone know where they are?

Scott Soper

Monday, December 07, 2009

Summit Tunnel Air Drills in 1867

From: kylewyatt@aol.com

Evidence that the Central Pacific did at least try power drills in Summit Tunnel. I wonder what patents the drills were built under.

—Kyle


Summit Tunnel – Air Drills in 1867

April 1, 1867 – San Francisco Alta Californian – from GM Best notes

Central Pacific – Summit Tunnel
Vulcan Iron works built "atmospheric drilling machines", four of which were used by the Central Pacific in Summit Tunnel.
Drilled 1 1/2" holes for nitro-glycerin.
Drilled at rate of 1 1/2" per minute.
Air supplied by air pump – steam powered - on surface.
Air pressure 20 lbs.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Weight of sledge hammer

I'm writing a curriculum on the Chinese building the railroad. I need a small detail: How much did a sledge hammer weigh? If no one can answer that question, can you direct me to someone who can? Thank you.

Travel in 1870 by rail

From: "Bill McIntyre" bill@canadian-biocoal.com, billmci@telus.net

I am in the process of writing a screenplay that involves getting a character from Chicago to Washington State in 1870 by rail. If that was impractical then I would shift his destination to Oregon or California. He would still have to reach Washington by some other means. He would want to ship his horse and pack mule with him as well. If this was possible in whole or in part what would have been the travel time? ...

—Bill McIntyre

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Town of Truckee

From: "Chaun Mortier" cmortier@truckeehistory.org

Please let me introduce myself and to explain our Research Library's goals. I am Chaun Owens-Mortier, Research Historian for the Truckee Donner Historical Society. This summer we opened our Research Library for the first time. Myself, our Research Librarian; Katie Holley along with our Photo Archivist, Dennis Beegley are creating a complete archival database of our in-house resources.

... we have located a bit of information that contradicts the Town of Truckee information and that was the actual date for the naming of the town from Coburn's Station to Truckee. ... The Town refers us [to] the History of Truckee and we are dedicated to providing accurate information. The accepted date for the naming of Truckee is 1868. In referring to your article Iron Horse Along The Truckee we can see that it was actually named in late July 1867. That article references the following:

19) E.B. Crocker to Huntington, 1 August 1867; confirmed in Sacramento Bee (3 August 1867) and Gold Hill Daily News (6 August 1867). Subsequent use of the name Coburn's in the newspapers and by railroad officials, and the fact that the name change was announced again the following spring in the Sacramento Union (11 April 1868) and the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise (14 April 1868) indicate that the new name was not immediately adopted.

I am contacting the Virginia City Historical society in an attempt to gain a copy of the article from their area but I am requesting assistance from your organization to obtain copies of the other sources noted. Do you have copies of the correspondence between E.B. Crocker to Huntington and copies of the news articles from the Sacramento Bee, Gold Hill Daily News and the Sacramento Union? If you do can we obtain photocopies of those for our records? If not, can you direct me as to where I can obtain those copies.

I have located advertisements in the Truckee Republican from September/October of 1868 where business are still saying they are in Coburn's Station so the statement that the new name was not readily accepted is a very true fact but we would be grateful to have the correct information in file as to when the name was actually changed.

—Chaun Owens-Mortier, Research Historian, Truckee Donner Historical Society

Donner party

From: J.Butterfield@fresnolibrary.org

In my California History class, our instructor asked us to explain the importance of the Donner party in California history. Aside from it being a morbid and cautionary tale, I am guessing that the CPRR used the same route through the Sierras for the completion of their leg of the transcontinental Railroad. Can anyone comment on this?

—JB

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sierra Grade upgrade - Doublestacks on Donner Pass

From: Bruce Cooper

"Clearance project: 'designed to move customer products over a shorter, faster, and more efficient route,' Union Pacific’s Donner Pass route is open to doublestack intermodal traffic."

