For all of my romanticizing and nostalgia, there was a working side to the railroad, as these wonderful memos suggest:
These are from another lot of goodies that I got at Manto Fev this past weekend. I HAD to have them! I have a lot of railroadiana but I had never seen these before. Plus, some of them are 111 years old!
The handwriting is hard to read on most of them but I did decipher one memo from a gentleman (I assume) who had lovely penmanship. It reads:
B.W. Herrman, Agent 7/25
"Dear sir - in regard to aftd (?) our Delivery Clerk made a careful search of all such places but he was unable to Locate the missing case. I had him make another search but in doing so he found a case simmilar (comforting to know that people misspelled even back then! - Mel) to the Lost Case and he Purchased it and had it delived (sp) to Theobold & Son. I called up Theobold & Son and they said that they would withdraw there (sp) claim as soon as they would receive the Case of Empty Bottles. - Fleming."Marvelous! I have no clue what it means, but doesn't "Case of Empty Bottles" sound like a country song? I think it's a hoot that so many common nouns were capitalized - don't know what that's all about, either. :D
If you're wondering about the Norfolk & Western Railway, it was in existence all the way up to 1997, when it was merged into Norfolk Southern, a railway that exists even today. It began life at the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio in 1838 but changed the name to N&W in 1881. They were mainly cargo freight (lots of coal) but also had some passenger operations as well, like the Pocahontas and the Cavalier. Both cars last ran in 1971.
Will I use these? Oh yes. Not all of them, but the ones with white space will most definitely be used in some sort of railway-themed collage. How could I not? :D