Author Topic: What to wear while on train crew/period clothing  (Read 11870 times)

Paul Crabb

  • Museum Member
  • Brakeman
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
What to wear while on train crew/period clothing
« on: October 01, 2013, 03:43:30 PM »
Just watched Hansels' video of Fall Festival and was VERY PLEASED to see that the Americian Flags that I made were used on #10 as well as seeing JB atired like a conductor. Maybe JB's atire isn't authentic to WW&F but I'm sure is very close to the image of a train conductor that our visitors have. Paul C. - Former Wardrode coordinator for Old Colony & Newport Rwy (Newport RI)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 04:03:09 PM by Ed Lecuyer »

Jonathan B. Smith

  • Operating Volunteers
  • Switchman
  • **
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
Re: September 2013 Work Planning
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 08:16:23 AM »
Paul
Yes, I confess to "duding" it up a bit for the Festival.  I suspect paisley waist coats probably weren't common on the old WW&F--more like river boat attire.
I would be interested in your thoughts regading autenticity.  Dressing the roles we work would add to the ways we'd like to bring visitors back into the 20s/30s era as they ride the rails.  Can the baseball caps?!
jbs

James Patten

  • Administrator
  • Superintendent
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,205
  • Loco for 6
    • View Profile
Re: September 2013 Work Planning
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 09:01:46 AM »
Hence that's why I wear what others refer to as the English racecar driver's cap.  It's very similar to what crews wore in the old pictures.  In fact it looks like the conductor in later years wore overalls.

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Yardmaster
  • *******
  • Posts: 2,123
    • View Profile
Re: September 2013 Work Planning
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 03:57:07 PM »
Up into the 1950's and perhaps even a bit later, railroaders were easily recognized by the clothing they wore. Most often, train and engine service people wore either bib overalls or boiler suits, and all wore the traditional striped caps or newsboy-type caps such as mentioned by James above. Ball caps and Carhart coats are a recent phenomenon. Trackmen wore bib overalls and wide-brimmed slouch hats or striped caps. Everyone wore what were known in the trade as "chore coats," denim coats with large side pockets and brass buttons.

It really bothers me to go to a railroad museum and see volunteers wearing AC/DC T-shirts, sports team caps and other "modern" apparel. If we are trying to recreate an historic image with our steam trains, at least the folks crewing the trains should be wearing traditional garb.

Paul Crabb

  • Museum Member
  • Brakeman
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: What to wear while on train crew/period clothing
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 02:07:14 PM »
Wow I didn't realize what I started. JB where did you get the vest? Attire might be a topic for a BOD meeting basically starting with deciding what image BOD wishes to present to our visitors. Authentic WW&F, our own look (WW&F shirt & jeans) or what might be called the sterotype. (Sorry Jason but I think striped pants, jacket and cap for engine crew is the sterotype) In my opinion it is the conductor who is the main interface with our passengers and can be considered the "Face of the WW&F". As the OC&N was a standard gauge RR that brought passengers from Boston to Newport RI so they could board the Fall River Line Steamboats for an overnight trip to NY City the conductors I'm sure were uniformed, I think much like Jules in the slide show picture of him standing on the Alna Center Platform. At the OC&N we really only addressed conductor atire. Given that each volunteer was required to purchase the attire on their own we didn't insist on a uniform. But we required black shoes, black dress pants, white shirt, black vest (like JB was wearing) black tie and a conductors hat which I located a manufacturer for in Taunton MA (as I remember). Then by means I won't describe I had hat badges made based on those of the Old Colony line. Thus at least for conductors we had a standardized "look". Breakmen and engineers basically on their own wore jeans work shirts (like Rick Sission wears) and striped engineer hats. We (I) did have cloth patches for RR hats of two different designs made. The circular one was for sale to our passengers while a retangular one (you may have seen mine when I've worn my OC&N cap) were reserved for operating crew members. Well just a couple of thoughts. I certainly don't want to start a "food fight" over this but do think consideration should, at some point, be given to establishing a WW&F look for our visitors.

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Yardmaster
  • *******
  • Posts: 2,123
    • View Profile
Re: What to wear while on train crew/period clothing
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 02:55:38 PM »
I got on this whole jag because a friend sent me a bunch of photos taken in the late 1950's of railroaders in Roanoke, Virginia. Every one of them was clad nearly the same, in the bib overalls and striped caps. I've seen photos of trainmen on mixed trains back in the day wearing bib overalls, blue work shirts, a conductor's uniform jacket and a conductor's cap. I've also seen images of enginemen wearing bibs and neckties (Keeps the cinders from going down the back of your shirt, I guess.). My point was not to dictate a uniform, but to suggest a "look" that we might strive for. Just take a look at the photos in "Two Feet to Tidewater" and go from there.

Keith Taylor

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 731
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: What to wear while on train crew/period clothing
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2013, 03:57:08 PM »
I got on this whole jag because a friend sent me a bunch of photos taken in the late 1950's of railroaders in Roanoke, Virginia. Every one of them was clad nearly the same, in the bib overalls and striped caps. I've seen photos of trainmen on mixed trains back in the day wearing bib overalls, blue work shirts, a conductor's uniform jacket and a conductor's cap. I've also seen images of enginemen wearing bibs and neckties (Keeps the cinders from going down the back of your shirt, I guess.). My point was not to dictate a uniform, but to suggest a "look" that we might strive for. Just take a look at the photos in "Two Feet to Tidewater" and go from there.
On the Lehigh Valley most train and engine crews wore black Kromer caps. They considered the striped caps to be farmer's head wear! In the winter, Woolrich conductor's vests. Passenger train crews, a black suit, white shirt and black tie.
Each road had their own traditional garb for freight crews. Personally I think the steam engine crews should wear bowler hats! :-)
Keith
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 05:39:23 PM by Keith Taylor »

James Patten

  • Administrator
  • Superintendent
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,205
  • Loco for 6
    • View Profile
Re: What to wear while on train crew/period clothing
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2013, 04:58:07 PM »
Personally I think the steam engine crews should wear bowler hats! :-)
Much like Earl Knoob on the C&TS??  It certainly looks nice.

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Yardmaster
  • *******
  • Posts: 2,123
    • View Profile
Re: What to wear while on train crew/period clothing
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2013, 05:41:00 PM »
My father-in-law, who spent 42 years as a PRR machinist and manager, always wore a black Kromer cap. My favorite was a Lee denim cap that I wore and washed until it was almost white before it finally fell apart. I never could find another one like it.

On the general subject of headgear, I was quite surprised to learn recently that most cowboys back in the day wore either caps or derbies, since they couldn't afford the fancy wide brim 10-gallon Stetsons we've always associated with cowboys. And a woman I know reported that she was very disappointed on a visit to a working ranch in Montana when she noticed the cowboys were wearing Nikes! What is this world coming to?

Tom Casper

  • Museum Member
  • Hostler
  • ***
  • Posts: 202
    • View Profile
    • Sandy Ridge & Clear Lake Ry.
Re: What to wear while on train crew/period clothing
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2013, 09:34:42 PM »
Personally I think the steam engine crews should wear bowler hats! :-)
Much like Earl Knoob on the C&TS??  It certainly looks nice.

Earl is now at the Texas State RR with his bowler still in use.

Tom C.
Later:
tom_srclry_com