W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => Bridgton & Saco River Railway => Topic started by: Bill Reidy on April 09, 2020, 10:39:21 AM

Title: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Bill Reidy on April 09, 2020, 10:39:21 AM
I just ran across two links on Digital Commonwealth to photos taken by Arthur Griffin during a B&H excursion in 1940:

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search?f%5Bcollection_name_ssim%5D%5B%5D=Arthur+Griffin+Photographs&f%5Binstitution_name_ssim%5D%5B%5D=Griffin+Museum+of+Photography&f%5Brelated_item_series_ssim%5D%5B%5D=Narrow+gauge+2

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search?f%5Bcollection_name_ssim%5D%5B%5D=Arthur+Griffin+Photographs&f%5Binstitution_name_ssim%5D%5B%5D=Griffin+Museum+of+Photography&f%5Brelated_item_series_ssim%5D%5B%5D=Narrow+gauge+1&only_path=true
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Tom Casper on April 09, 2020, 10:46:07 AM
He spent to much film on folks.  Need more equipment!

Tom C.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on April 09, 2020, 11:27:19 AM
Interior shot of WW&F Coach 3?
https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:k930dx82n
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Harold Downey on April 09, 2020, 01:54:25 PM
Yes, that is definitely coach 3.  All the details are correct.  Still has hat racks and shades; the ceiling has been painted white, the center lighting is gone.

Here is an exterior shot that sure looks like #3 as well - nice that it shows the original steps/platform.  https://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/k930dz168 (https://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/k930dz168)

Great quality photographs, with high resolution scans.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Allan Fisher on April 09, 2020, 02:02:25 PM
As the curator of a very large railroad archive, I can tell you that these photos are a gold mine for an archives and for future researchers.
Many railfans don't seem to understand that 3/4 and side shots of railroad equipment might be wonderful for railroad modelers and for those junkies that want to have a picture of every piece of a railroad's equipment, but for historical purposes, shots like these with many passengers and early railfans all over different parts of the equipment are what will be important one hundred years from now.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Wayne Laepple on April 09, 2020, 02:31:31 PM
These are really great images. I really enjoy photos from the early era of fan trips and railfanning, with most of the men wearing suits and ties. Many of them probably have folding cameras in their jacket pockets. I have collected several flyers and tickets from these early excursions, though the majority of mine are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Recently I snagged a ticket for an East Broad Top trip on Oct. 6, 1946 that covered every remaining foot of the railroad.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Dana Deering on April 10, 2020, 11:26:34 AM
Those are great photos!  Is that Lawrence Brown straddling the headlight in one photo? Then there’s the photo of the four wheel pump car that reminds me of the question I’ve wondered about for years:  what happened to the B&SR handcars and pump cars?  They also had a motorized track car. What happened to that?  Were any of them saved?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on April 10, 2020, 03:35:08 PM
What is the purpose of the large hoop/rings over each window in this photo:
(https://fedora.digitalcommonwealth.org/fedora/objects/commonwealth:k930dx85g/datastreams/access800/content)
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 10, 2020, 03:54:12 PM
They seem big for this, but could they be for a conductor pull cord?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on April 10, 2020, 05:15:33 PM
That was my initial thought, but man, they do seem awfully large for a pull cord.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 10, 2020, 05:25:23 PM
At the top of the photo, just in front of the chandler there is a smaller hoop which was probably for the conductor's cord.  Perhaps there was a long bar that held the hat/purse racks?  Although the small individual hat hangers like the one on the right and the one containing a hat on the left seem to point to there being no hat/purse racks on this car.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: John McNamara on April 10, 2020, 05:27:45 PM
I wonder if they are indicators of some type, as two seem to be white instead of black.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Richard Johnson on April 10, 2020, 05:57:30 PM
Since they are in the middle of each window could they have something to do with opening the window
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Graham Buxton on April 10, 2020, 06:05:20 PM
There seem to be hat/coat hooks right there. Perhaps the rings are meant for holding gloves?   Put both gloves together and push the 'wrist end' of the gloves through the ring til the gloves are about centered.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 10, 2020, 09:47:48 PM
Graham, I don't know if you are correct, but it is a very clever response.

