We’ve all heard about “Brownie Points”.
How the benefit us at work, school, etc…
But here is the story of how they came about in the 1890s. Mr. G. R. Brown, General Superintendent of the Fall Brook Railway (and later part of the New York Central System) devised the management concept of “Discipline without suspension.” Automatic firing of an employee was replaced by the employee receiving negative points on their record. Management observing the employee using safe, positive behavior could add positive points to the employees’ record, and thus negate negative points.
Thus the points became known as “Brownie Points.”
And, the popular opinion/rumor that the Girl Scouts lay claim to this about 1930s is NOT true !
Of course, today in industry, one “Aw s**t” wipes out all your Brownie Points, and you must start over!
There was once a poor conductor. His job was to collect the fares from people riding
the train. This was many years ago and the fare was a nickel. And every day he would
walk the length of the train collecting the fares from the travelers.
He then met a beautiful woman that he wanted to marry. But he was a poor conductor and really couldn’t afford a wife. As he thought about it he decided to pocket every fifth nickel to help out. So it was that for a while he was taking every fifth nickel to help pay for his home and food.
Now as things like this progress his wife became pregnant. This threw our poor conductor into a tizzy. How could he afford to support a baby. His solution was to take an additional nickel so that he was taking two nickels out of every five. Things went along ok for a while but his wife became pregnant again. So our poor conductor decided to follow his pattern and now he was taking three nickels from every five.
At this point someone in management noticed that the revenues from the run were going down and after an investigation our poor conductor was arrested. He was tried in a court of law and found guilty of grand theft from the railroad. Now this was many years ago and the railroad held a great amount of power. They demanded his life for such an affront and giving in to the political pressure the judge sentenced our poor conductor to death.
The day of the execution came and the prison staff strapped him into the electric chair. At the appointed hour the warden give the order and the switch was thrown. Nothing happened. The prison staff checked to make sure that the connections were correct and the warden again give the order. The switch was thrown. Nothing happened. So a third time the staff checked to make sure that even the connections to the power lines were correct. Sure that all was in order the warden gave the order a third time. Again nothing happened. As the law at the time demanded our poor conductor was released having survived three attempts at execution. As he was leaving the prison the warden asked if he had any idea why he survived.
The answer was “I guess I am just a poor conductor.”
Chances are you know this guy, or someone like him, or someone who thinks
he's him. Even if you don't, you're sure to recognize at least a few of
these traits in some model railroader you know.
Jason Parham, Secretary of the Steel City Division of the Southeastern Region,
wrote what follows with some assistance from Bob Beaty. Enjoy!
• He once scratch-built a Big Boy . . .in 1:1 scale. • He has been known to work a "Timesaver" switching layout in less than 10 seconds. • Out of 125 possible points, his NMRA Model Contest entries routinely score well above 200. • John Allen once thanked him for visiting his railroad. • His trains of thought require real trains to pull into sidings. • Miniature Wonderland is but one module from his home railroad. • He has single-handedly pioneered the live steam hobby, in Z scale. • Contest judges receive score sheets, from him! • His operating sessions are so dose to the real thing that FRA inspectors have knocked on his door. • He doesn't have to count rivets because he already knows how many there are. • Model railroading magazines have been known to subscribe to him. • There is a prototype for everything, but only because he said so. • He is ... the most interesting model railroader in the world!
Funny, it doesn't mention anything about him being an MMR.
It's not just a day off and an opportunity to get together with friends and family.
The day has its roots in Chicago, with a strike at the Puilman Palace Car Company.
The Pullman Strike of 1894 turned deadly when thousands of U.S. marshals and U.S.
Army troops clashed with striking rail-car workers, angered by the loss of jobs and
a cutin wages. When the strike was settled, Congress passed legislation creating
a national Labor Day holiday.
