Official Guide 1923

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Timetable World

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One of the volunteers helping out at Timetable World has completed indexing the Official Guide 1923. It makes navigating the 1500+ pages so much easier. What I mean by "indexing" is that there are now bookmarks for all the main railroad and steamship companies - about half of the total - to help you jump to the right place. As a trade-off, we decided not to include absolutely every tiny company to reduce clutter and the work involved.
You can view it here: Timetable World
There are three other Guides available - for 1916, 1927 and 1937 - and there are many more in the pipeline. Let me know if this style of indexing works for you. If we index all the books the same way going forward, then it becomes easy to prepare collections for individual railroad companies across time.
Indexing all the stations would, I know, be really helpful but it is hard to do. We're trying, but OCR doesn't work well.
 

ehbowen

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We're trying, but OCR doesn't work well.
Not to mention that the Official Guide is a mishmash of small print, large print, sideways print, footnotes wherever they might be crammed, and symbols which you won't find anywhere else outside of a typesetter's nightmare...

(speaking as a former typesetter!)
 

railiner

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One of the volunteers helping out at Timetable World has completed indexing the Official Guide 1923. It makes navigating the 1500+ pages so much easier. What I mean by "indexing" is that there are now bookmarks for all the main railroad and steamship companies - about half of the total - to help you jump to the right place. As a trade-off, we decided not to include absolutely every tiny company to reduce clutter and the work involved.
You can view it here: Timetable World
There are three other Guides available - for 1916, 1927 and 1937 - and there are many more in the pipeline. Let me know if this style of indexing works for you. If we index all the books the same way going forward, then it becomes easy to prepare collections for individual railroad companies across time.
Indexing all the stations would, I know, be really helpful but it is hard to do. We're trying, but OCR doesn't work well.
Great effort, well done...congratulations!

Would love it if you would do some Russell's Official National Motor Coach Guide edition. A late 1950's one would be great, as they were very extensive...
 

Willbridge

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Not to mention that the Official Guide is a mishmash of small print, large print, sideways print, footnotes wherever they might be crammed, and symbols which you won't find anywhere else outside of a typesetter's nightmare...

(speaking as a former typesetter!)
And the footnotes are sometimes more interesting than the schedule itself. I have a Pacific Greyhound Lines schedule that shows that a bus will wait for a log train in Northern California on Fridays (the loggers rode into town with their pay).

One treasure I have is the October 1965 Guide which was the last one sent to the Transportation office in Berlin. The German clerks could not understand why the Army had stopped sending them. They had hung onto that copy. They were even more incredulous when I explained to them that effective May 1, 1971 it wasn't going to be worth the cheap paper it was printed on. After that 1965 edition the footnotes might warn of ICC train-off applications or No Checked Baggage.
 

railiner

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And the footnotes are sometimes more interesting than the schedule itself.
Agreed. One of the footnotes that reflects history, is the one in some southern railroads depicting "Jim Crow" laws. Even though I am aware of the history, it is still somewhat shocking to read that certain feature cars were "for white passengers"...
 

Timetable World

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Agreed. One of the footnotes that reflects history, is the one in some southern railroads depicting "Jim Crow" laws. Even though I am aware of the history, it is still somewhat shocking to read that certain feature cars were "for white passengers"...
I haven't found any examples of "for white passengers" so perhaps you can provide an example (a page number)? Timetable World is an archive, and I don't intend suppressing material that is relevant to the way services operated. I did, however, edit out some offensive imagery in an advertisement.
 

ehbowen

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I haven't found any examples of "for white passengers" so perhaps you can provide an example (a page number)? Timetable World is an archive, and I don't intend suppressing material that is relevant to the way services operated. I did, however, edit out some offensive imagery in an advertisement.
Check the listings for the Central of Georgia's Nancy Hanks II passenger train (named after the race horse, which was in turned named after Abraham Lincoln's mother) in the late 1940s through early 1960s. Since it was an entirely intrastate (Georgia) train, it was exempt from the (very weak, but still on the books) anti-discrimination rulings which were (loosely) enforced by the Interstate Commerce Commission...at least up until the Civil Rights Acts in the mid-1960s.
 

railiner

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I know I've seen it in an early '60's ORG, somewhere, but until my new home is completed, I have no access to old Guide's to research....
 

jimdex

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I'm looking an old Official Guide without a cover, but I believe it's from 1953. The Central of Georgia timetable for the Atlanta-Macon-Savanah route has a line in boldface saying "Nancy Hanks II Diesel Powered Coach Streamliner. Seats for white passengers reserved." The timetable for the Atlanta-Columbus Man O' War includes a similar sentence.
 

Timetable World

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I'm looking an old Official Guide without a cover, but I believe it's from 1953. The Central of Georgia timetable for the Atlanta-Macon-Savanah route has a line in boldface saying "Nancy Hanks II Diesel Powered Coach Streamliner. Seats for white passengers reserved." The timetable for the Atlanta-Columbus Man O' War includes a similar sentence.
In the Legacy part of Timetable World we have a 1952 edition, not yet ported to the new platform. I haven't found any pre-War examples.