In the photo of 3's interior, what are the four round cylinders (2 on each side of the coach) just above the windows?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: John McNamara on April 10, 2020, 09:55:19 PM
I would suspect oil lamps. Stewart?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on April 10, 2020, 10:18:04 PM
Call me skeptical, but there's no anecdotal evidence for the rings being for gloves. If it were the case, then cars of that era would have been equipped that way everywhere. Gloves were common, yes, as common as hats and coats (which we know there are hooks for, in the picture and many other places still today.)
Anecdotal evidence says "gloves were an item, yes, but were carefully folded and placed in coat pockets, which were hung on hooks.
Now, as to the loops themselves:
They all face the same way at same height/position which suggests something traversing them, either a chord, or a rod/dowel.
I can't see these being for oil lamps. The geometry just doesn't work out for me. I COULD be wrong, but I just don't see it as likely.
The loops are also fairly big, rather too big for a rod/dowel for hanging anything. Again, I COULD be wrong about that, that's just my impression.
As we know anecdotally that pull-chords were common enough and in similar situ to the loops in evidence, that's where I put my money.
Being a good skeptic, I welcome any correction and or further evidence, anecdotal or otherwise.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Steve Smith on April 10, 2020, 10:55:25 PM
It looks as though the fourth and fifth rings in from the righthand edge of the picture might have had drinking cups in them--such as Dixie cups, with the axes of the cups horizontal, at the time the picture was taken, but I doubt that is what the rings were intended for.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Philip Marshall on April 11, 2020, 12:57:36 AM
I think they may be hangers for curtain rods, which is weird.

The coach appears to be one of the original Laconias, either 15 or 16. Is there any trace of these rings in either car now?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Mike Fox on April 11, 2020, 07:54:51 AM
I have a few interior shots taken during some of the late excursions on the B&H.. Maybe I can look for clear shots..
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on April 11, 2020, 11:00:05 PM
I took another look at the photo, and THERE ARE OIL LAMPS, minus their globes, still extant in the photo!!
One is on the right hand side of the photo, and there appear to be TWO centered near the ceiling upper-center of the photo!!
Since these appear to be original to the car same as the loops in question, it's easy to say the loops were NOT intended for oil lamps.
Not to say that nobody ever hung a lantern from one, but that's not why they're there.

Oh, and I did see the "dixie-cups,"... nice catch.  ;)
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Mike Fox on April 12, 2020, 07:46:46 AM
I am wondering if those loops have something to do with drapery. Centered over each window..
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Fred Morse on April 12, 2020, 10:27:26 AM
In the winter I'd use it to hang a scarf threw.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: John Scott on April 13, 2020, 12:47:39 AM
Something to do with seat numbering (for reservations), perhaps?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Graham Buxton on April 13, 2020, 04:10:47 AM
Wayne posted a version of this thread at the NGDF forum, asking about the 'rings', here:
http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php?1,392907

Following along with Steve Smith's comment above about "paper cups", NGDF member Chris Walker suggested that those rings are for holding 'empty' cuspidors (spitoons).  ;D   


While cuspidors were made in many styles, some of them were in a shape that could fit in the rings shown. For example, here is a C&O Railroad version:(https://thumbs.worthpoint.com/zoom/images1/1/1017/11/chesapeake-ohio-railroad-cast-iron_1_874bf2b0962825535c217b42910fbd21.jpg)photo credit (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/chesapeake-ohio-railroad-cast-iron-1890544726)

In that one, the base/bulb of the cuspidor is smaller than the top opening flange, so would fit through the ring, but the wider flange would prevent the top from going through and so the cuspidor would be unlikely to fall through.  And a white  interior could be why the object in a couple of the rings in the car photo looks like 'paper cups'.

