SOUTHERN RAILWAY CONDUCTOR’S LIFE IN A RAILROAD STRONG BOX

vintage southern railway collectionAn absolutely unique and one-of-a-kind collection of antique railroad memorabilia, this is a 1940’s Southern Railway train conductor's life in a box.

This is a truly amazing collection of vintage Southern Railway train memorabilia, and it’s not your average “collection”.

Instead, it is the actual working strong box filled with items items and ephemera the original Southern Railway employee used on the railroad. The collection includes an original railroad toolbox, a rare and authentic Southern Railway engineer hat, and loads of paper and books stamped with the Southern name. The large box is an original Southern Railway steel toolbox with removable tray and measures 20 inches x 10 inches x 12.5 inches. It has its original red paint and is hand-personalized with the conductor's initials. The Southern Railway toolbox contains dozens of pieces of rare documents, booklets, manuals, etc., as well as personal effects, pencils, carbon paper, and other items used by the conductor while on the railroad. Items include a hardbound Southern Railway book of operating rules, three work time books (only one has one page filled out, the rest are blank), an amazing cloth-backed hardcover bound Ohio Railway map from 1914, a ticket agent / baggage agent booklet of rules and regulations, an unused hardcover shipping car ledger, three large fold-out time tables (2 are duplicate from 1947, the other from 1961), two types of unused Southern Railway letterhead envelopes, one for business (4 pieces) and one for baggage agents (12 pieces), three shipping ledger pads for U.S. mail bags and baby chicks, Atlanta Terminal timetables for December 1947 and January 1948, three switch lists (they are unused on the front, but have scrawled mathematical calculations written on the backs), a conductor's wheel report, way bills for empty cars (some used and some unused), two Time Return for Engineers & Conductors books (one is empty with only the stubs intact, the other is unused), a Southern Railway Shipping salesman notebook with the slogan "We Want Your Freight!" (a few pages missing but mostly intact), overtime explanation sheets, and, probably the most important items in this collection…the conductor / owner's stamped metal name tag and two official conductor seniority lists from 1945 and 1947. These documents list the original owner and user of this collection. The document from 1945 lists the owner, Alton John Floyd, as trainmen. The document from 1947 lists Mr. Floyd as train conductor.

Also included are personal items, such as Armour and VC Fertilizer salesman notepads, an aluminum travel soap tin with four mini soaps from the hotel St. George and the Grand Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ammonia inhalants (two still in the box) and another empty bottle of smelling salts, half-full box of Tung-Sol flashlight lamps, a matchbook from the Ellis Restaurant (where you could get "Fine Sea Foods" in Chattanooga, rubber bands, spring clips, pencils and leads (including a pencil from the Railway Express Agency), lots of carbon paper, a neat little black leather paperweight that says "Goodwill", electrical tape, a big old safety pin, shoe laces, a very old Superior Match salesman sample booklet with 15 actual matchbooks (including 5 glamour girls pinup matchbooks), a photograph of the owner's friend / co-worker / acquaintance with the person's name and three contact addresses written on the back, an envelope addressed to the owner from the Brotherhood's Releif and Compensation Fund, and a clipping from the Atlanta Constitution showing the Southern Association 1948 game schedule of the original Georgia Crackers baseball team.

The box also contains a very rare Southern Railway hat that is still in good shape for its age. Give it a delicate hand washing and it's ready to wear…or don't wash it, it's got authentic railroad dust! The string box also contains two red bandanas / signal flags / rags (we aren't sure what they were used for) and a cool black hood with visor from the old Marshall Field & co. (for loading coal?). There are a couple of tools, including a 3/4-5/8 Barcalo wrench and a strange device we needed help identifying. It had a square hole in one end and a round hole with a locking channel inside with two protruding pegs in the center. We were told it was a key handle for overhead compartments! Due to unfortunate eBay restrictions, we were unable to offer the last couple of items…a set of six very old railroad spike fusees / flares, and, perhaps the most interesting and ominous personal effect in the entire box, a small, unassuming matchbox containing five vintage .38 caliber bullets!

This Southern Railway toolbox was a museum-quality piece for serious collectors, and it was 100% complete and untouched. Absolutely nothing was removed from or added to the box. It sold to a Southern Railway fanatic in Texas for $1,000.00. Southern Railway memorabilia is highly sought after, and some really great pieces can often be found on eBay.
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