Do you think that means white people had a reserved section, but non-whites could still join the train?
1608303503686.png
 

jimdex

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In the Legacy part of Timetable World we have a 1952 edition, not yet ported to the new platform. I haven't found any pre-War examples.

Do you think that means white people had a reserved section, but non-whites could still join the train?
View attachment 19802
It means that non-whites could ride the train in a separate, unreserved "Jim Crow" car.
 

ehbowen

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It means that non-whites could ride the train in a separate, unreserved "Jim Crow" car.
That is correct. Often the 'Jim Crow' car was older equipment and non-air-conditioned, although on streamlined trains many railroads attempted to at least keep up appearances. Check the floorplans for the Sunset Limited of 1950 (available in an article on my web site)...all brand-new equipment, but at the front a "Divided" coach with four toilets and a separate seating area. "Divided" cars (almost always coaches) were euphemisms for 'Jim Crow' coaches.

Fun fact: After the Supreme Court handed down a ruling (1947, IIRC) that railroads in interstate service could not prohibit colored passengers from purchasing sleeper tickets, many if not most conductors who encountered a fare-paying colored passenger in a sleeper car would "bump" that passenger up from an open section or berth service (the least expensive form of sleeper travel) to a private room...out of sight, out of mind, y'know. Also, the Galveston Railroad Museum (where I occasionally volunteer) has a dining car in their collection from the 1949 Crescent equipment, built after the Supreme Court decision referenced above. It has two tables at the far end of the car separated from the main seating area by glass partitions. I haven't found a primary reference on this yet, but I'm all but certain that this design was intended to create a segregated seating area for any colored passengers who insisted upon eating in the dining car.
 

Bob Dylan

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That is correct. Often the 'Jim Crow' car was older equipment and non-air-conditioned, although on streamlined trains many railroads attempted to at least keep up appearances. Check the floorplans for the Sunset Limited of 1950 (available in an article on my web site)...all brand-new equipment, but at the front a "Divided" coach with four toilets and a separate seating area. "Divided" cars (almost always coaches) were euphemisms for 'Jim Crow' coaches.

Fun fact: After the Supreme Court handed down a ruling (1947, IIRC) that railroads in interstate service could not prohibit colored passengers from purchasing sleeper tickets, many if not most conductors who encountered a fare-paying colored passenger in a sleeper car would "bump" that passenger up from an open section or berth service (the least expensive form of sleeper travel) to a private room...out of sight, out of mind, y'know. Also, the Galveston Railroad Museum (where I occasionally volunteer) has a dining car in their collection from the 1949 Crescent equipment, built after the Supreme Court decision referenced above. It has two tables at the far end of the car separated from the main seating area by glass partitions. I haven't found a primary reference on this yet, but I'm all but certain that this design was intended to create a segregated seating area for any colored passengers who insisted upon eating in the dining car.
You are correct. I actually ate in a Diner like that as a kid on the Southern Crescent, and the Seperate, but so called Equal Section, was for " Colored Passengers".

And I recall several times when the Diner Steward turned away people of Color by claiming that their Section was "Full" even though no-one was sitting @ those seperate tables. 🤬
 

MARC Rider

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Also, the Galveston Railroad Museum (where I occasionally volunteer) has a dining car in their collection from the 1949 Crescent equipment, built after the Supreme Court decision referenced above. It has two tables at the far end of the car separated from the main seating area by glass partitions. I haven't found a primary reference on this yet, but I'm all but certain that this design was intended to create a segregated seating area for any colored passengers who insisted upon eating in the dining car.
I believe some of the Amtrak heritage dining cars that were in service until fairly recently were of this type.
 

Barb Stout

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I remember my dad who was born and raised in the northern prairie and was not familiar with segregation and the South telling a story about a train trip during his early working life when he had to travel a lot for work when he was booted out of the "colored car" on a train with the explanation that "We're in Texas now".
 

Willbridge

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A few years ago the NRHS national magazine carried the recollections of a Black man who as a kid made annual family trips between Detroit and Jacksonville (?). Because reservations were held in the originating station his through coach was integrated southbound and segregated northbound.

The "we're in Texas now" issue at one time lead to "divided" cars being added or removed from consists near state lines. I have a USRRA MoPac timetable that shows that. "Avoid Waste. Keep this Timetable" it said during WWI, so somebody did, perhaps oblivious to the waste created by Jim Crow.

When the SP&S bought some used L&N coaches to replace their heavyweights on Trains 3/4 (the Mainstreeter / Western Star connection) there were several of us who were puzzled by the dividers. Someone who had been down there explained to us about the South.
 

railiner

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Not sure if they were "Jim Crow" cars, but I recall the C&O having several streamliner cars that had a curved pair of bulkheads in the center of the cars...I don't recall if they had duplicate restrooms at each end. Might have just been an architectural design to "break up" the long open coach space...
 

ehbowen

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You are correct. I actually ate in a Diner like that as a kid on the Southern Crescent, and the Seperate, but so called Equal Section, was for " Colored Passengers".

And I recall several times when the Diner Steward turned away people of Color by claiming that their Section was "Full" even though no-one was sitting @ those seperate tables. 🤬
Found a good reference on the subject. Mostly specific to Texas, but with some spill-over:

 
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