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 Post subject: Jim Crow History, Eastern Rail Road, Salem Mass.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:48 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
A few weeks ago the Washington Post ran an interesting (to me) piece on the history of "Jim Crow". It found that the term originated much earlier than Reconstruction, and that the term was in fact first applied to railroad coaches, and at the very beginning of the railroad era.

There were a series of conflicts, court cases, and legislative initiatives in the 1840s related to Jim Crow segregation in Massachusetts.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/magazine/wp/2019/02/20/feature/the-forgotten-northern-pre-civil-war-origins-of-jim-crow/?utm_term=.2d66532e8582

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 Post subject: Re: Jim Crow History, Eastern Rail Road, Salem Mass.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:47 pm
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If you want to read more about Jim Crow as it relates to rail transportation, check out Right to Ride by Dr. Blair Kelley. It covers both railroad and streetcar segregation.

https://www.amazon.com/Right-Ride-Streetcar-Boycotts-Citizenship/dp/080787101X


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 Post subject: Re: Jim Crow History, Eastern Rail Road, Salem Mass.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:10 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:13 am
Posts: 46
Here in Australia (and probably elsewhere) a jim crow is a rail bender. They had to stop calling it a jim crow when US servicemen came here during WW2 and worked on the railways, to not cause any offence.


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 Post subject: Re: Jim Crow History, Eastern Rail Road, Salem Mass.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:54 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
Posts: 314
Location: Ipswich, UK
kew wrote:
Here in Australia (and probably elsewhere) a jim crow is a rail bender. They had to stop calling it a jim crow when US servicemen came here during WW2 and worked on the railways, to not cause any offence.


Certainly used in the UK as well for something similar. My late Father said that the tool they used to use to straighten bent trolley poles on the local trolleybus fleet was known as a "Jim Crow" as well - and that was post WW2.
Presumably the manufacturers trade name for the product?

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 Post subject: Re: Jim Crow History, Eastern Rail Road, Salem Mass.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:59 am 

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 Post subject: Re: Jim Crow History, Eastern Rail Road, Salem Mass.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:57 pm
Posts: 76
A jim crow is the usual name of an old fashioned rail bender in the UK as well. I wonder about the origins of the name, both elements have connotations of force. The tool itself consists of a large half moon clamp with two arms to grip the rail and a large square thread worm screw to drive the bending head against the rail, driven by something like a six foot 2" diameter bar driven by as many men as can get a hold.

Jim = jimmy or jemmy, a well known burglars tool for forcing doors, occasionally found in the phrase, " to jimmy a locked drawer". Also, a jimmy, or "firemans friend" (fireman = stoker) is a nefarious device, sometimes a clamp, which fits across a blastpipe to sharpen the blast and therefore the steaming of a sickly engine. They were reckoned to put a strain on the tubes so woe betide you if the shed foreman catches you. Professionally made ones were advertised as "removable in seconds". Guess why.

Crow - crow bar. To crow over, in railway speak, to force something, often rails, over to a new alignment with bars.

At any rate, a device to force something extremely tough to do something it is not inclined to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Jim Crow History, Eastern Rail Road, Salem Mass.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
Great Western wrote:


That was a common term for capstans in the US at one time, as in use they broke the rope fibers and got covered with curly little hairs.

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 Post subject: Re: Jim Crow History, Eastern Rail Road, Salem Mass.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:55 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
Great Western wrote:


I first heard that term used in reference to the turret of a steam locomotive.


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