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IHC Member 1393
posted
Hello,
Can anyone tell me what the code means on this button? Overall it's a little smaller than a dime.
Thanks
Vince

 
Posts: 94 | Location: Cockeysville, Maryland in the USA | Registered: October 28, 2009
IHC Member 1393
posted
Other side of button.

 
Posts: 94 | Location: Cockeysville, Maryland in the USA | Registered: October 28, 2009
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Would appear to be Morse code to me, I am not very good at it anymore, it has been since I was a kid that I played around with it.

It might be IST or TSI but that is a guess, I would assume somehow railroad related. Maybe someone else can read Morse code better than me. Or possibly MOT or TOM
 
Posts: 5113 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Vincent this is a very interesting pin you showed it upside down, as you can see by the arrow on the tag.

Larry

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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I've been aware of these pins for over 25 years now, I found a old 1925 Otto Young & Co. jewelry and watch catalog at a watch show back in 1986 , it had many railroad brotherhood's and other union pins.

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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One page of pins on the bottom was very interesting with pins for the Miscellaneous Railway Organizations, including the Order of Railway Conductors, Brotherhood of Railroad Carmen, The International Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, Switchmen's Union of North America, and the Order of Railroad Telegraphers.

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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There were two pins from the Order of Railroad Telegraphers, the one on the right side is yours, one I've been looking for and thought I would never see. it sold for $1.98. In 1925

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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Picture of Larry Buchan
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Hello Vincent:

Here is the old Railroad Morse code. If you look at the letters "O" "R" "T" you can decipher the meaning of the pin, it's very sublime and could only be recognized by railroad telegraphers. If you're interested in selling this, or trading something for please let me know.

Larry

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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a little background on the ORT:

After many years of trying to organize a union that started in the 1860s including the National Telegraphic Union and the Telegraphers Protective League after an unsuccessful strike by the Brotherhood of Telegraphers they affiliated with the Knights of Labor in 1883, the railroad telegraphers saw themselves as occupationally distinct from commercial telegraphers so a group of railroad telegraphers met in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and on June 9, 1886 formed the "ORDER OF RAILROAD TELEGRAPHERS OF AMERICA" (ORT), headquartered in Vinton, Iowa by a 1887 they had 2500 members, and grew to 9000 1889, the organization became international in 1896 striking against the Canadian Pacific Railway and organized in Mexico, the headquarters of the ORT relocated to Peoria, Illinois in 1895 and finally relocated to St. Louis, Missouri in 1899. By 1901, the ORT comprised 30 railway system divisions with 10,000 members with H.B. Perham as Grand Chief Telegrapher. my earliest membership card from 1891 when they were still headquartered in Vinton, Iowa

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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ORT Membership card from 1892

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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ORT membership card 1893, the lettering is like the pen on the left that goes through a telegraph pole for the "T"

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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ORT Membership card from 1894 the headquarters were still in Vinton, Iowa

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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ORT membership from 1900, headquarters were now in St. Louis, Missouri, and H.B. Perham was the Secretary Treasurer

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Larry
Thanks for that great information. Is the railroad Morse code different from the normal code? I can clearly see the ORT in your code, I tried to make the letters into some sort of Ball related letters using the normal code, but again I am real rusty at that.
 
Posts: 5113 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Larry Buchan
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Hello Tom:

Yes the railroad Morse code is different from the one the military, and ham radio operators use.

Larry

A postcard view of the Order of Railroad Telegraphers headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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A colored postcard view of the ORT headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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Hello Tom:

Here is the International Morse code from Wikipedia, it's quite different than the Railroad code.

Larry

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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Picture of Tom Brown
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Yeah Larry, that was the one I knew. I didn't realize the railroad had their own, I thought they were all the same. Thanks again.

Tom
 
Posts: 5113 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Member 1393
posted
Thanks to Tom and Larry for their replies. I, too didn't know the railroad had a different code, but that clears up the code mystery for me. It just didn't make any sense until now. Thanks again.
Vince
 
Posts: 94 | Location: Cockeysville, Maryland in the USA | Registered: October 28, 2009
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
Interesting thread, lots of good info Larry.

Here is a link to a 14 min. episode of a serial about a female telegrapher from 1915. Lots of cool steam shots.