Obviously, the orientation of the rings would be meant for only 'empty' cuspidors.  :)
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 13, 2020, 11:08:31 AM
Wayne posted a version of this thread at the NGDF forum, asking about the 'rings', here:
http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php?1,392907
It's worth following the above link for some interesting comments on those rings.  As someone said in that thread, something so common in the early 1900's is now a great mystery to us today.  Interesting.... The various pictures in that thread have ruled out conductors bell cord (there is a picture with the bell cord running down the center of the car with the rings on either side), probably ruled out window shades, umbrella holders, and a bunch of other things.  The most common thought to-date appears to be glove holders.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Mike Fox on April 13, 2020, 11:31:02 AM
I still think it is something to do with drapery.. Need an outside builders photo that you can see through the window
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: John McNamara on April 13, 2020, 11:57:14 AM
Upon reading though the ndgdiscussion thread, I liked the "reservation flag" idea the best.

As for the spittoon idea, I offer the following opera highlight (not) from Carmen:
"Toreador, toreador,
Don't spit on the floor,
Use the cuspidor,
That's what it's there for."
The whirring sound you hear is George Bizet spinning in his grave.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Wayne Laepple on April 13, 2020, 12:59:11 PM
I've never seen a cuspidor small enough to fit in that loop!
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 13, 2020, 01:57:37 PM
I've never seen a cuspidor small enough to fit in that loop!
How would you hit it up there anyway?  The windows would get a lot of missed .....
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on April 13, 2020, 02:36:16 PM
Upon reading though the ndgdiscussion thread, I liked the "reservation flag" idea the best.

As for the spittoon idea, I offer the following opera highlight (not) from Carmen:
"Toreador, toreador,
Don't spit on the floor,
Use the cuspidor,
That's what it's there for."
The whirring sound you hear is George Bizet spinning in his grave.

Isn't that from a Bugs Bunny cartoon? :o

Jeff S.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Bill Reidy on April 13, 2020, 03:08:40 PM
So to add to the mystery, take a look at the builder's photo of the interior of W&Q coach No. 3 on page 43 of Two Feet to Tidewater (second and third editions).  The rings are not present in that photo.  So were these a B&SR/B&H addition?  Photo evidence in Two Feet to the Lakes suggest yes, based on John Meixel's post on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum (http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php?1,392907,392960#msg-392960).  This is an interior photo of the Pondicherry.

I still think it is something to do with drapery.. Need an outside builders photo that you can see through the window

Based on the discussion so far, I agree with Mike.  Interesting thing about that photo in Two Feet to the Lakes -- the Pondicherry's rings were not solid.  Looks like there was a removable bar on the sides facing the aisle.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Gordon Cook on April 13, 2020, 04:38:05 PM
I would suggest we look at what is in the picture;

1. The rings are about 2" to 3" in diameter
2. The rings appear to be not very sturdy
3. The rings are oriented vertically
4. There is one centered over every window
5. They don't appear to swivel although their orientation to the wall is difficult to determine
6. There are coat/hat hangers in several locations
7. There are oil lamp holders already in several locations
8. Their usefulness would have to justify their expense.
9. Two appear to hold a large, light colored cup-like object

Based on these characteristics:
1. They would not hold anything very heavy
2. They are oriented in the wrong direction to hold any open container that would contain a liquid
3. They would be for something that is needed at every seat or window
4. The size is too large and are not necessary at every window for a conductor cord, and two have something in them
5. The size and shape make no sense for a ticket holder

I would suggest the key details are that they are needed at every window and two have something in them, which should be a clue. If that something was glass then most may have been lost, but what would they be for?

Honestly, I have no idea what they would be for. But it sure is fun to try to figure out.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Mike Fox on April 13, 2020, 05:48:47 PM
Well, I dug out my photo collection finally. I found this previously published image, that I own a copy of, with an interior shot of yet another car, with both the hoops in question, and lots of coat/hat hooks. I was unable to find any photos of the hoops in use, and all my Bridgton reference has been packed and in storage for the summer..
So here it is.

