Many times my friends and I would put a penny on the tracks, and wait for a train to go by to see what happened to the penny afterwards. Sometimes we would wave to the engineer, or guess how many cars there were before the train passed and even put our ears up to the tracks to see if we could hear one coming.
I even had a friend who was an engineer and cringed when he saw someone on the tracks knowing full well that he could not stop in time....it took its toll on him and he had nightmares about those folks.
Well last night we were honored to have a railroad collector speak at our antique club meeting. His name is TJ Gaffney. If anyone saw the Tom Hanks movie The Polar Express, the train in that movie was from Owosso, Michigan and TJ was the real engineer of that train. He has since moved back to his home town of Port Huron Michigan where he is a professor at the local college there.
TJ was an avid Railroadiana as they call themselves from a very young age...with his dad taking him to estate sales, garage sales and even auctions. Although TJ only likes to collect railroad items from the Pere Marquette RR, he showed us other railroad pieces that he also had.
TJ in the back wearing green
Here are some of the items TJ had brought.
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad mascot.
Chessie the cat.
They created this advertising in the 1930's
Her mate was named Peake
They also had two kittens named Nip and Tuck.
There are avid Chessie Collectors who collect everything they can find.
The one in the front is called a bell bottom lantern.
This silver oil can was used to oil the wheels.
The red one is also an oil can used for smaller jobs.
The larger lock was used to lock up the coal car..coal was a necessity back then.
It was as important as gold is today.
The lock in the middle was a switch lock to protect someone from changing the tracks.
This tool was used to repair the track.
The china is railroad memorabilia that TJ also collects.
This can was used for water.
That's it for now.
Take care everyone