See: RailwayAge.com

Friday, November 27, 2009

How long for trip NY to SF in 1928

From: "Terace Luchini" tluchini@live.com

In August of 1928 my grandmother landed at Ellis Island NY, and traveled to San Francisco by rail, could you tell me the route and how long it would have taken. And if you could maybe you would know what the fare for that journey would have been? I am doing a report for school on how my ancestors came to CA. ...

—Terace Luchini

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

To understand the history and significance of the first Thanksgiving in November, 1623 read the journal of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford. The Mayflower Compact set up a commune at the Plymouth Bay Colony with equal collective ownership, hence destroyed all incentive and half the Pilgrims starved to death. This disastrous socialist experiment was successfully replaced with capitalist individual farm plots on their plantation according to Bradford so that the Pilgrims would be incentivized by benefiting from their own individual efforts, and with farming knowledge learned from the local Indians, food became abundant leading to the first Thanksgiving celebration and subsequent success of the colony.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turntable plans

From: "Sierk Oudemans" Sierk@sbcglobal.net

I am planning on scratch building a working scale (N scale) model of a wooden RR Turntable and I am looking for a plan or set of plans to help me design the model. I take it that [someone] has such a plan since [they] just finished rebuilding exactly what I am looking for. It is a beautiful piece of work indeed. Is there any way I might be able to obtain a copy of the ... plans? ...

—Sierk Oudemans

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Found an interesting Edison 1890's RR video on Youtube of the SP's Overland Mail

From: "Michael Van Tosh" mvantosh@gmail.com

I was looking through Youtube the other day, and I was looking for a certain silent film. I thought I had seen most of [Thomas Alva] Edison's silent films of RR's recorded in the 1890's, but I came across the following one of the SP's "Overland Mail" (which I guess could be any train), capturing a double-headed train around a corner. The film details the number of each locomotive (although I didn't realize that until after), so I looked closely at the tenders and was able to write down the numbers. I remember being told that switching locomotive tenders around was a famous practice of the CP/SP, but I decided to look them up on the roster anyway:

No. 1360: 4-4-0, originally: ?

No. 1779: 4-6-0. originally: ?

Unfortuneately, when I tried to look them up on the rosters, I couldn't find either of them. I saw locomotives numbered 1362-1368, and locomotives numbered 1770-1776, but no engines with these numbers. Does anyone happen to know if they engines were even SP/CP, or were they from another RR, or did I miss something entirely?

The other question I had was about an SP locomotive I saw in a book once, numbered 1008.

However, it is very different from the one listed. The engine is a 4-4-0T, with no tender, a crane attached to the smokebox/pilot, and a small collection of tanks and cylinders under the cab. I own a copy of the book, so I can scan it if you'd like. The engine is simply described as a works pilot, but I have never seen any of pictures of it before. Does the museum have any other resources about it?

—Mike

Location of Tamarack station; Spruce

From: "Kristine Swigart" kswigart@netzero.net

Where was the Tamarack station between Cisco and Summit stations? Was it before (west) of the current day Troy? Are there any survey and or maps (detailed) of that area with the railroad I have the survey prior to it with proposed railroad? Also where was Spruce? Is that Troy? ...

—Kristine

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Broken link

From: gloria@studentresearchers.org

I just wanted to let you know that ... you have a link ... which seems to now be missing. ...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Iron and Steel Makers Marks on rails

From: ThomasSwailes@aol.com

I've just come across your very nice website – interested in the old rails in particular.

A month ago I set up a group on the flickr photographers' website for iron and steel rail makers marks. ...

There are quite a few old rail pictures in the flickr group, back to the late nineteenth century, but not as old as the historic iron rails you have in your collections. I had not realised until people started posting pictures to the flickr group that very old rails were still in place on track bed in Canada, USA and Australia. In Australia they seem to have been quite often reused as fenceposts.

