Posts Tagged ‘railroad artifacts’

An Original Van Sweringens’ ‘Bible’

April 21, 2017

Once upon a time two brothers named Van Sweringen controlled the Erie, Chesapeake & Ohio, Nickel Plate Road and Pere Marquette.

They wanted to standardize things on their railroads so they set up a committee to come up with specific standards on everything from mixing concrete to cloth rubber lined fire hoses. You name it, they standardized it.

My girlfriend was in a junk shop near her home in Suffern, New York, and found this book, which is the “bible” of the Van Sweringens’ standards.

There can’t be too many of these 80-year-old books around. There probably weren’t many too many to begin with.

As you can see from the bottom right hand corner of the cover, this copy was used by the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad, which during this time period was controlled by the Erie.

I think it is neat that each standard is signed off by officials of all the railroads involved. I think you have to agree it is a neat gift for a railroad historian.

Article and photographs by Jack Norris


Kentucky Museum Seeking Rail Artifacts

January 11, 2015

A Kentucky group is seeking the donation of railroad artifacts that will be used in a museum planned for a Louisville & Nashville depot in Corbin, Ky.

The museum, which expects to open on May 9, 2015, is a collaborative venture involving the Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission, the Louisville & Nashville Historical Society, CSX and Eastern Kentucky University

The museum is items that will illuminate the region’s railroad heritage. This includes such thing as photographs, newspaper articles, documents, uniforms, hats, pins, belt buckles, bells, whistles, watches, signs, manuals, lanterns, tools, locks, audio or video, posters, radios, train sheets, diagrams, paintings, letters, patches, locomotive plates, tickets and china/dishes.

Jeffrey Cawood, an EKU senior sociology major and intern with the Corbin tourism bureau, said the museum will have a number of themed areas and that artifacts will be placed strategically within the appropriate themes.

“Artifacts are vital to the success of the museum,” Cawood said. “Without them, we’re merely telling a story. When we add the artifacts, the sights and sounds, we are both preserving history and invoking an unparalleled emotional response.”

Those who wish to donate artifacts to the museum should contact the Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission Office at 606-528-8860 or at, or Cawood at

Donors can bring items to a “Call for Artifacts” event to be held on Feb. 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the L&N Depot, 101 N. Depot St. in Corbin.