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Railroad avenue; great stories and legends…

Railroad avenue; great stories and legends of American railroading (edition 1945)

by Freeman H. Hubbard

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Title:Railroad avenue; great stories and legends of American railroading
Authors:Freeman H. Hubbard
Info:New York, London, Whittlesey House, McGraw-Hill Book Company, inc. [1945]
Collections:Your library
Tags:railroad history, railroad lore, first person accounts, working on the railroad

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Railroad avenue; great stories and legends of American railroading by Freeman H. Hubbard



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Railroad Avenue, subtitled Great Stories and Legends of American Railroading, is a collection of articles about railroading in the United States in the 19th and the first half of the 20th Century. The subject matter includes histories, tales, poems, some pictures and illustrations, and a dictionary of railroad slang.

The histories include the obvious short biographies of individuals like Casey Jones, Jawn Henry, and Jesse James as well as individuals like Kate Shelley (a 15 year old farm girl who saved a passenger train from certain destruction) and Joseph A. Broady (“Steve” in the song “The Wreck of old 97”).

There are chapters on such diverse topics as the Andrews Raid, trackside graves, raildogs (and other adopted railroad pets), the crane with the broken neck – an interesting sidelight of the great strike of 1894, the origins of railroad names and logos, the Johnstown flood, the Great Hinckley fire, quick sketches of railroad worker heroism, the Chatsworth wreck, and The Kid in Upper 4; the last being a short discussion of what it was like to travel on passenger trains in the U.S. during World War II and a history of the ad campaigns mounted by the railroads at the time to emphasize the fact that you, as a non-combatant civilian, were not a priority.

The book was published in 1945 and along with A Treasury of Railroad Folklore and Slow Train to Yesterday, became one of the three best known and most widely read books about railroads in the immediate post World War II period in the U.S. The book has aged well and, while more recent research has modified or changed some of the presented facts of railroad history, it is still a very good read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in an overview of the human side of the railroad experience. ( )
  alco261 | May 12, 2012 |
A superb collection of US railroad folklore, including a whole chapter on Casey Jones, and a lot of railroad slang. Very interesting and enjoyable. ( )
  johnthefireman | Oct 29, 2010 |
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