It is currently Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:18 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 67 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:56 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
Posts: 74
In Romania we still have cars that flush toilet direct onto the tracks. With the interdiciton to use them onto stations.
I wonder if in U.S.A. passanger cars toilets are still sex segragated. In Romania they never were, but this because they where accomodated for only one or maybe two persons.

I wonder if I would have had lived around 1954-1964, been the fathe of a girl and wanted to take her on a locomotive during a ride (she to be dressed in trouses, not in a skirt), how the crew would have had react to it. Some crews did allowed people onto locomotives as I read here, but how the would react to a girl wanting to ride into the cab of a locomotive.

_________________
Train is a way of life.
And a drug.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:36 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 879
Location: MA
Brian Norden wrote:
LeoA wrote:
had woman working in the motor rewinding shop -- and I have heard that the foreman said the women were better than the men at that craft.

After both wars very few women continued in these jobs as the men returned and the expected social norms returned.
women were winding motors years before WWI https://youtu.be/ZugArfKkLnU I guess since it was like sewing or weaving they thought it was good job for women. Remember some of the earliest Factory workers in the industrial revolution were women that's one of the first places to be "automated" where the textile mills.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:38 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 879
Location: MA
co614 wrote:
Back in the "day" it was supposedly asking for bad luck to have a woman in the cab of a steam locomotive on the road. When I started being involved in the mid 1960's there were still some old time hoggers that were VERY uncomfortable having a female in the cab while under way.

Don't know why or how that old superstition started but it was definitely there.

Ross Rowland

Probably because the operator of the train was distracted by the presence of the opposite sex and wasn't paying proper attention to the task at hand.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:40 pm
Posts: 292
Location: San Francisco, CA
I do not see that anyone has mentioned the Brotherhood of Firemen and Engineers; they must have had a big say in this. And I may be wrong; but I do not think the laborer people had a Brotherhood.

If any engineers existed, they were on a back woods short line or logging railroad, especially if she was a company owner or manager.

Ted Miles, retired but still interested.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 697
Termite7 wrote:
Decades ago I befriended an old AT&SF engineer who told me about an experiment to put female engineers in the cabs of locomotives during WW II. He said they could not get past the "need for a regular bathroom" so the idea was dropped. Understandable.
As for black trainmen...they did exist. I have seen a hand-written roster for Southern Railway (pre-WW I) that had all the train crewman listed by name, position and senority. It was divided into two "chapters"...White and Colored. There were fewer black trainmen but there were a good number of them. I can only guess that they did not get the best mainline assignments...but that is only a guess.
I also love to look at all the RPPCs that get listed for sale and over the many years I have seen a number of cards showing African-American crews on steam engines. Those RPPCs are great records of history...and looking is usually free.
T7


There were lots of black brakemen and firemen, particularly in the South. My great uncle was one of them., a locomotive fireman. Black firemen could not join the union because of their color but could accrue seniority, which meant that while they were not promotable, they could hold down premier passenger runs on some roads. That's not to sat there were not black engineers on logging roads, because there were, and some of them operated over Class One railroads.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2578
Location: Northern Illinois
This scholarly work will shed some light on the race aspect:
https://eh.net/book_reviews/good-reliable-white-men-railroad-brotherhoods-1877-1917/

_________________
Dennis Storzek


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:01 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:34 am
Posts: 490
Location: Granby, CT but formerly Port Jefferson, NY (LIRR MP 57.5)
The discussion has wandered a bit from gender to race, but I happen this evening to be reading the book "Logging Railroads of South Carolina" by Thomas Fetters, which touches on just this issue. The author notes the case of the 33-mile Alcolu Railroad, owned by the D.W. Alderman Sons lumber company, which employed black engineers despite technically being a common carrier. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers filed a formal complaint with the State of South Carolina in 1903 protesting the company's employment practices, but the state authorities apparently never took action.

-Philip Marshall


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:55 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:12 am
Posts: 24
Location: Pasadena, CA
I've enjoyed many of the thoughtful posts in this thread. I have a couple of questions:

1.) The mention of the woman engineer on the Southern Pacific (a big, Class 1, common carrier railroad) in the steam era is quite noteworthy. I did an internet search but didn't come up with anything. Does anybody have any more information or suggestions about ways to track down who and where she was?

2.) I knew about the enginemen roster segregation on the railroads in the south. I was under the impression that black engineman on railroads like the Southern could rise as high as they wanted on the fireman seniority list but couldn't go to the engineer's seat. Is that correct?

3.) I would imagine that railroads in the North and West did not keep two segregated rolls of enginemen. Could non-white firemen then be promoted to engineers? Or was the whites-only-as-engineers rule enforced by the unions rather than the railroads in the North and West?

4.) There's been a lot of discussion about World War II drawing men away from domestic jobs. I was under the impression, though that, railroad employees were exempt from the draft because their jobs were essential for the war effort. Was that not the case? Or did many men volunteer for military service, creating a vacuum that needed to be filled by women? The fact that the Santa Fe looked into training women for engine crews would seem to suggest that there was at least a modest lack of enginemen.

