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Some Brotherhood History "Click" to Login or Register 
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
One interesting aspect in the development and operation of the railroads in North America is the history of its railroad labor organizations. In the 1860's railroading was a very dangerous occupation. It was so hazardous that no locomotive engineer, firemen, conductor, or trainman could get insurance this due to the many accidents that resulted from substandard track, bridges, and unsafe equipment. The working conditions at this time were also very deplorable hours were long, and pay was poor. The need for improved working conditions, and some kind of insurance for those who might be stricken by illness injury or death was instrumental in the formation of the brotherhoods. The following is a brief background of some of these organizations in the order they were formed.

1.) Twelve locomotive engineers from the Michigan Central Railroad met in Detroit on May 5th 1863 and formed the "Brotherhood of the Footboard" at their first Convention in 1864 the name of the organization was changed to the "BROTHERHOOD of LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS" (BofLE)

2.) On July 6th 1868 the "Conductor's Brotherhood" was instituted at Mendota, Illinois and was reorganized December 15th 1868 as the "ORDER of RAILWAY CONDUCTORS of AMERICA" (ORC) On May 3rd 1954 the name was changed to the "ORDER of RAILWAY CONDUCTORS & BRAKEMEN" (ORC&B)

3.) The locomotive firemen effected an organization called the "BROTHERHOOD of LOCOMOTIVE FIREMEN" (BofLF) on December 1st 1873 at Port Jervis, New York. At their convention in Milwaukee WI during September 1906 the name was changed to the "BROTHERHOOD of LOCOMOTIVE FIREMEN & ENGINEMEN"

4.) In 1883 eight men met in Delaware & Hudson R.R. caboose No. 10 at Oneonta, New York to talk about working conditions a few days later on September 23rd 1883 the Grand Lodge of the "Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen" (BofRB) was organized the Oneonta lodge was called " EV Debs Lodge No. 1" in honor of Eugene Victor Debs Grand Secretary & Treasurer of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. He provided a great assistance in forming the infant organization. The name of the organization was changed January the 1st 1890 to the "BROTHERHOOD of RAILROAD TRAINMEN" (BofRT)

These four brotherhoods which became known as the "BIG FOUR" represented railroad workers who are actually involved in the movement and operation of trains. Other organizations who are also involved in the movement of trains were the "SWITCHMEN'S UNION of NORTH AMERICA" (SUNA) who came into existence in Kansas City MO on October 23rd 1894 as a reorganization of the "Switchmen's Mutual Aid Association" that was formed in Chicago, Illinois February 1886. A group of railroad telegraphers met in Cedar Rapids IA and on June 9th 1886 formed the "ORDER of RAILROAD TELEGRAPHERS" (ORT)
 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
Was it the 'Big Four' that merged in the '60's to form the UTU (United Transportation Union), or am I thinking of another group? Regards. Mark Cross
 
Posts: 3813 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
Railway Historian
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posted
Mark:

It was three of the Big Four that merged into the United Transportation Union in 1969 they were;

The Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen
The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen

The fourth union that was part of this merger was the; Switchmen's Union of North America

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers at this time is still independent, but is looking at
merging with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Buchaneer

[This message was edited by Buchaneer on December 06, 2002 at 3:58.]
 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle
posted
Everyone,

With the scams we recently uncovered in our "Avoiding the Pitfalls of On-Line Trading" which involve fraudulently misrepresented and downright fake Brotherhood Watches and Watch-Cases it is fitting we re-visit this subject.

Larry Buchan is one of the most knowledgeable living experts when it comes to the various Railroad Brotherhoods. His brief history as it appears above is of great value to any RR Watch Collector.

Study it carefully and remember where to access it for future reference.

Thanks a million Larry!


Lindell

Wink
 
Posts: 10552 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Dr. Clint Geller
posted
Gentlemen, please educate a benighted Howard collector in the strange world of RR watches and answer a few rudimentary questions. Was W. C. Ball the only entity who marketed watches with RR Brothehood insignia on them? If not, who were the others? Also, I have never seen a "Switchmen ..." marked watch. Do such exist. I love historical threads like this. Thank You.