(https://i.postimg.cc/8PKmD2qh/0413201838.png)
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on April 13, 2020, 10:25:06 PM
This IS a neat little mystery!
So, we have the original photo on (thread) page 1, and the second from a similar car on this page, both of which appear in the NG Forum thread along with the drawing of an as-delivered contemporary coach, albeit of std ga design, showing items in common:
1) the rings in question,
2) kerosene lamps (intact or otherwise)
3) conductor's bell/pull chord (or rings to facilitate) centerline near the ceiling
4) coat/hat hooks separate from the rings in question.

Going back to anecdotal here, gloves are indeed a ubiquitous item of the times, and still are today, but they can be easily folded and placed inside a coat pocket or purse.
UMBRELLAS, also ubiquitous, are not! They would want to be retracted and hung where they can drip-dry away from shirts, trousers, etc.
So I'm leaning more toward umbrella hangers at this point.
That could change again with further evidence.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Kevin Kierstead on April 13, 2020, 11:05:31 PM
The rings appear to have a thicker, round, barrel section vertically on their circumference. This reminds me of a clamp that would have a bolt passed through it to facilitate tightening. But clamp what?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Jon Chase on April 13, 2020, 11:44:42 PM
Besides the illustration, referenced by Cosmo above, on the NG Discussion Forum from John White's "The American Railroad Passenger Car" that shows similar rings on a standard gauge coach of more-or-less similar vintage to the two original B&SR coaches, an internet image search (depending on your search engine and search terms) will reveal other examples of such rings, sometimes incorporated as part of luggage rack end castings.  I've attached an example, from what appears to be a museum setting, in which hats are shown hanging from some of the rings.  Even so, I'd argue that this may be a misinterpretation of the actual purpose, as rings mounted directly on the walls in the B&SR example would seem ill-suited to such use.  In fact, in the illustration from White's book, the rings appear to part of the bottom of the rack castings, clearly impossible to hang a hat from.

Cosmo may have the right idea regarding umbrellas - even though someone on the NG Forum rejected that interpretation because hanging umbrellas would swing and mar the woodwork!  Clearly that criticism misses the point that the umbrellas could have been slid horizontally between two rings.  In addition to Cosmo's umbrella idea, one may note from many old photos that walking sticks and canes were once in common use.  (When I was a kid, walking sticks were many decades out of fashion but quite a few  elderly people walked with canes; nowadays I suppose they get hip replacements instead...)

Especially given the examples of such rings being incorporated into luggage racks, I suggest that the path to an answer isn't imaginative speculation about gloves or even miniature spittoons (!), nor even "scientific method" processes of elimination.  Rather, we should realize that railroad car builders did not typically manufacture the fittings (such as lamps, luggage racks, and seating) themselves, but purchased them from suppliers of such items, such as Hale & Kilburn or Heywood-Wakefield for seats, and Adams & Westlake (later Adlake) for racks, lamps, locksets, and other items.  While I don't have access to an Adlake car trimmings catalogue for the era in question (or for the somewhat later era suggested by the attached photo), such resources exist.  I would assume that catalog images of luggage racks with the ring and others without it would be accompanied by text descriptions of the functional differences and relative advantages.  Such a catalog might also show individual rings for use without luggage racks, as in the B&SR example.







 
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Steve Smith on April 14, 2020, 12:20:19 AM
Well my hat's off to you, Jon! Sure looks like they're for hanging hats.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Mike Fox on April 14, 2020, 05:13:11 AM
Doubtful they are hat holders, as they would be over the coat hooks, which look like a capital G. They have nothing to do with lamps, as the 2 lamps in the photo I shared has hoods over them, that are not near the loops.

