Sunday, March 1, 2015

Material Donations

IRM has just received a sizeable collection of railroad artifacts from an anonymous donor.  Some of the items can be used immediately, others will be valuable spare parts, some can eventually be put on display, but it's all of value and greatly appreciated.  Here are just a couple of things that were held out before putting the rest into storage, since they're from the CA&E.

 A first aid box in excellent condition, with all contents in place.  I'm afraid the modern first aid kits we use on the revenue cars don't include "dental poultice", whatever that is.

And another nice, soothing scenery picture that would be mounted on the bulkhead of a car.

And then there was also a huge collection of books.  We can't thank this person enough!  Now if you have a collection, large or small, of railroad-related items and are wondering what to do with them, wonder no longer.   IRM will be glad to give them a good home.  Say, did I mention that any donation is tax-deductible?  You can call the office during business hours, and they'll take it from there.  Thanks!


David Wilkins said...

A "dental poultice" is an older remedy to heal an abscess tooth.

patentable said...

Great first-aid box and a great addition to the CA&E cars - but - what was really in the box during service on the CA&E? Did they really carry Vicks 44 for colds, hay fever meds and stuff for dental issues?

All of the contents seem right for the period but what I suspect has happened is that at least some of the contents were saved in the box because they were antique? What would a Red-Cross first aid kit of the day contain?

What seems to be missing is "stuff" that could treat cuts, smelling salts, etc - stuff to treat minor injuries that could happen on the train. Would a conductor or trainman really offer hay fever meds or toothache remedies to a passenger? Think of the potential liability if that happened today. It would be interesting if someone had a first aid box "inventory" for restocking the boxes in Wheaton.

patentable said...

Did some research on what these kits might have contained and found an article from page 411 of the July 1918 issue of Electric Traction on Google Books - Describing the North Shore Line kits of the day. Link below.

A considerable question as to the advisability of in stalling first aid boxes in cars exists among railway men on account of the psychological effect on the pub lic. While there is some basis for opposition, it seems reasonable, however, to assume that the public will not assume the view that these kits are placed in the car with the expectation that an accident will occur, and will not associate the road with accidents, ibut will rather form the impression that the railway is alive to providing every detail desirable to the well being of its passengers and employes. At least, this is the view the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee Rail road has assumed regarding the matter, and has recently installed first aid boxes in all of its passenger cars.
These boxes are made of mahogany to match the interior finish of the cars, and have inside measure ments of 1^4 'n- deep, 9 in. high and 10 in. wide. The boxes are provided with hinged doors with clasps, the front of the doors bearing the words in gilt, "First Aid Box." On the top of the box is a handle for convenient carrying.
The boxes are fastened either to the toilet or bulk head partition, which ever is most convenient, in such a manner that they are easily removed when contents are wanted. A frail wire seal keeps the doors closed. The contents of each box are as follows : Sterilized gauze and absorbent cotton, two packages of 1^2-in. gauze bandage, two packages of 1-in. roller bandage, one bottle of tincture iodine, one bottle of eye water, one bottle of aromatic spirits of ammonia, two one- yard packages of absorbent cotton, one package of Petrolatum, one bottle of applicators, a pair of shears, an eye dropper, and a roll of adhesive tape.

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, Bob, for the research into "Everything you ever wanted to know about first aid boxes but were afraid to ask."