Clint Geller

http://www.pockethorology.org
 
Posts: 219 | Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA | Registered: May 10, 2003
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Larry Buchan
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Dr. Clint:

Webb C. Ball had trademark rights for the Brotherhoods with their permission, the ones I know of are the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Order of Railway Conductors, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Order of Railroad Telegraphers, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Enginemen. He even had a trademark for a "A.R.U. Standard" which I conclude would be for the American Railway Union that was formed in 1893 when Eugene Victor Debs left the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. This union was crushed by Grover Cleveland's federal government in Chicago during the Pullman strike of 1895. So I do not believe any A.R.U. Standard watches were ever manufactured. As far as the Switchmen's Union of North America "S.U.N.A." is concerned I have never seen any pocket watches marked for the Switchmen but that's not to say they don't exist, I have seen pinbacks, and watch charms from the Ball Watch company marked with the Switchmen's logo.

A photograph of the Switchmen's logo on a watch charm from my collection, along with an advertisement from the Locomotive Engineers Journal can be found in the Chapter 185 "Timekeepers Photo Gallery under "Ball Booster watch fob" Nov. 27, 2002

Larry Buchan

IHC Charter Member 28
IHC Life Member (L7)

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Picture of Tom Seymour
posted
Does anyone know if this union is associated in any way with watches. That is, would you find this rr union logo on a watch? My gut feeling is they were not. They were railroad repairmen and would have no need for accurate timekeeping, other than getting lunch on time.

Tom Seymour
NAWCC #41293
IHC #104
IHC Exec.V.P.

 
Posts: 2537 | Location: Mount Angel, Oregon in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 19, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Tom:

In answer to your question the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of America was founded at Cedar Rapids, Iowa on October 27, 1888 in July 1987 the union merged into the Transportation Communications International Union (TCU). The Railway Carmen were employed in railway shops and yards to do all types of repairs, maintenance, and inspection on railway rolling stock. While they along with locomotive shop employees were not required to carry railway grade watches, there might be examples of watches with the Carmen's logo on retirement presentations from the union.

Larry Buchan

IHC Charter Member 28
IHC Life Member (L7)
 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Dr. Clint Geller
posted
Dear Larry,

Thanks very much for the info.


Clint Geller

http://www.pockethorology.org
 
Posts: 219 | Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA | Registered: May 10, 2003
Picture of Tom Seymour
posted
Larry,
Thanks for the information. The pin was my Dad's. I know he did not carry a rr grade watch, but it would be great to find one with his union logo on it.

Thanks again,

Tom Seymour
NAWCC #41293
IHC #104
IHC Exec.V.P.
 
Posts: 2537 | Location: Mount Angel, Oregon in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 19, 2002
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle
posted
I keep coming back and consulting Larry's history.

Thanks a million Larry!

Wink
 
Posts: 10552 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
Picture of Tom Seymour
posted
I found one more bit of brotherhood history at an antique store recently. It is a delegate pin from the 14th convention in Toronto in 1921.


Tom


 
Posts: 2537 | Location: Mount Angel, Oregon in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 19, 2002
Picture of Tom Seymour
posted
The text on the top of the pin.


Tom


 
Posts: 2537 | Location: Mount Angel, Oregon in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 19, 2002
posted
Interesting item Tom, your father must of had some pretty neat stories to tell you of his railroad work.
 
Posts: 2133 | Registered: June 01, 2003
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
On a sad note the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers chose to merge with the Teamsters Union in 2004 and changed their name to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. They dumped the Canadians who became the Rail Conference Teamsters and now isn't that a great name for locomotive engineers.
 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
quote:
They dumped the Canadians who became the Rail Conference Teamsters and now isn't that a great name for locomotive engineers.


In a word, no. Mad

Regards! Mark
 
Posts: 3813 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Now the United Transportation Union have made a real SMART choice of who to affiliate with. It looks like they're going to merge with the Sheet-Metal Workers Industrial Association to form the Sheet-Metal Air Railway Transportation Union a part of aAFL-CIO. I wish them luck, a lot better type of people to affiliate with. Not like BLET and who they chose.
 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
Picture of Stephan Gaal
posted
Hello Larry, What can you tell me about this one. I got it recently to go with the Howard Railway watch I won. Would this be Ok for a "Santa Fe" man?

 
Posts: 431 | Location: South Victoria, Australia | Registered: January 18, 2007
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IHC Life Member
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Picture of Larry Buchan
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Stephan:

Very nice Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen pocketwatch charm. This would have been manufactured before 1906 when the Brotherhood added Enginemen to their name, I have some like this one from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and yes this would have been suitable for the Santa Fe.

