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Smith and Wesson?! "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
This is a first for me. I've collected and read railroad material all my life, but have NEVER seen an ad by a firearm manufacturer for the railroad man's carry. Check out photo 11 in Larry's 'Brotherhood advertisement' post. Eek I know my folks carried them way back when as they worked on the N&W, but I've never seen a Smith advertisement before like THIS one! High regards, Larry! This was an eye opener! Mark
 
Posts: 3813 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
IHC Life Member
RR Watch Expert
Picture of Ed Ueberall
posted
I wonder if the railroads considered the S&W a piece of safety equipment, just like standard watches? Smile Big Grin


Ed Ueberall
IHC Member 34
The Escapement
 
Posts: 620 | Location: Pooler, Georgia in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 23, 2002
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
I don't recall there being an official railroad handgun inspector for the N&W/C&O/B&O where I grew up, Portsmouth, Ohio, but I guarantee that Smith had a MUCH larger presence in those yards that any worker would ever admit to supervision! SmileABSOLUTELY guaranteed! Regards. Mark
 
Posts: 3813 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Mark:

I've seen the Smith & Wesson advertisement in some of the other Brotherhood publications at that time. Here is another couple of ads from the Railroad Telegrapher of 1894. As you can see the telegrapher who worked for the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad had an interesting sideline to his employment.

Larry Buchan Smile

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Here is another advertisement:

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Picture of Sam Williamson
posted
Hey,train robbery was a real problem,so doesn't surprise me that S&W would advertise in RR mags!


Sam Williamson

 
Posts: 618 | Location: Northwestern Florida in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 27, 2002
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
These are real eye openers for me, Larry, I REALLY thank you for sharing these. In all the years of railfanning (as well as railroad family connections) it was well known that many yard and road men carried one in their back pocket, and yet it was against company rules, and in strongest language one can imagine. I've never seen it written otherwise, nor admitted by the old greybeards but in low tones in barbershops that they actually DID have one on them at all times due to robberies and wrecking of trains so 'wreckers' could clean out boxcars due to company rules of allowing the public to do so AFTER a wreck. These ads are fascinating, especially the last one being posted out of Kentucky....not that far from home! Great stuff! Thanks again! Regards. Mark
p.s. wonder what kind of markup the telegrapher put on the revolvers he sold as the 'wholeseller'? Confused
 
Posts: 3813 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
posted
In the 60's I did a short stint as a switchman on the Grand Trunk Western RR in Detroit. One of the afternoon jobs was retruning to "the Junction" and had a long wait for a clear signal. Middle of the night and suddenly the caboose door was kicked in and in came hoodlum. When he saw a switchman with a revolver in his hand he fled the caboose at a quickened pace. You might call that revolver GOOD INSURANCE.
 
Posts: 31 | Location: Mt. Pleasant, Michigan in the USA | Registered: November 21, 2016
Site Administrator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Phillip Sanchez
posted
Interesting info, thanks guys.
 
Posts: 4975 | Location: North Georgia Mountains in the U.S.A. | Registered: March 31, 2006
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
posted
Back in the early days of railroading when getting off and on trains in the middle of the night, in very dark and secluded places to set out cars or pick up cars or to repair an air hose that had parted or replace a knuckle, you had better have an equalizer of some kind ! Bad hombres road the trains in boxcars or in the cubbies of hopper cars or gondolas to get away from people and police. They were desperadoes that had been through the judicial systems revolving doors many times, and they had no qualms about knocking you out, shooting you, or slashing your throat for your few dollars and your watch and leaving you to bleed out where no one would ever know who the villain was as the perp could take off on foot across country and never be found!

I usually carried a S&W 5 shot .38 Special Snubbie in the back pocket of my Wranglers and no one ever knew it was there. It was your security and might save your life. It was against the rules but there was no search of your grip (carry on luggage) or your person and no one made a big deal about it. We had "common sense" back then and no one ever had a gunfight or pulled down on each other ! I remember target shooting off engines and cabooses back in the day ! I guess one could say we were kinda "wild and free" and the last of a dying breed.......

We were survivors !

regards,
bb

 
Posts: 6360 | Location: Texas in the USA | Registered: July 27, 2009
IHC Member 1357
posted
You are right Buster,be prepared and you won't be surprised. Back in the early 70's when I was
chasing cattle in the Balmorea area you never knew what you might run up on be it reptile,animal or human. So a pistol was a good
companion.

Roger
 
Posts: 4067 | Location: Carbon, Texas in the USA | Registered: January 24, 2010
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