Monday, April 6, 2015

Howard and the 309 - II

We received the original of this Trib photo, and can update the info a little.  It is date stamped 4:23 PM on Nov 21, 1962. I'm not sure whether that's the time it was taken or developed, although there was probably little delay.  The car was already at North Chicago.

Although the photograph is mainly illuminated by a flash gun to the photographer's right, I noticed that some of the side lights are on in the car.  On the left side both circuits are lit, on the right side only one.  At North Chicago the 120V bulbs were replaced with 30V bulbs (used on cars with low voltage lighting) so that the car could be lit with 120V AC power.  They are rather dim, though.  These bulbs remained in the car until the fire; since the light circuits were damaged, interior lighting after that was provided by a temporary system strung down the middle of the car on the buzzer cord hangars. It took me until 1979 to get all of the circuits working again.


Anonymous said...

Searched the Tribune in the related time period for articles on IRM - and for the picture.

An editorial appeared on Oct. 27, 1962

Robert West Howard, as author of "The Great Iron Trail" figured on a recent Sunday in our "Just Browsing" column, is bending every ear he can reach with an argument about the need and opportunity for a railroad museum here in Chicago. Chicago is above all others the city whose foundations rest in large part on the hign iron of the trans- continental lines. Naturally, Howard early bent the ear of Dan MacMaster, director of the Museum of Science and Industry. Ajac- Master told him that visitors and letters constantly express a growing interest in the railroads. The public is coming to a mounting realization of what they meant to the growth of this country, especially of the west and of Chicago, railhead to points west. Already the museum in Jackson park has some fine, historic rolling stock parked beside its walls. It would be happy to throw out a new wing and house a proper national railway museum. All it needs is a million dollars for a building and in additional $200,000 a year [5h cents for each Chicago resident] for an operating budget. The audience Is ready and waiting- not only in Chicago, but among potential visitors to this city from every. . An adequate supply of historic railroad equipment that might be exhibited In such a place is still in being. But it will not be for long. The junk yards yawn, for obsolete rolling stock and other equipment. As demand for a rail- road museum grows, the supply of materials for it inexorably shrinks. If any reader of these words has a million dollars to donate to a new museum, he could hardly do better than to talk with Howard or MacMaster. His million could quickly turn into a further addition to Chicago's invaluable string of museums. And a great age in transportation could have the monument that it deserves

Following this editorial the following article ran on Nov. 18, 1962 (albeit with no picture)


Chicago, Nov. 1-o4 read with Interest your editorial of Oct. 27 stating that there should be a railway museum in the Chi- cago area. There has been such an for nine years. The, Illinois Railway museum was founded in 1953 and Is Iocated in North Chicago. There are 24 pieces of equipment pre- served, including a - gine, a turn-of-the-century busi- ness car, a Chicago elevated car, locomotive cranes, street cars, interurbans, and a ca- boose. The museum is on prop- erty loaned by the Chicago Hardware foundry until a per- manent site becomes available. The* type of site contem- plated, in contrast with the steam heated and marbled mau- soleum in the editorial, is a functional setting, with equip- ment housed in car barns and roundhouses and with several miles of track where trains could be run. Equipment sitting stationary on a track can tell only half the story; the other half lies in the expanse of rails and right-of-way, and in the sights and sounds of engines and cars at work. The Illinois Railway museum is an exhibiting museum, open to the public each Saturday from 9:30 to 5:30. It Is char- tered in- Illinois as a not-for- p r o f i t corporation. Maintenance, restoration, and adminis- trative work are provided by volunteers, - some g i v i n g as much as a thousand hours a year. Considerably less than a mil- lion dollars would enable the Illinois Railway museum to achieve its goals, Would it not be better to support an already established organization which has already amassed an ap- collection t h a n to initiate a n o t h e r department conflicting with what has al- been ? CONSTANCE MORRELL

Sorry about the typos - copying from a pdf and didn't want to retype.

I'm sure that these articles are copyrighted by the Tribune - but are over 50 years old.

From an acorn of 24 pieces of equipment a giant oak has grown.
Perhaps the picture was taken for inclusion in this article but never ran?


Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, Bob, that's quite interesting. I had wanted to try searching the Trib archives when I got the time. I believe the picture must have run on Nov. 29, since there's a small clipping taped to the back of the print, as you can see from the scan.

I had never heard of Robert West Howard, I think, but Connie Morrell was a very active member in the early days and is still remembered well by many of us. And 50 years later, we're still struggling for all the publicity we can get.

Anonymous said...

There is a large, very nice article at:

multiple pictures with captions and names of individuals.

You may have to be a Trib subscriber to view?

I haven't figured out how to copy the article.

Randall Hicks said...

Wow, that is a fantastic article -- thanks! I had no trouble viewing it, although the picture quality is poor. Now I just wish I had the original to that picture of Bob pulling the pole on the 309, or the group on the platform of the Ely, or Connie as a secretary.

It certainly seems strange how they include everybody's home address, by the way! Nowadays why would anybody want his address published in the Trib? There's no telling who might show up.

Anonymous said...

My father was a life long newspaperman. most newspapers have a photograpy library and will reproduce pictures out of it. They call it the morgue because lots of dead people are in there. since you have a date of the article they should be able to find if for you!

Ted Miles
IRM Member