Larry

 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
posted
Larry, I just picked this Hamilton 996 up on ebay. I know the BoRT insignia on the dial isn't factory issue, but the rather worn condition makes me think it's legitimate, especially as it has the number of BoRT local 238 on it. The seller (located in western New Hampshire) says it belonged to a Boston & Maine employee in Mass., and local 238 was located in West Springfield. Was this kind of dial customization common? I assume it was a decal or something.

Aside from the fact this seems a nice example of a 996, and I don't have one yet, the B&M connection is important to me, as I remember steam running on the B&M before my family moved to CT, and my uncle worked for the B&M. He would have been in a different Brotherhood as he was a car inspector.

Norman

Forgot to attach pic. SN is 1,272,499 from 1918-1919.

Hamilton 996 face
 
Posts: 153 | Location: Northeastern United States | Registered: December 18, 2005
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Hello Norman:

It looks like you're dial was hand-painted after the trainman bought the watch. My Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen directory indicates that Lodge 238 was chartered on September 1, 1886 in West Springfield, Massachusetts and was called Pioneer Lodge it represented trainmn working on the Boston and Albany (Road & Yard)

Best Regards,

Larry Buchan
 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
posted
Thanks Larry. I've gotten the watch and it is hand-painted. This trainman apparently worked on several RRs in that area, including the Boston & Maine. Would local 238 only have represented trainmen on the B&A? Three RRs passed through Springfield, the B&A, B&M, and New Haven. And the Central of Vermont passed through Palmer, several miles east of Springfield.

Thanks

Norman
 
Posts: 153 | Location: Northeastern United States | Registered: December 18, 2005
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
I was going through some of my watches recently and came across this one that I had forgotton about....

It is an Elgin, BW Raymond grade 70, 15 jewel, adjusted, s/n 1785574....but what is interesting about it is the engraving on the dust cover of the case....

It says, "WW Timmins, B. of L. E. - Div. 136"

Can anyone tell us about this division of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, specifically Division 136....and also some information about Mr. WW Timmins....

Thanks for your help....

Regards,

Jerry

 
Posts: 2828 | Location: Chino, California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
The Dial....

 
Posts: 2828 | Location: Chino, California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
The movement....

 
Posts: 2828 | Location: Chino, California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Maybe Larry or someone will confirm this but in searching I found where BofLE Div 136 was out of Ogden Utah. {I edited this to what I meant to say Div 136}

In the census for 1910 Salt Lake City Utah there was a William W. Timmins born about 1857 in England who is listed as a railroad engineer.

I will see if I can find further this evening.

Tom
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Thanks Tom, I knew you could help....


Thanks again....

Regards,

Jerry
 
Posts: 2828 | Location: Chino, California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Tom:

Division 186 was in Denver Colorado, Jerry Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Division 136 was originally chartered in Salt Lake City, Utah it was rechartered in Evanston, Wyoming and represented locomotive engineers working for the Union Pacific (Eastern Division)

Larry
 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Thanks Larry

My bad, I mistyped. I am going to correct my post, instead of 186 I meant 136. Sorry

Jerry
1880 census for Mill Creek, Salt Lake, Utah
Timmins, William W listed as a labor
married to Mary J. born about 1857 in England
son William M born about 1878 Utah Territory
son Willard born about 1879 Utah Territory

1910 Salt Lake City , Salt Lake, Utah
railroad engineer
still married to Mary
son Bert E. born 1891 Wyoming

1920 Salt Lake, Salt Lake, Utah
Still William & Mary, occupation listed as none age 63

It shows he arrived in this country in 1861. I found a Wm. Timmins who arrived 05/21/1861 with his parents on the ship Underwriter in New York.

There was no census in 1890 & I can not find him in 1900 or 1930.


Tom
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Thanks Tom & Larry for this information....

Looks as though, Mr. Timmins was somewhere between the age of 53 - 63 when the BofLE gave him the watch for his service, assuming that it was awarded between 1910 & 1920....It would have been a little easier if there had been a date engraved on the watch but of course little did they/he know that someone would be looking for or digging up info on it nearly a hundred years later....

I appreciate your efforts in getting this information for me....

Thanks to you both....

Regards,

Jerry
 
Posts: 2828 | Location: Chino, California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
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