_________________
Dan Parks
Southern California Railway Museum Steam Crew


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:38 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1351
If I remember correctly, the issue of 'racism' was more extreme at the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen (which was the Brotherhood for the passed firemen and any who valued their 'history' after advancing to engineer status) -- incidentally I believe the ritual for this organization is the source of the expression 'riding the goat'.

While of course this requires much more careful fact-checking and perhaps scholars' attention, I think treating the Brotherhoods as monolithic on the issue of race, or sex, discrimination may need to be more carefully distinguished.

_________________
R.M.Ellsworth


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:06 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 359
Location: NJ
Great thread.

While not an engineer or fireman my grandmother worked for the Erie Railroad in Paterson, NJ circa 1918 as a Clerk. As soon as she was married the Erie would no longer allow her to work. Seemed to be common practice at that time in that office.

_________________
cv the civil E in NJ


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:31 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 527
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Two notes.

Many industries did not permit married women to work.

Railroading was an essential industry and railroaders could be in Class II-B "Deferred in war production". That said, there was nothing to prevent a railroader from enlisting or accepting a commission. Some railroads formed Railway Operating Battalions or Railway Shop Battalions which conducted rail transportation for the US Army mostly with employees of the sponsoring railroad.

Phil Mulligan


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
Posts: 74
What industries didn't permited married women to work?

_________________
Train is a way of life.
And a drug.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:08 am
Posts: 219
Location: Whitefield, ME
djl wrote:
What industries didn't permited married women to work?


Early on, some school districts did not allow women to teach after marriage.

A small note of interest; though there were no female train service employees on the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington I believe there were a few at different times working at depots as well as in the office in Wiscasset.

That being said, both the WW&F and Nevada County Narrow Gauge claim ‘first female railroad President’ though NRNG was a few years earlier, I believe- the circumstances were similar- their husbands were the railway presidents and they became the railway’s presidents upon their husbands passing.

Steve


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:59 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1118
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Only slightly off topic, the United States Lighthouse Service had several well known female lighthouse keepers who were principal keepers (keeper in charge). Kate Walker and Ida Lewis were the best known keepers. Many other women served at one keeper stations either officially or unofficially as assistant keepers.

Kate Walker married Joseph Walker, an assistant keeper at the Sandy Hook, New Jersey light station in 1884. He was promoted to keeper of the Robbins Reef lighthouse in 1885 (offshore in New York harbor) and he and Kate lived on station (a rare situation-generally the service did not permit women or families at such stations). In 1886, Joseph became ill and was taken ashore for medical care where he died. His dying words to her were "Mind the light, Kate". Kate was kept on as a temporary keeper until the position could be filled. Two or three men were assigned to the station, but none wanted the position and Kate ended up maintaining the station by herself from 1886 until her retirement in 1919. In addition to all of the work of maintaining the station, she raised her son and daughter aboard Robbins Reef. Every school day, she rowed her children to and from the shore so that they could attend school. They had arrangements with friends ashore to care for the children should a storm arise, preventing Kate from picking the children up. In her later years, her daughter kept her company aboard the station and her son would come out to the station on a regular basis to do maintenance that Kate was no longer capable of doing. She also rescued her fair share of boaters who found themselves in distress near the lighthouse. Upon her reaching the USLHS mandatory retirement age in 1919, her son Jacob was appointed keeper.

Ida Lewis tended the Lime Rock lighthouse from 1857 until at her death in 1911. Officially, she was credited with saving 18 lives although other accounts say she could have saved as many as 25 lives. She received official appointment as keeper at Lime Rock in 1879 and was (at the time) the highest paid keeper in the service, receiving an annual salary of $750. The reason given for the keeper of a minor light being the highest paid was the number of lives that she had saved (she was the first woman awarded the rare Gold Lifesaving Medal). She was a media darling of the era and received many letters from fans. In 1924, the State of Rhode Island officially changed the name of Lime Rock to Ida Lewis Rock and the Lighthouse Service changed the name of the lighthouse from Lime Rock to Ida Lewis lighthouse.

_________________
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Female engineers and Firemen in the steam era.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:05 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1118
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Txhighballer wrote:
Termite7 wrote:
Decades ago I befriended an old AT&SF engineer who told me about an experiment to put female engineers in the cabs of locomotives during WW II. He said they could not get past the "need for a regular bathroom" so the idea was dropped. Understandable.
As for black trainmen...they did exist. I have seen a hand-written roster for Southern Railway (pre-WW I) that had all the train crewman listed by name, position and senority. It was divided into two "chapters"...White and Colored. There were fewer black trainmen but there were a good number of them. I can only guess that they did not get the best mainline assignments...but that is only a guess.
I also love to look at all the RPPCs that get listed for sale and over the many years I have seen a number of cards showing African-American crews on steam engines. Those RPPCs are great records of history...and looking is usually free.
T7


There were lots of black brakemen and firemen, particularly in the South. My great uncle was one of them., a locomotive fireman. Black firemen could not join the union because of their color but could accrue seniority, which meant that while they were not promotable, they could hold down premier passenger runs on some roads. That's not to sat there were not black engineers on logging roads, because there were, and some of them operated over Class One railroads.


There were also some black engineers on non-unionized roads-mostly short lines or industrial railroads.

_________________
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 67 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], twofoot and 96 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: