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Lehigh Valley Railroad Documents

 Collection
Identifier: SC MS 0159
The collection consists of an assortment of railroad documents especially those referring to the duties of passenger train conductors. There are timetables, circulars of procedures, photographs, baggage claim checks, notebooks kept by the conductors referring to the rolling stock, railroad union material and special excursion offers. This part of the collection seems to refer to a long time passenger train conductor identified as John J. Rooney who lived in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. There is also a bound album of similar Lehigh Valley Railroad material arranged by some unknown person. The album measures 42 x 33 x 4 cm with a mottled tan leatherette binding and mylar pages. On the reverse of the last page is stamped in black ink: John Barbier, Box 1159, Seaside, CA 93955. The spine has a white paper label with handwritten Lehigh Valley R.R. The material is administration correspondence not reflecting particularly conductors but various information passed on from office to people on the line. The earliest dated item of the collection is a photograph of a Lehigh Valley Railroad steam locomotive at Raven Rim, Pa. with a date of 1870. Two other photographs of locomotives are dated March 1931.

Dates

  • 1870-1981
  • Majority of material found within 1909-1915

Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Extent

1 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Overview

Reflected in this collection is the bureaucracy of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company from a train conductor’s view. The collection contains bulletins, supplements to bulletins, correspondence about operation of trains, train fares, schedules of train stations, time tables, conductor’s documentation of passengers’ destinations, tickets issued and material especially about the Black Diamond Express – the LVRR’s most famous train.

Biographical / Historical

Lehigh Valley Railroad was originally named Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill & Susquehanna Railroad incorporated in 1846 to build a line from Easton to Mauch Chunk to break a monopoly in coal transport held by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. In 1853 Asa Packer financed the railroad and changed the name to the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The railroad was built to primarily transport coal. It opened from Easton to Mauch Chunk in 1855. In 1867 the Lehigh Valley Railroad reached north to the Wyoming Valley and Wilkes Barre and subsequently into New York State. In 1890 the Lehigh Valley merged with Erie Railroad to build a new line named Lehigh Valley Rail Way to get to Buffalo and Canada. During a railroad financial crises in the early 1890s caused by LVRR’s rapid expansion, J. P. Morgan in 1893 agreed to fund the Lehigh Valley Railroad and moved the headquarters from Philadelphia to New York City and began rebuilding the railroad. Independent stockholders of the line protested the division of money from dividends into physical plant and regained control in 1902. In 1913 Lehigh Valley passenger trains were evicted from using the Pennsylvania Railroad terminals in New Jersey. The Lehigh Valley Railroad was one of the first major railroads to discontinue passenger service.

Arrangement

Loosely arranged by format and chronology. The album is arranged chronological.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown but there is a stamped name on the back page of the album which contains similar material to the first two boxes of the collection: John Barbier Box 1159 Seaside, CA.

Related Materials

“Guide to the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company Records, 1870-1962”; Cornell University Library Collection Number 3362, (Carl A. Krock Library), Ithaca, N.Y.

SC MS 0262 “Certificates of Capital Stock of Lehigh Valley Railroad No. 79501 to 80000.”

SC MS 0198 Lehigh Valley Railroad Ledger

SC MS 0198 Lehigh Valley Rail Road Ledger SC MS 0005 Asa Packer Estate Accounts and Financial Records SC MS 0040 Estate of Harry E. Packer SC MS 0156 Morris Canal and Bank Company records
Status
completed
Author
Ilhan Citak and Eleanor Nothelfer
Date
June 20, 2013
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-4506
610-758-6091 (Fax)