Lehigh Valley Railroad Documents
Scope and Contents
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.
- 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.
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.
1 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
Language of Materials
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.
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.
- American Locomotive Company
- Baldwin Locomotive Works
- Black Diamond Express
- Buffalo (N.Y.)
- Lehigh Valley Railroad Company
- Lehigh Valley Transit Company
- Mauch Chunk (Pa.)
- New York (N.Y.)
- New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company
- Niagara Falls (N.Y.)
- Packerton (Pa.)
- Pennsylvania Railroad Company
- Philadelphia (Pa.)
- Railroad Conductors
- Railroads - Employees
- Railroads – Pennsylvania – History
- Raven Rim (Pa.)
- Rooney, John J.
- Wilkes Barre (Pa.)
- Ilhan Citak and Eleanor Nothelfer
- June 20, 2013
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA