This page shows railroadiana items of unusual interest. These images
were sent in by collectors for others to enjoy; the items are not
for sale. As images are replaced on the "front page" of
the website, they will be archived here. See links to other pages
of Featured Items at the bottom of the page. A special thanks
to those who have sent in images.
Handlan Buck Lamp. Railroad
lamps were made in many different variations and styles
-- see examples on our lamps page.
The switch lamp shown at right (two views) was made by
Handlan Buck for the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake
Railroad. It was was found in a junkyard near the Ojai,
California spur, and is both unusual and old. Note the
large vent holes in the chimney and the wide, sheet metal
bail. Similar examples of this lamp style can be barely
observed in one of the pictures on our 1902
Handlan Buck Factory Tour page. Also see this model
listed in the 1900
M.M. Buck catalog. Photo by Donald Ancell.
Click on the images for larger versions.
Builders Plates. Steam locomotive builders plates have
been popular among collectors for decades. However, as the first-generation
diesel locomotive era passes further into history, builders
plates from these locomotives are
becoming increasingly popular. Steam locomotive plates were
typically made of cast brass or iron; whereas most diesel locomotive
plates are stainless steel, such as the example shown here.
This plate is from EMD SD7 #801 which was the first of three
passenger diesels used by the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad.
This locomotive also pulled the last passenger train on the
B&LE. Photo by Gary Moser. Click
on the image for a larger version.
Fe Railroad China Elegance. The beauty and elegance
of railroad china is strikingly evident in the photo shown
at right. It was first published as a black and white version
in the Fall, 2005 issue of the RCAI
Express. The photo shows
two chop plates by Syracuse and Bauscher in the Santa
pattern along with two variations of double-handled bullion
cups and saucers. Railroads often used different manufacturers
to produce the same china pattern, and this led to variations
in both quality and decorative elements. Also shown in the
center of the photo is a Santa Fe Gorham flower vase. Collection
of Chris Cruz. Click on the image for a
Watches. The railroad watch is an icon of railroading.
Since accurate timekeeping was so critical to railroad operations,
employees were required to have high-quality watches that had
to be regularly inspected by certified watch inspectors. In
today's antique market, railroad watches are a "crossover"
item since they are collected by both railroadiana collectors
and watch collectors. Shown at right is a "Hamilton Railway
Special" made by the Hamilton Watch Company. Photo by permission.
Click on the image for a larger version.
Lantern. Railroad lantern companies occasionally farmed
out work to other companies, for example, due to a fire that
temporarily closed down production. Not much is known why the
Dressel Railway Lamp Works subcontracted lantern production
to the C.T. Ham Company around the turn of the 20th century,
but surviving lanterns suggest that this indeed happened. The
lantern shown at right is marked for the Pittsburg, Bessemer
& Lake Erie Railroad [no "h" in Pittsburg then]
and has the Dressel name on it. However, the double-wire verticals
and other features suggest that it was made by C.T. Ham. A similar
lantern marked for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie railroad can
be seen on a separate page.
Photo by Gary Moser. Click on the image for a larger version.
Midland Public Timetable. Timetables were a major
tool for promoting a railroad's image with the public, so
most companies put a lot of effort into designing attactive
ones. This was particularly the case in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries. Shown at right is a particularly beautiful
public timetable from 1902 issued by the Colorado Midland
Railway. The elaborate artwork on the cover is something
that this railroad was noted for, and surviving examples
of Colorado Midland timetables are especially valuable. Photo
by Tony Rizzuto taken at the 2005 Denver Rail Fair Show.
Click on the image for a larger version.
|Lackawanna & Wyoming
Coat. Railroad uniforms are the focus of many railroadiana
collectors. Those from the late 19th and early 20th centuries
are rare and particularly valuable. The coat shown here is
a good example. It came from the Lackawanna & Wyoming
Valley Railroad, an interurban line that operated in Eastern
Pennsylvania. The coat has buttons and a lapel insignia marked
for the railroad and specialized pockets for storing tickets,
schedules, and other necessary items. More photos of this
coat are shown on our uniforms
page. Photo by Tom
Stranko. Click on the image for a larger version.
Builders Plate. Since all builders plates are unique
to a particular locomotive, each one is considered a rarity.
However, some plates take on even more significance if they
came from a particularly unusual locomotive. The plate shown
at right is an example. It came from one of the Pennsylvania
Railroad's T1 class passenger locomotives, a unique design
that was developed toward the end of the steam era. Only 52
were produced, and their appearance was unlike any other locomotive.
This photo was taken by Gary Moser at the 2005 Austintown railroadiana
show. Click on the image for a larger
lanterns. The "Casey" was a particularly
sturdy lantern model used by many railroads. Produced by the
Keystone Lantern Company, its most unique feature was a geared
mechanism that allowed easy adjustment of the wick. While
"Caseys" had a round wire base, some were made with
bellbottom bases. An example is shown at right. More photos
and information on "Casey" lanterns can be found
on a separate
by Tom Stranko; click on the image for a larger version.