In Britain I think almost all old rails were taken up c. 1963, when the rail network was reduced in size with the closure of a lot of supposedly less profitable railway lines. So in the flickr group for example we have a Dorman Long rail of 1922 which is in a museum piece in NE England, whereas there are much older British rolled rails still in their original locations overseas. In the flickr group we have an older British rail in Sweden for example, so the exports were not all transatlantic.

—Tom Swailes from Bollington, Cheshire, England

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Locomotive Jupiter's Wheels

From: JR12348@aol.com

Did the Central Pacific Jupiter 4-4-0 Locomotive have Hi-Rail Wheels or Scale Wheels?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Posters for sale

Where can I find railroad and other posters for sale?

See the Poster section of the CPRR Museum Exhibits, and the Train Poster section of the CPRR Museum bookshop.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Shaping the West - Stanford University Spatial History Project - A.A. Hart Visualizations

From: "Spatial History Project" spatialhistory@gmail.com

I wanted to let you know about a new project that the Spatial History Lab at Stanford is working on. They (we) are mapping the locations of Alfred Hart's photos along the CPRR and pairing each with a repeat photograph from the same spot. It's been fascinating thus far to see the changes in the landscape over the ensuing 150 years.

The project is still in progress (winter snows in the mountains will stall further photos during the winter) but we're excited about the contrasts we've seen already.

I wanted to let you all know about the project not only because it seems in line with your interests, but because we would love your input. I'm sure there are details we're missing and whole stories that we've forgotten. If you know anything more about the photos, please do let us know.

The link to the site is: Spatial History Project – A.A. Hart Visualizations.

You can navigate through the photos (we only have the first nine up now, with more to come in the very near future) both spatially and linearly.

Enjoy!

Killeen Hanson
Project Manager, Shaping the West
Spatial History Project
Stanford University

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Indians at opening ceremony?

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Camp 21 Sardine Valley

From: daeppley@comcast.net

Do you have any information on Camp 21 in Sardine Valley north of Stampede Reservoir? Based on the many old beer cans in the area I would guess the camp was operating 1936-37 making it part of the Hobart Mills operation rather than a Boca - Loyalton Railroad operation. The remaining wood foundations look like they may be old railroad cars, not cabins, but the track and wheels are all gone. I can't find any detailed history of the operation of the Railroad or of the camps. The museum list a stereograph of Camp 21, but it is not available on line.

—Dean Eppley, Truckee

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Steve Carter prints

From: "Normand Leduc" nleduc@shaw.ca

I have a couple of signed prints done by Steve Carter of the "Last Spike #44" and "The Hogger's last lock #458" ... was wondering if those would have any historic value?

—Normand Leduc

Old rail from Russia

From: "Tyurin Sergey" vniist@mail.ru

I am from Russia. I found the place where the rail, shown in attachment situated. This is very interesting place. We have here old railroad with different marks on the rails. Rail which is in attachment only one of them. For example we have a rail which marked " UNION D N.T.K. 1887" ...

—Sergey

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Emigrant "Local" Baggage Tags

From: "Jason Sanford" parkcitybranch@yahoo.com

I have seen some CPRR baggage tags that are marked "local" and some "Emigrant" and "Local." What constituted a local train on the CPRR? Where there specific local trains that ran on a daily basis between designated stations? Does anyone happen to know when the "Emigrant" tags were no longer used? Thanks.

—Jason

Friday, October 23, 2009

History of train conductor hats

From: "Richard Russell" richardrussell1203@sbcglobal.net

Were can I find information on the history of train conductor hats?

—Rich Russell

Searching for travel guide from 1870s - Southern Pacific RR Co. - Los Angeles to San Francisco

From: "Brenda Reed" brendawestonwv@hotmail.com

I was thrilled to find your publication The Pacific [Tourist] by Henry T. [Williams].

I am writing a story set in 1877 that places my characters on a train from Los Angeles to the state line between Utah and Wyoming. I'd like for everything to be as accurate as possible ... do you know of any guide written in the era for the trip from Los Angeles to San [Francisco]?

