American Passenger Trains and Locomotives Illustrated by Mark Wegman

By Mark Wegman

The interval from the Nineties to the mid-1950s is mostly thought of the “golden period” of passenger rail shuttle in America.  It was once a time of celebrated locomotives and lush passenger provider, a time while rail know-how observed its maximum advances and railroads grew to become the nation’s preferred mode of transportation.   those glory years come alive in American Passenger Trains and Locomotives Illustrated, 1889–1971.  For this quantity, writer and illustrator Mark Wegman has researched unique railroad drawings and sometimes even paint chips to render greater than one hundred sixty profiles, entrance and best perspectives, and inside layouts depicting the steam, diesel, and electrical locomotives, besides passenger vehicles, of 3 dozen of the nation’s so much celebrated trains of the golden age.  Accompanying the author’s drawings are histories of every educate, interval pictures, postcards, menus, baggage stickers, classic print advertisements, and unique captions.  The booklet is a lavishly appointed trip again in time to the bygone heyday of passenger-train travel.

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Evoking the memory of her grandfather as a soldier and patriot, Jennings made her status as a ‘‘native’’ New Yorker and her heritage of citizenship the basis for her dissent. In the weeks following the incident, Jennings’s defenders also framed their arguments in terms of citizenship and respectability. ’’∞∂ By emphasizing her status, they hinted that segregation along the color line was ridiculous when no segregation along class lines was enforced. This argument did little to advocate for poor or working-class black women carrying their own loads on the same cars.

The Supreme Court’s 1883 nullification of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 opened the floodgates of both formal and informal discriminatory policies, making African Americans’ legal standing even more tenuous. Schoolteacher, journalist, and frequent rail passenger Ida B. Wells was startled when she was asked to get up and move to the smoker in the fall of 1883. She had regularly traveled the same route and had always been permitted to ride with whites. Wells fought hard to stay in the car, biting the conductor’s hand and holding onto her seat for dear life just as Frederick Douglass had done forty years earlier.

The Supreme Court institutionalized legal segregation, making the phrase ‘‘separate but equal’’ the new standard. Indeed, Plessy opened the floodgates of southern segregation. Plessy’s prominence, however, has left many people with the mistaken notion that segregation began at that moment and that it was really just a southern problem. Lost is the collective understanding that Jim Crow segregation began long before Plessy and far from the trains of New Orleans. ∞ In New York City, the heart of urban America in 1854, Elizabeth Jennings, a young schoolteacher and church organist, was ejected from a white car on her way to church.

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