Pennsy Centipede on cover of Green Book

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 10:06 PM

The Smithsonian Channel ran a special on the Green Book last night. You are quite right about the Northern States Flintlock, the dangers were there. Found out about 'sundowner' towns. Did not know about that. Geez.

Kudos to Esso in that era. They hired Black executives and marketing people, chemists and sales reps and encouraged for a lot of Black franchise gas station owners. 

Some here, Dave K and Deggesty come to mind, remember rail travel and how that worked in Jim Crow era states. 

Annual Railroad edition of the Green Book gives mention of Northern Pacific, CB&Q, Southern Pacific, Pennsy and Seaboard so these entities were given the ok and a favourable nod. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 7:07 PM  had an article in Sunday's edition under "Life and Culture"  concerning the "Green Book"  as it pertained to black travelers in the northern states.  Oh yes, there was segregation up there too, although usually not quite as blatent as it was in the south.  The main difference was in the South it was codified by law, in the North it was by custom or "unwritten law."

Long story short, the article said black travelers typically preferred travel by train, even trains subject to "Jim Crow" laws.  On the trains they knew where they stood and were on safe ground.  On the roads they couldn't be sure.

Good article.  You can find it without too much difficulty if you care to read it.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 5:18 PM

You can read the 1951 version by clicking on it. There is no mention of anything political at all, or a rating.  I suppose it's understood that if it's in the book then all is well. 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 11:27 AM

I hadn't realized there were special 'railroad editions'.  Did these cover varying quality of 'Jim Crow' accommodations on the various railroads subject to those laws?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, February 25, 2019 12:13 PM

Thank you so much, Miningman and Mike! The link of The New York Public Library Digital Collections is awesome!!

The original publicity photo of the PRR Centipede is like this: 


This pic was heavily touched up to a degree that I believe all the skirting and extra thick golden strips on the passenger car are fake. But compared to today's "Photoshopping" habit, it wasn't really that serious. At least someone in Pennsy still remembers the Fleet of Modernism livery.  

This one was probably taken in before the end of 1947 since there are quite a lot of FoM dining car and coaches in the yard. The car behind the Baldwin monster was still painted with FoM livery but I am not sure what kinds of car they were behind the PRO (PRO with FoM scheme and skirting?!)

Although the Baldwin DR-12-8-1500/2 was proved a failure, they did looks epic and legit when they were new, no wonder it was on the front page of the Green Book, a helpful book for African American at the time but it also reflected and recorded the dark side of humanity. 

For Pennsy, Baldwin, and Westinghouse, all I want to say is if that if you bought one lot of engine which had serious problems, I would call it bad luck, but if there were failure after failure, the company was probably cursed, penetrated by economic espionage or it was about time to review the management style from the HQ to the frontline.  

If Baldwin DR-12-8-1500/2 or the original 6000hp single unit was a successful example, at least the railroading world at the time would not be flooding with slant nose/bulldog nose EMD E series. If I was a regular of the 20th Century Limited, I would at least try the Broadway behind this gigantic streamliner one time.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, February 25, 2019 10:16 AM

I trust that you're aware of the reason for the existence of the Green Book.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Miningman on Monday, February 25, 2019 10:15 AM

Of course the title of the Oscars Best Movie award winner .

The Green Book was published for black folk to aid in travelling around during the Jim Crow era. Not all restaurants, gas stations, motels, hotels and such were friendly and would refuse service.

The Green Book was published to identify places that Blacks would be welcome and avoid difficulties. 

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Pennsy Centipede on cover of Green Book
Posted by Miningman on Monday, February 25, 2019 8:10 AM


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