Just hit the play button, you can make it full screen.

Can anyone identify the station clock.

The Hazards of Helen: Episode 26, "The Wild Engine" (1915)
 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
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Picture of Eugene Buffard
posted
This house is now called the Samuel Cupples House. Here is a photo.

 
Posts: 3408 | Location: Illinois in the USA | Registered: July 06, 2010
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Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
posted
Good find Eugene.

The Samuel Cupples House is a historic 42-room, castle-like mansion located on the campus of Saint Louis University. The building is a rare example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in St. Louis and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been restored to its original splendor with many of its opulent original furnishings. The McNamee Gallery is located on the lower level and houses educational and art exhibits. Portions of the University's permanent collection of fine art are displayed throughout the house.

Samuel Cupples was a St. Louis businessman who opened up a woodenware business selling brooms and other household goods in 1851 along the riverfront where the Gateway Arch stands today. The demand for woodenware in the growing city made him very wealthy. Cupples gained a partner, Robert Brookings, and together they developed the Cupples Station complex in 1891. This group of 23 seven-story buildings covering 30 acres, served as a giant freight depot. Most of the city’s heavy wholesale trade, amounting to more than $200 million annually at the turn of the century, was handled there.

In 1888 Cupples commissioned prominent architect Thomas Annan to design a mansion worthy of his success in business. The result was an impressive castle-like mansion with turrets and gargoyles with large airy wood paneled rooms and elaborately ornate furniture and décor. Cupples died in 1913 and his heirs sold the house to the Railroad Telegraphers Union in 1919 for use as the organization's office headquarters. It had been Cupple's fervent wish that Saint Louis University not get the building, so irked was he when the University built DuBourg Hall on Grand Avenue spoiling his view to the east. But in 1946, the Telegraphers Union sold the property to the University. Renamed Chouteau House after the University's first student, the house served as a student union and faculty office building. Restoration of the house began in the early 1970s and the restoration work continues today. In 1970 the name was changed back to Cupples House and efforts were undertaken to restore the building.

Link to Full Article
 
Posts: 2099 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
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Picture of Larry Buchan
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The Order of Railroad Telegraphers celebrated their 60th anniversary in 1946, and built a new building for their headquarters that shows in the background of this membership card.

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
IHC Member 665
posted
Here is a 1904 ORT membership card.

 
Posts: 185 | Location: East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Registered: December 31, 2005
IHC Member 665
posted
And an ORT fob.

 
Posts: 185 | Location: East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Registered: December 31, 2005
IHC Member 665
posted
As many readers, here, would be well aware, what we are desperately missing is a genuine original "Official ORT Standard" watch dial (18s or 16s).
 
Posts: 185 | Location: East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Registered: December 31, 2005
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The Order of Railroad Telegraphers was founded in Cedar Rapids Iowa on June 9, 1886. The first ORT Headquarters were in La Porte City, Iowa the first move of headquarters to Vinton, Iowa was in September, 1888.

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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During September 1895, the Grand Division decided to locate the headquarters at Peoria, Illinois where it remained for four years. In 1899 and moved to St. Louis was deemed expedient with the organization's policy of expansion. From that year up to the present time. The ORT has maintained its international headquarters in St. Louis, with several moves to various buildings during that long interval of years. The Fullerton building, the St. Louis Star building, the Missouri State Life building, each in turn house the ORT headquarters operating staff for a time until August 16, 1924, when the Grand Division authorized the purchase of the historic Cupples mansion at 3673 West Pine Boulevard their head quarters until August 1, 1947, when the move to the new permanent fireproof building was made.

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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ORT Building exterior illuminated at night, the ORT logo of the telegraph sounder is sculpted above the faccia.

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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A photo of the lobby, with a montage of railways of North America

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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The ORT President's office

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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Here are some of my Order of Railroad Telegraphers watch fobs, the first is a convention souvenir from the 24th Regular Session of the Grand Division held in Cleveland Ohio, in May 1924 on the front is a telegraph sounder with a wreath around it, it was made by Bastian Brothers of Rochester, New York.

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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Picture of Larry Buchan
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Reverse side

 
Posts: 3340 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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