The General Lee Steam Loco is safe for now

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  • Member since
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  • From: Henrico, VA
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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, September 04, 2017 3:42 PM

Great shot of Gene, Wanswheel!  Looks like he stayed in the reserves post-war and eventually was comissioned. Good for him!  Hard to tell from the photo but those look like major's rank insignias on his shoulders.  The officer's Mameluke sword is unmistakable.  Not sure of those insignias under the " Eagles,Globes and Anchors" on his lapels.  Staff insignia, maybe.  Theres nothing displayed under the EGA's nowadays and certainly wasn't in my time 40 years ago.  The fourregere'  on his right shoulder could be an indication of a staff assignment, Marine generals aides typically wear them.

OK, I went deep into the archives here at the "Fortress Firelock" and pulled out a 1917 copy of "National Geographic"  with First World War era American military insignias pictured and explained.  It looks like that mystery insignia Gene's wearing is the old "Adjutant and Inspectors Department" insignia.  It may have been used up to World War Two, I can't find out from any of my reference works, but certainly didn't last past it.  I've never seen any photos of Marine officers wearing it.

One thing's for certain, some Marine general got first-class bragging rights if he had Gene Tunney for an aide/adjutant!

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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, September 04, 2017 6:43 PM

Firelock, on Sept. 24, 1926, the day after the fight in Philadelphia, Major General Lajeune ordered Tunney be commissioned a first lieutenant. He was a captain in 1933, according to the reserve register.

https://archive.org/stream/registerdirector00unit#page/34/mode/2up/search/Tunney

“James J. Tunney, wearing a blue Major's uniform of the Marine Corps branch of the State Naval Militia on Governer Wilbur L. Cross of Connecticut's staff”

https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.503392/2015.503392.autobiography-wilbur#page/n267/mode/2up/search/tunney

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, September 04, 2017 7:01 PM

"...a blue Major's uniform of the Marine Corps branch of the State Naval Militia..."

Well!  That's a new one on me!  I've never heard of such a thing.  Well, as we used to say in the Corps, "It's a wasted day if you haven't learned something new."

Or old, in this case. 

At any rate, it's a much better look at the mystery insignia.  Looks very similar to the US Armys staff insignia.

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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, September 04, 2017 7:15 PM

Dec. 11, 1941. “Bob Feller (C), Cleveland Indians' star pitcher, is sworn into the Navy by Lieutenant Commander Gene Tunney (R), as Chicago recruiting officer Lieutenant David N. Goldenson looks on. Feller got a rating of Chief Boatswain Mate and will assist in the Navy's athletic program.”

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, September 04, 2017 8:15 PM

According to Cleveland legend, Feller brought home with him the telescope he used for anti-aircraft sightings on the U.S.S. Alabama and had it mounted in the scoreboard at League Park.  There, he and a few others in on the scheme (including Lou Boudreau) could observe the visiting team's pitching signs!  Laugh

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, September 04, 2017 11:21 PM

Excerpt from Mutual Benefits and Close Connections: Baseball and America’s Streetcars in the 19th Century by Robert G. Cullen

http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/trnews/trnews266.pdf

Earlier in the century, railroads had established a pivotal relationship with baseball. Trains made it possible for teams to travel hundreds of miles to compete and to bring the games to an expanding pool of spectators. Streetcars, however, could offer a transportation benefit that steam locomotives could not, by carrying spectators directly to the ballparks, further expanding the fan base for games.

The up-and-coming relationship between streetcars and baseball was not coincidental. An estimated 15 percent of the nation’s business leaders in the 19th century were transportation executives. Moreover, transit companies serving a total of 78 cities had some financial stake in professional baseball.

Albert L. Johnson, a streetcar executive who was also a baseball magnate, gave an unsentimental but candid explanation of the synergy. He characterized his own considerable efforts to link streetcars with baseball in Cleveland as a “good investment” and freely admitted to “visions of millions of dollars of profits.”

Johnson’s comments exemplify the unvarnished financial approach taking hold of the business of baseball. More specifically, he voiced the view that capitalizing on baseball was a logical extension of other business interests. Streetcar companies found that their engagements with baseball strengthened their ties with government. The companies could watch over more closely—and safeguard—their stakes in local property values, rights-of-way, and long-term leases.

Johnson and his colleagues addressed a burgeoning grassroots need. The middle and upper-lower classes still had their share of hardscrabble times in the late 19th century, but generally they enjoyed more discretionary income and leisure time than before. Consequently, more of them rode streetcars bound for the ballpark.

The streetcar companies worked to advance and sustain the trend. They built ballparks and leased playing grounds. Several companies subsidized baseball clubs—in the South, Augusta, Birmingham, Charleston, Macon, Mobile, Montgomery, and New Orleans received significant financial backing from companies that sponsored teams. In smaller municipalities as well, streetcar companies often were one of the few sources of local capital that were able to maintain a professional team and became important benefactors.

Streetcar executives in the 1890s, therefore, promoted the construction of ballparks near transit lines. Frank D. Robison, owner of the Cleveland Spiders, built a new park for his team in 1891 at Lexington Avenue and East 66th Street, after the previous park, in another location, was destroyed by fire. The new park—remembered today as League Park I—was situated conveniently near a couple of Robison’s streetcar lines.

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