Thank you so much for all your work in preserving RR history. I am old enough to remember traveling from Wichita to Philadelphia on an "old-fashioned" train with dining car and sleepers. It was a trip never to be forgotten.

—Brenda Reed

Sunday, October 18, 2009

John Leroy Minchin

From: "Jeff" jzeeburg@yahoo.com

Looking for information on someone who I think either worked for the CPRR or the SP.

A google search has turned up nothing, maybe someone in your group can help me?

John Leroy Minchin. I'm trying to find out about this person. I'm a railroad collector and have a railroad "presentation" lantern that was given to JOHN LEROY MINCHIN with a date of 1886 on it. Can you help me? Thanks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Donner Summit Virtual Reality

From: "Howard Goldbaum" goldbaum@unr.edu

Five-node spherical virtual-reality scene which explores the Summit Tunnel in detail, including its vertical construction shaft (view full-screen for best effect).

Howard Goldbaum
All Around Nevada
Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism MS 310
University of Nevada
Reno, NV

How much were the Chinese paid?

Wilson Committee Report & Credit Mobilier

Is the transcription that you have online the full and complete report which Jeremiah M. Wilson delivered to Congress on February 21, 1873? If not, do you know where I could view the full report?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Irish workers on the Union Pacific RR

From: "Kim Pearson" sixpearsons@nc.rr.com

We are doing a report on the Transcontinental RR. We are finding a lot of information about the Chinese immigrants that worked on the RR; however, we can find very little information about the Irish immigrants that worked for the Union Pacific RR. Can you give us some direction?

—Kim Pearson

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Glassware used in the dining cars for drinks

From: McKeever@comcast.net

I am looking for a set of fine drinking glasses they used in the dining cars in the 1930's and 1940's. And also in the Presidents dining car.

—Darlene Kelly

Thursday, October 01, 2009

CPRR Discussion Group

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Unique Crocker Family Stories Come to Light in Exhibition"

"Unique Crocker Family Stories Come to Light in Exhibition", © Art Daily, September 28, 2009. (News Article)

"A new exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum pays tribute to the Museum’s founders and shares the stories of philanthropy, eccentricity and high style that made the Crockers the epitome of the Gilded Age. Breathtaking jewelry, dramatic gowns, china, furniture, personal letters, paintings and photographs tell the lesser-known side of the Crocker family’s story in Treasures, Curiosities and Secrets: The Crockers and the Gilded Age, opening November 6. ... More than 75 objects will be on display to tell the story of California’s premier early art patrons, Edwin Bryant and Margaret Crocker, and the era in which they lived. The exhibit also encompasses the lives and mementos of their children, including the notorious Aimée Crocker, who became an international social success, receiving widespread press for her dramatic costumes, travels to the Far East, extensive tattoos and five controversial marriages, twice to Russian nobility. Edwin Bryant and Margaret Crocker settled in Sacramento in 1852 and worked as merchants until Edwin was appointed to the California Supreme Court in 1863. Seven months later, Edwin left the bench to serve as legal counsel for the Central Pacific Railroad Company, which ultimately made him a millionaire. ... A paralytic stoke in June 1869 forced Edwin to retire but allowed him and his family to pursue other interests, including commissioning an art gallery ... Overseas for the next three years, the Crockers purchased more than 700 paintings and 1,300 drawings that became the core of their museum ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Saturday, September 26, 2009

BEWARE FAKE RAILROAD BADGES PURCHASED ON EBAY

From: "Jackson" stonewall.summer@wavecable.com

I recently purchased a Sacramento Northern Railway Special Agent badge #1 ... on eBay. I personally had never met the seller but communicated with him via email previously. After I purchased the item I was provided information the badge was a fake and the manufacturer was located. The manufacturer confirmed they made the badge(s) approximately one month previous and it was sold to [eBay seller]. The seller ... did refund my money. The manufacturing company was not aware of how the buyer was going to use it. The manufacturer did tell me they notified eBay. ...

