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PC: Fw: [rrdiana] Re: Where do "artifacts" come from?

a bit of pc info, albeit on the negative side ......

forwarded from the RRdiana list.

-----Original Message-----
From: Marc & Faith <fm -AT- gis.net>
To: rrdiana -AT- railnet.nshore.org <rrdiana@railnet.nshore.org>
Date: Thursday, January 07, 1999 6:17 PM
Subject: [rrdiana] Re: Where do "artifacts" come from?

>I've got to admit that this is one issue that doesn't cause me to lose any
>sleep.  To be honest, I'm very happy that so many people were able to
>preserve these historical artifacts, and that's really what all this stuff
>is, after so many years.  I really don't care if somebody pilfered the
>builder's plate or dining car china or lantern or station sign or poster or
>whatever or purchased it from the railroad.  The fact of the matter is that
>all such items would most likely not exist at all today had someone not
>'rescued' them long ago.
>It's my understanding that the railroads themselves were in many, if not
>most cases, hostile to the idea of preservation.  For example, around 1970
>the Penn Central issued an order declaring that kerosine switch lamps would
>no longer be maintained on the former New Haven Railroad, where these
>were abundant.  When employees began to remove some of these obsolete
>lamps Penn Central management issued another order declaring that any
>employee who took switch lamps would be fired.  Shortly afterwards the
>railroad ordered all the switch lamps to be gathered up into piles at yards
>all over the former New Haven Railroad.  These switch lamps were dumped
>gondola cars and were sent to Belle Dock in New Haven, Connecticut.  At
>Belle Dock, a team of men were employed for about a week to smash the
>gathered switch lamps with sledgehammers and the end product was sold as
>Here is another example.  Around 1971 the Boston Redevelopment Authority
>decided to demolish Boston's South Station.  Ultimately, the BRA decided to
>leave a small portion of the old station's headhouse in place.  However, in
>1971 the plan was to completely demolish South Station and build some kind
>of office complex in its place.  Among other things, the New Haven Railroad
>had a large public relations office in the basement of South Station.  This
>public relations office had been in existance since the turn of the
>When the Penn Central prepared for the demolition of South Station, they
>filled a gondola car with historic photographs and other material removed
>from the former public relations office.  When a few employees were
>by Penn Central management taking photographs and other old papers out of
>this gondola car during a lunch hour, it was ordered that the contents be
>sprayed with a water hose to render them worthless.
>Marc Frattasio (always looking for New Haven Railroad material)

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