Thinking back to other pictures of the 19earlies, I still think they are purely decorative, to hold some decorative valance.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Keith Taylor on April 14, 2020, 07:20:33 AM


Cosmo may have the right idea regarding umbrellas - even though someone on the NG Forum rejected that interpretation because hanging umbrellas would swing and mar the woodwork!  Clearly that criticism misses the point that the umbrellas could have been slid horizontally between two rings. 
I doubt very much they are umbrella holders. If you were to hang them horizontally only every other seat would have use of them as there is but a single ring centered over each window. More than that, a wet umbrella would drip down onto the polished wood work and seat!
My current thinking is they are a practical joke! The builders put them there so that 100 years later enthusiasts would say....”What on Earth are these things for!!!!”

Keith
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Jon Chase on April 14, 2020, 08:32:26 AM
Keith, upon that reasoning, nobody would have used the coat hooks (which are equally prominent in the B&SR example, and quite often cast as part of the racks and centered over each window/seat bottom as in the ex-WW&F coach 3 photo) on rainy days either, out of similar fear of ruining the upholstery and woodwork.  Not to mention obscuring the view out the window in coach 3... demonstrating, among other things, that passengers 125 years ago may have had different expectations and priorities than tourists today.

In fact, the separate coat hooks shown in the B&SR coach photo are centered between the windows, not over each window, and thus are not only mounted directly on the intricately carved wooden wall panels, but also directly above the seat backs. Does anyone have an original B&SR rule book containing an order to the effect that "Trainmen are warned to not allow passengers to use the coat hooks on rainy days"?

I'm not saying that umbrellas or canes are the answer, but that the answer is most likely ascertainable based on evidence that's available, in places that quite likely include the archives of other railroad museums having copies of the relevant car trimmings catalogs for the periods in question.


Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Keith Taylor on April 14, 2020, 08:56:18 AM
Jon....forgetting about dripping, there still aren’t enough loops to hang an umbrella horizontally. You need two and there is only one per seat.

Keith
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Gordon Cook on April 14, 2020, 10:51:20 AM
Further thoughts to ponder:

Based on the location, orientation, and shape, they don't appear to be useful for hanging anything like a cane or umbrella, or other article of clothing, purse, etc.

The only obvious clue is that two clearly have something in them. I would guess something made of glass due the reflection of the flash. 

Early Wireless Antennae?  Did Tesla have a summer home in Maine?  ;D
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Harold Downey on April 14, 2020, 01:34:55 PM
Nice idea to check period passenger car fixtures.  This is out of the 1909 Car Builders Dictionary.   A&W reference is Addison and Westlake. 

First - curtain rod items, second picture is hat and coat hooks.   

It's not definitive, but based on these I say they are curtain rod fixtures.

Correction:  that's Adams and Westlake... (thanks Keith)
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Harold Downey on April 14, 2020, 01:35:30 PM
coat hooks
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Wayne Laepple on April 14, 2020, 01:55:16 PM
Since neither of the cars pictures seem to have individual window curtains, I suppose it's possible there were drapes suspended from wooden rods that passed through these loops. I suppose one could throw the curtain up over the rod if he or she wished to look outside, or perhaps the curtain were in two pieces that could be slid back out of the way. Whatever their purpose, these road fixtures have been an interesting diversion from everything els going on around us.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: John McNamara on April 14, 2020, 02:06:32 PM
In the picture cited in the second URL, there are window shades next to the two ladies on the right. The shades are attached to metal sliders in the window frame. Interestingly enough, looking for the metal sliders reveals that all of the shades at the far end of the car are in the up position.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: John McNamara on April 14, 2020, 02:27:02 PM
Nice idea to check period passenger car fixtures.  This is out of the 1909 Car Builders Dictionary.   
Neither of the diagrams posted include signal cord holders, which we know existed. Therefore, I hoping that there are other passenger car fixture diagrams in the Car Builders Dictionary. Have you found any?
Thanks!
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Harold Downey on April 14, 2020, 02:32:09 PM
Oh, yes, there are many pages of fixtures.  It's a gold mine.  Lots of things like window lifts and catches, window shades,  the metal racks that mount above the windows, lighting, bath fixtures.  There are the exact window lifts used on coach 3, for instance.   