When I showed a photo of the ... Spokane Portland Seattle Railway Special Agent badge ... it was also identified as a fake purchased by the same.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Native Americans

How did the railroad make the lives of the Indians life hard?

Note: The hostilities with the plains Indians was with the Union Pacific Railroad. (The Indians and the Central Pacific Railroad got along together very well.)

How many tunnels did the Chinese make while working on the transcontinental railroad?

How many tunnels did the Chinese make while working on the transcontinental railroad?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Utah-Wyoming Border

From: "C. Barton Crattie" Bart_NilesSurvey@comcast.net

Earlier this year I submitted a brief question and was pleasantly surprised at the many thoughtful and insightful answers.

My question this time is: Would anyone have any knowledge as to the placement of the border(s) between Utah and Wyoming. I suspect it has much to do with roads, coal and the rails but am having trouble finding information on this. I also think Durant might have had some input.

—Bart Crattie

M.W. Baldwin & Co Locomotive builders lithograth

From: "Barbara Perham" bperham@osctechnology.com

Looking to find the value of the attached lithograph, who would I contact?

—Barbara Perham


Baldwin Tiger

Friday, September 11, 2009

Who won the great race?

From: "Eileen McKegney" McKegneyE@Tuckahoe.lhric.org

Who won the race between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads?

Cape Horn: A Controversy in Stone

"Sierra College will present a lecture by historian and author Jack Duncan entitled "Cape Horn: A Controversy in Stone" on Wednesday, October 7, 2009, at 7 p.m."

Charles and E.B, Crocker

From: "Glenn G. Willumson" gwillumson@arts.ufl.edu

I am working on an essay about EB Crocker and am wondering whether anyone has knows firm dates for Charles Crocker's resignation from the CPRR Board and EB Crocker's addition to the Board. Any information or suggestions for research sources will be much appreciated.

—Glenn Willumson

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fake Chamberpot

From: "Casey Nichols" cassandra21991@yahoo.com

My family has found what appears to be a toilet off of the central pacific railroad. It's rounded and on the front it says please do not clean the toilet bowl outside of the window, Central Pacific RR. Those are not the exact words, but it's close. I was wondering if something like this has been found before, and if it's really a part of the train.

—Casey Graham

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Records of the people who worked on the transcontinental railroad

From: "Lindsay Clark" lindsay.clark@argpetro.com

Do you have any records of the people who worked on the transcontinental railroad? I'm doing a report for D.A.R. in 1st person and it would really help a lot. ...

—Kathleen A. Clark, Los Cuates Middle School, Los Fresnos, Texas

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

CPRR Discussion Group

Welcome to the CPRR Discussion Group at the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tulare Roundhouse

From: "Mike Harvey" deputydog@dslextreme.com

My name is Mike Harvey, I am an Ex Humbug and current Noble Grand Recorder for Doctor Samuel Gregg George Chapter 1855 of E Clampus Vitus. On October 10th, 2009 around 9:00 am we are dedicating a monument to the Tulare Roundhouse. The event will take place at Halfys bar. This is not the exact location of the roundhouse but close enough. If anyone is interested in attending it is open to the public. If anyone has a picture of the roundhouse I would appreciate it if they could email it to me at dsgg1855@dslextreme.com I need a good picture for a handout at the event. Information will be posted in about a week at dsgg1855.com keep checking for details.

Mike Harvey
XNGH, NGR, CEO
DSGG1855 ECV

Employment records

From: tdjramirez@fuse.net

Do you have employment records from 1915-1920?

—Teresa A. Ramirez

Saturday, August 29, 2009

BBC Documentary

From: "Vicki Beck" rvjt1980@yahoo.com

The B.B.C. did a Movie/Documentary sometime in 2002-2003. Parts were filmed in California. It was on the Central and Union Pacific Rail roads joining. I am trying to find it. Can you help me?