In 2014, even after Labor Day has come and gone, there is reason to celebrate: In August, the Park Service joined with the Illinois Historie Preservation Agency to hold a public hearing on a proposal to establish the Pullman National Monument as Chicago's first national park. NPCA wholeheartedly endorses the plan to designate the site using the Antiquities Act, and staff in our Chicago offices have spent the last two years leading efforts to make it happen.
The story begins with George M. Pullman, an American industrialist who founded the Pullman Palace Car Company in 1867 to manufacture luxury passenger railcars. In 1880, he developed the Town of Pullman in what is now the city of Chicago to provide a place where his employees could work and live. But during the economic panic of 1893, Puliman reduced wages without reducing rents. The famous strike followed, disrupting freight and passenger rail service nationwide. In the 1920s, Pullman employees created the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first African-American union with colleetive bargaining rights, a group that was instrumental in advancing the black middle dass.
The National Park System will always be a work in progress, but the designation of sites like Pullman helps to ensure that our most important American stories are captured for generations to come.
An episode of “This is Atlanta” produced by Alecia Steele aired on WPBA broadcast channel 30 in
mid-December 2013. It featured a model train segment with the NMRA Piedmont Division and
Chattahoochee Express Operating Group. Enjoy....
Click here to view a 30 second promo. Or you can
click here to watch the entire 9-minute segment.
Happy Holidays from Norfolk Southern !!!
Click for short holiday message.
This steamer through the city of Bogota, Colombia really struggles to start this train. An extra
water bottle (tender) and 14 lit passenger cars round out this mid-December Christmas 2013 excursion.
Click here to watch the action. - 2 minutes Enjoy!
Enjoy a look back at John Allen's fabulous layout, the G&D RR (Gorre & Daphetid). It was probably the
most realistic model railroad at its time (maybe even today!) John was a professional photographer
and initially delved into model railroading to create subjects for his well framed and lighted shots.
The G&D filled a whole basement in his last home. John passed away in January 1973. Unfortunately,
a tragic fire consumed John's home shortly after his death and only a few items were saved for posterity.
Enjoy a look back at John Allen's fabulous layout.
Click to watch the G&D revival - 10 minutes.
This is a first-person story of a cab ride in 1970 on a Pennsylvania GG-1 locomotive,
as told by GSoF member John Hollner, III.
My First Trip on a GG-1 ! (Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later.)
Wikipedia GG-1 info.
And a collection of some GG-1 photos.
Excerpts from a variety of good old train movies with stars of the 20s, 30s and 40s and a lot of comedy to boot.
These are some of the wonderful slapstick movies I remember when I was a child. Teriffic entertainment.
Click here for 4 minute video !
Here is a clever Union Pacific '150-year timeline'. Wait for it to load, and then click on one of the black bars.
Click here to begin !
Quips and sayings:
"The real joy to be had from riding trains begins where their usefulness ends."
............. John Mason Brown.
"My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I'll not be knowing,
But there isn't a train I wouldn't take,
No matter where it's going."
............ Edna St.Vincent Millay
"No other machine, in its day, has been a more faithful friend to mankind or has contributed more to the cause of industrial prosperity. No other machine soehow is so human and so gentle, yet, when unleashed is capable of such prodigies of strength - nothing quite so graceful in action and nothing quite so romantic. Those of us who have lived in the steam age of railway will carry with us always the most nostalgic memories."
......... R.F. Hanks, 1960.
Automobile trivia, with a rail twist !
1. When roads were not available, what paths did early cross-country motorists follow?
Railroad tracks served just fine, although the ride could get quite jolly!
2. When did the term automobile become popularized and where did the word originate?
Automobile is the French word for a motorized car. It was first introduced into the US in published reference to motor vehicles in 1897.
3. Where do we get the word station wagon?
In the 1800s most of the larger cities had depot wagons which carried people to the local railroad station. The term station wagon became synonymous with depot wagon.
4. In 1902, T.H. Shevlin, a native of Minneapolis, had the distinction of being issued the first speeding ticket. How fast was he going and how much was he fined?
Shevlin was fined $10 for driving over 10 mph.