Search google for car builders dictionary, and they have online scans of many years of them.

Harold
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Benjamin Richards on April 14, 2020, 03:02:35 PM
A few pages over, we find the actual umbrella holder, which holds umbrellas in the expected vertical orientation.

Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Wayne Laepple on April 14, 2020, 03:21:02 PM
Just in case anyone is interest Adlake, the successor to Adams & Westlake is still in business and has a historical department which will manufacture at least some of the historical fixtures shown in these catalogs. Who knows, perhaps an inquiry to Adlake would reveal the purpose of these rings. Check it out here: http://adlake.com/historical-alliance.html
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Bob Springs on April 14, 2020, 06:46:42 PM
Given that the hoops are centered on the windows, it makes sense that curtain panels could be pushed back or tied back to give a view out the window.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Carl G. Soderstrom on April 15, 2020, 12:32:12 PM
I was going to mention this elsewhere but...

The Sept 1961 Model Railroader (pg 10) has a picture of a Rail Bus with curtains
and a simulated rear observation deck. A door on the left rear. The letter read--

"Window Curtains And All"
"When the Maine Central steam service from Rangely Lakes to Kennebago Lake Maine,
ended in the early thirties, this hot railbus took over. Note window curtains and
simulated observation platform, and the cool little 'goods wagon' attached"
John Parker Wayne

Is this 2'Gauge or wide gauge?
The curtains support the Curtain Rod theory - even if this is a Railbus not a Passenger Car.

In the May '61 MR was 8 pages of passenger car interiors.
Lots of coat and hat hooks - no rings, A diner with curtains but more modern style rods
(and interior).


Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on April 15, 2020, 11:30:54 PM
The rings aren't for curtains or curtain rods.
There are pull-down shades built into the window frames. It manes no sense for other provisions to have been made for additional curtains.
I can't believe I didn't notice the shades myself before now.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Mike Fox on April 16, 2020, 05:25:21 AM
I don't believe that they are for those Cosmo. The rings are even the whole car, and if on individual shades, one would be out alaignment with the other (shade not all the way up..).
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Keith Taylor on April 16, 2020, 05:42:05 AM
I don't believe that they are for those Cosmo. The rings are even the whole car, and if on individual shades, one would be out alaignment with the other (shade not all the way up..).
Mike....Pete didn’t say they were part of the shades. He just said that he didn’t think you would need curtains when you have individual shades on each window.

Keith
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Mike Fox on April 16, 2020, 08:33:51 AM
Ok. How are the shades controlled? I guess I've never seen that set up.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on April 16, 2020, 09:02:03 PM
Thanks Keith,
no, Mike, like Keith said, I don't think the rings have anything to do with the shades at all.
As to how they're controlled/operated, I don't think they were all that heavy. They look like single-layer of fabric with a stiffener/bar at the bottom. The bar could have been fitted with "catches" on the window frame, or simply slid smoothly up and down with the shade. I have no idea if the shade had a spring loaded "roll-up" device like more modern shades or not.
Someone would have to examine the car itself, assuming the original woodwork still exists on one or more window frames.

Back to the rings, has anyone looked for similar accoutrements in the RANGELEY?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Mike Fox on April 17, 2020, 05:43:19 AM
Interesting shades. This is what inside of the Rangeley looks like. Screen shot..

(https://i.postimg.cc/J0SXdm95/Screenshot-2020-04-17-06-39-56.png)
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on April 17, 2020, 05:17:22 PM
Carl Soderstrom (who prompted me to ask the original question) asked me to post the attached image of this Maine Central Railbus, in support of the curtain theory.

Carl writes:
The Sept 1961 Model Railroader (pg 10) has a picture of a Rail Bus with curtains
and a simulated rear observation deck. A door on the left rear. The letter read--

"Window Curtains And All"
"When the Maine Central steam service from Rangely Lakes to Kennebago Lake Maine,
ended in the early thirties, this hot railbus took over. Note window curtains and
simulated observation platform, and the cool little 'goods wagon' attached"
John Parker Wayne

Is this 2'Gauge or wide gauge?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Allan Fisher on April 17, 2020, 05:48:58 PM
The Railbus was made in the SR&RL Shops at Phillips and was Standard Gauge.