—R. Beck

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Railroad Accidents

From: "Karen Mazzeo" karen.mazzeo@yahoo.com

Did the railroads ever keep accident reports on individuals they accidently ran over back in the early 1900's specifically the year of 1902? My great-grandfather was run over by a freight train in Yuma back then. I was wondering if these accidents were ever documented.

–Karen Mazzeo

Monday, August 10, 2009

Victorian Women's Costumes

From: "Lance" westernarizona@frontiernet.net

I remember looking at a then new photo exhibit on this website back in late 2005 of a museum or private collection of women's Victorian dresses and apparel, etc. during the Transcontinental RR era. (and or 1850-1920 etc.)

However, I can not find that page nor did I bookmark it. Do you remember that or what site (linked from the cprr.org) I may have looking at?

—Lance

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Union Pacific film railroad spike

From: "Jack Chipperfield" jc224@sussex.ac.uk

... I have recently come into posession of what seems to be a novelty railroad spike for the film Union Pacific. I have searched high and low on the internet and cannot seem to find anything about it other than on your website, The one I have is slightly different to the one you feature by way of the fact it is inscribed with

The David Rose Paramount Convention 1939
The other engravings match the ones your pictures show. I fully expect it not to be a collectible item at all but i woulld be curious to find out how it arrived hear in England. iIf you could give me any guidance or point me in the direction of someone that could i would be most greatful,

—Jack Chipperfield

Saturday, August 01, 2009

OT: Solution to Health Care Reform

The following message sent to the Clinton Transition Team on December 15, 1992 is still valid, and politicians are still misdiagnosing the problem leading them to advocate changes that will make matters much worse and more expensive. Economics Professor and Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman wrote in 1992 regarding the following proposal for a Medical Savings Account with linked variable deductible major medical insurance that “Your health insurance reform, except for details, is identical with one that I have long favored. ... I agree with you completely in what you regard as the fatal flaw.” This solution to health care reform provides universal coverage for 100% of medical expenses (unlimited), with cost consciousness because patients (not government or insurance companies) are put in charge!

Re: Health Insurance Reform / Medical Savings Plan

Dear President Elect Clinton:

Health Care costs are out of control for one reason only: Health Insurance was erroneously formulated from its inception, containing a fatal flaw:

Flaw: “Health Insurance” makes medical cost appear to be free to patients, physicians, and hospitals because it is not insurance. Workable insurance must provide a pre-specified payoff that is triggered by events not under the control of the insured, not the ability to spend without limit at no personal cost.

Patients need to be cost conscious. My 8 year old daughter, Becky, is ready to buy toys without limit if her parents are buying, but is unbelievably frugal and prudent with her own savings—yet this elementary lesson was lost on the health insurance industry and the error was perpetuated in the design of Medicare and Medicaid.

During a decade and a half of directing Computed Tomography facilities at a University Medical Center, not a single one of the hundreds of physicians I trained contradicted my claim that if each patient were to be offered a free color television in place of the insurance paid CT scan they were about to undergo (economically equivalent), we would do far fewer CT scans—a true measure of the huge resource misallocation caused by flawed health insurance. Value is always subjective, so only a patient spending his or her own money can decide whether a health care expenditure is “necessary”. Current reform proposals such as “managed competition” won’t work because they perpetuate the “health insurance” flaw that causes cost to rise uncontrollably, and because they eliminate the crucial information and direction that detailed price fluctuation conveys to producers and providers. The disastrous ineffectiveness of central planning, overall funding caps, and price controls is the key lesson that should be taken from the eastern bloc having lost the “cold war.”