I believe the chassis and motor of this bus wound up at Starbird Lumber in Strong Maine and was used until the late 1950s to move finished and in process lumber around the yard.
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on April 17, 2020, 05:52:11 PM
This is the same railbus that is now restored at Clark's Trading Post, correct?
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Harold Downey on April 17, 2020, 06:11:04 PM
The Rangeley has shades also.  There we have proof of both curtain valences with shades.  I think it makes the case that the rings on the B&H coach were probably for decorative curtains or valences like the Rangeley.    Do we have too much time on our hands, or what?  :)
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on April 17, 2020, 06:11:53 PM
Thanks for the pictures Mike & Ed.
The RANGELEY photo is particularly interesting as it shows a more common style of coat/hat hooks and no sign of rings of any kind above the windows or under the luggage racks.
So I am thinking, knowing the RANGELEY was built at a later time, during the "Franklin County Consolidation" when the lines came under MEC control, the rings are something more common to the mid-late 1800's that had passed from style by 1900 or so.
I believe an umbrella or cane-style walking stick would have been more common then, as more of a fashion statement as anything, and would hang easily from the rings shown. Also, a straight-stick style walking stick could be passed through one ring to rest atop the next ring either direction.
I'm trying to imagine what else would be common to the average traveler of the time the cars were built.
AHH!! I can think of one other item, and that would be a coat hanger! In the navy we had long garment bags for our uniforms with a space at the top for a hanger to protrude. In a sleeper accommodation there would be more room for such a bag, or just an extra suit-jacket to hang, perhaps in a small closet, but on a 2'er day-coach, what you see is what you get! ;)
now, granted, hanging tour suit on one of those rings would obviously block your view out the window, but chances are your jacket would be considered more valuable than your view.
From the looks of the hooks provided for RANGELEY passengers, one could easily hang a hat, a suit, and an overcoat from the same hook and have a better view out the window. Time=experience=improvements. ;)
Now, this is all speculation on my part, but there are now multiple identified common objects that could hang from such rings that have nothing to do with curtains or bells. So there ya' go. :)
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Keith Taylor on April 17, 2020, 06:13:52 PM
Or...the rings were for hanging the Christmas lights!

Keith
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Gordon Cook on April 18, 2020, 08:09:43 AM
Stirring the pot...

I still think a key clue is the two rings that clearly have something in or around them in one of the pictures.
They did survive to the 1940's when this fan trip happened, so they must have had a purpose. If they weren't used it might be likely several would have been damaged or lost by then.
There is a picture taken at one end of one of the coaches of the conductor and a train crew member (or zealous fan) which shows the stove, but no rings there?

To me it doesn't make sense to hang canes or umbrellas right if front of each window, especially something that will bang around as the coach rocks.
The round shape and orientation perpendicular to the wall is just wrong for curtains of any style that we are used to. Curtains would also be a high maintenance item in a day coach.
They don't look sturdy enough to hang on to, and how often would there be people standing? Was there a commuter rush into Bridgton? :)
They are at every window, but in addition there are hat and coat hooks that are not at every window, so it would seem that they are not for clothing accessories.
In one coach they are plain rings, while in the other they appear to have a decorative element added. While there are some examples discovered of baggage racks with rings below them, rings are sometimes used as a decorative and supporting element for shelf brackets. In this case, it's unlikely they would be simply decorative because they are separate items. But those rings under the baggage rack may be for the same purpose.

With all that said, I still don't have any better ideas.  But it's a good mystery and entertainment. Don't give up!
Title: Re: Arthur Griffin B&H 1940 excursion photos
Post by: Mike Fox on April 18, 2020, 07:42:57 PM
I looked through all the B&SR books at the museum, and nothing new was found..