To minimize these perverse effects of health insurance, while creating a huge pool of capital for investment in the economy, I suggest the following evolutionary approach to limiting health insurance to catastrophic major medical coverage, utilizing the best features of self-insurance, IRA’s, cash value life insurance, variable annuities, credit/debit cards, electronic funds transfer, and asset management accounts:

Solution: Every American should have a tax-deferred freely investable MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCOUNT into which is directly deposited the monthly equivalent of at least the amount of health insurance premiums, or more if an individual chooses. The fundamental idea is that the amount of the deductible of a linked health insurance policy varies and is equal to the current medical savings account balance, with changing monthly insurance premiums automatically paid from the account. This self-insurance approach with linked major medical backup maximizes cost consciousness while providing 100% coverage.

Medical costs are paid electronically by using a medical savings account debit card. Account overdrafts for medical costs are automatically paid by the linked private health insurance policy but since most payments are not account overdrafts, most insurance administrative costs are avoided. Buildup in the value of the medical savings account thus results in an accelerating decline in health insurance premiums. As account balances become larger, self-insurance increases, cost consciousness increases, health insurance premiums dramatically decrease, investment earnings cover the costs of medical care, and monthly contributions can decrease [as Einstein commented, compound interest is mankind’s greatest invention].

Account balances must be perceived as being personal money. Amounts accumulated in excess of the expected total cost of future health care during the individual’s remaining lifetime may be withdrawn, and any balance remaining at death goes to the designated beneficiary. Family members would be free to combine or transfer funds between accounts, and dependents could be freely added to accounts. Insurance policies should have no exclusions for prior conditions, and be universally available with community ratings except for temporary premium increases only to offset individual insurance reimbursements exceeding DRG norms while providing actuarial discounts for preventive care and safety measures such as air bags and smoke detectors, and surcharges for voluntary risk taking such as smoking, motorcycling, and skydiving. Various arrangements by insurance companies, fee for service health care providers, HMO’s, care quality auditing firms, information services, mutual funds, and banks, etc. in various combinations would be innovated to serve this new market.

Result: Millions of Americans spending their own money for health care will impose market discipline, currently absent, and will receive better care with dramatically reduced health care expenditures due to elimination of care judged by patients to be unnecessary, avoidance of cost shifting, and elimination of most current administrative costs. Health insurance also becomes portable, eliminating “job lock”, and account balances help fund medical care when not working while account overdrafts due to unpaid premiums by the unemployed could become tax loans as in the Clinton student loan proposal. A huge investment pool accumulates for investment in the economy and funding of retirement, and a savings model is established that can be developed to provide a funding mechanism for other social insurance needs.


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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lightfoot Collection Postcards

From: "Mike Lapham" ptimike@gmail.com

I have a complete set of the 50 postcards by Lightfoot. They belonged to my father and I would like to know how to establish a date for them. I believe my father purchased them in the 1940's. Each card has a number and description in the upper left corner, a place for a stamp in the right corner, The words "Post Card" on the right side and the words "Published by LIGHTFOOT COLLECTION, Huntington Sta., N.Y." Also each card has a unique number in the lower left corner. The 50th card has the number "49655-C" as an example.

The postcards are a little yellow with age but don't have any folds or imperfections.

I would really appreciate anything you can tell me about them as I am about to pass them on to my 16 year old grandson because of his interest in railroads.

—Mike Lapham, Vancouver, WA

Passenger train service, c. 1890-1910

From: "Kathy Veasey" kathy.veasey@gmail.com

I am looking for historical documention of passenger train service between West Virginia and northeastern Oregon, 1890-1910. I have learned that B & O ran from West Virginia - but that passengers would have to transfer at least once to another line before reaching their destination. What other lines were active at the time in question? Would Chicago, or what other city be the most likely transfer point?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Name of wife of James Harvey Strobridge

From: "Bobbie Howder" sbhowder@ftcnet.net

I am related to the wife of James Harvey Strobridge. She was my great-grandmother's sister. She was born in Cahir, County Tipperary, Ireland. I am trying to find out her full maiden name ... I believe she was a Gavin. Would you happen to know her first name?

—Barbara Howder

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Promontory 1869 image - a good representation?

From: "Nicole Enriquez" bsaldana@sahousingtrust.org

My group is doing a project on the Promontory Point 1869 image. The main question is: Is this image a good representation of 1869. Why or why not? What is its significance?

—Nicole Enriquez

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Correct base for MK&T Railroad caboose iron stove

From: "Margaret Reckert" mmreck@charter.net

I have a "caboose" iron stove. MK&T Railroad item. I would like to display this in my home. The "base" is missing. I do not know if it should be a "platform" or 4 legs that it sits on. Unable to find a picture. Can you help me?

—Margaret Reckert in Missouri ... home for the "Katy."

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Stereo Views and Other Photography Resources Online

From: sarah@teachersguild.org

... noticed that on your home page you are linking to stereoviews.info. I've also been using this other page about Stereo Views ... it's a good additional resource:
Stereo Views and Other Photography Resources Online
... it has tons of links to Stereo View collections, plus other photography collections like Lantern Slides, early photography, camera time lines and more. I even added it to my lesson plans; the kids loved it. Let me know if you decide to incorporate it!

—Sarah

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Bloomers Cut - Auburn, CA

From: "Mike Emmert" mike@mectc.com

I would like to make contact ... regarding the current historical designation status of Bloomers Cut ... and share with you that a development proposal on the west side of Bloomers Cut currently being processed by the City of Auburn requires that a bridge be built over the top of Bloomers Cut and has the potential of doing damage to this wonderful piece of history.

—Mike Emmert

CPRR Discussion Group

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Travel 1898 NY to Mexico City

From: "Bradley Hodge" bradleysbk@yahoo.com

I have a reference to a trip made from England to New York City on the S.S. Etruria, Cunard Line and then from New York City to Mexico City by train.

Was this possible in 1898 and how was it accomplished? Do you know of any travel books or map routes which could verify such a trip?

—Bradley Hodge, Huntsville, Texas

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Naming Pullman cars

From: "Bill Weatherford" billianne@charter.net

I'm doing research on a play and wanted to know how and why Pullman cars were named and by whom.

Many thanks for your service,

—Bill Weatherford

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Secret Hotels of California Wine Country"

"Secret Hotels of California Wine Country" by Jaime Gross, © Budget Travel, April, 2007. (Article)

" ... Old Crocker Inn: In the late 1800s, Charles Crocker, one of the founders of the Central Pacific Railroad, purchased nearly 600 acres above the Russian River and built a ranch and summer home there for entertaining his powerful friends and business partners. The ranch has been subdivided and parts have been sold over the years – much of it is now a residential development and a KOA campground – but five of those acres still bear Crocker's name, in the form of the Old Crocker Inn. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Surviving early rail car

"At the Throttle: Combine car 06 reveals its secrets" by Mark S. Bassett, © The Ely Times, January 26, 2007. (News Article)

" ... Under all of that paint was solid mahogany wood. It was beautiful and as smooth as a baby's bottom! And the discovery scared me; according to the records we had, the car was built in the late 1880's ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Train needs makeover before next Hollywood close-up" - The Sierra Railway No. 3 motion picture locomotive

"Train needs makeover before next Hollywood close-up" by DIXIE REID, © NEWSPAPER, January 25, 2007. (News Article)

" ... at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, the far-flung Tuolumne County outpost of Sacramento's California State Railroad Museum. ... In better times, Sierra Railway No. 3 was a star. Her first onscreen appearance was in a 1919 silent-movie serial called The Red Glove. Her first feature-film role was alongside Gary Cooper in The Virginian (1929), the first 'talkie' shot on location. In the 1950s and '60s, the locomotive appeared in a slew of Westerns, from the classic High Noon (again starring Cooper) to TV's Bonanza and Death Valley Days. Also among her 72 movie and TV credits are Gunsmoke, Petticoat Junction, Bound for Glory and Back to the Future III. ... She needs major work ..." [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]