Experiencing Coach Class in 1910s & Personal Hygiene in 1910s?

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, January 18, 2020 7:38 AM

The little morons currupted the sign-in system yesterday. But I am still signed in on the phone.  Go figure!

The "official" site has a timeline of events that says the organized 'masked robbing' took place between 11:00pm and midnight, which is several hours after the accident and presumably after most of the fires had done their worst.  There are reports that injured passengers were 'killed' for their money and valuables, but this raises a further question: why were victims still 'out there' wholesale?

In a form of triage, the 'early responders' seem to have been bringing up only the worst injured; the others were apparently arranged in a row down in the ravine (pending removal?) and it was there that opportunity evidently became too overwhelming to the yeggs, whoever they were, who went home, 'masked up', and raided the scene.

Becky mentioned a book on train wrecks in Ohio that recounted the story of one young man who had put valuables into various parts of his clothing.  He was 'rolled' repeatedly for money and other valuables, but the thieves missed his 'heirloom watch'.

 

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Posted by York1 on Saturday, January 18, 2020 8:42 AM

Electroliner 1935
When I was there, I slept in a feather down bed with a chamber pot under the bed. And it had a lid.

Your description of the house is exactly like my grandparents' house.  The cob stove in the kitchen was the heat for the whole house.  The parlor heater was never used that I remember.

You were lucky to have a pot under the bed.  I didn't get one of those.  I had to run outside, down the path, to the outhouse.

It was spooky at night.  I made sure to never drink anything after supper, and go to the outhouse right before bedtime.

There was never anything better than waking up on a freezing morning, and running downstairs to the kitchen to warm up at Grandma's stove as she cooked.

John  --  Saints Fan  

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, January 18, 2020 10:47 AM

When I was in the fifth grade and my brother Tommy was in the seventh grade, we spent six weeks in the spring on a farm--kerosene lamps, draw water using a windlass, outhouse, range in the kitchen. That summer, REA was able to come through. In the fall fall, we spent three weeks on the same farm--electric lights and range, indoor plumbing, and telephone (the telephone line came through near the electric line). I was invited once to try milking a cow, but did not do well so I was not invited again (I understood the basics, even those of stripping, but just could not apply them). 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, January 18, 2020 7:01 PM

Flintlock76
the Forum's gone berserk

Yeah I suspect my post just vanished into the ether.  I don't think it was moderated or anything, it just vanished.  I did type it on the day that the forums were supposed to be "read-only".  I'm just too lazy to type it over again.  Wink

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, January 18, 2020 7:52 PM

I hear you!  I posted some fine examples of my usual wit and brilliance yesterday, now vanished.  Trouble is I forget what I said.  Whistling

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Saturday, January 18, 2020 8:58 PM

Penny Trains

 

Flintlock76
the Forum's gone berserk

Yeah I suspect my post just vanished into the ether.  I don't think it was moderated or anything, it just vanished.  I did type it on the day that the forums were supposed to be "read-only".  I'm just too lazy to type it over again.  Wink

 

 
I had a reply on the Classic Trains forum disappear as well, but it probably wasn't as long as your post - would have liked to have been able to read it.
 
OTOH, some of the threads on these forums have thusands of replies, so it is not surprising that the software gets a workout. Fortunately haven't had the recent problems with logging in, but like Wayne had to get a new handle from the problems in December 2018 when trying to change my email address (Wayne had a similar problem then as well).
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, January 18, 2020 9:09 PM

Yeah Erik, when I retired and lost my company computer I had to start all over again, so "Firelock" went away and "Flintlock" took his place. 

I don't know about the threads getting thousands of replies, but they always seem to have a lot more "Views" than "Replies."  Maybe that's a good thing, who knows just how much work the software can handle?   

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Posted by MARTIN STATION on Saturday, January 18, 2020 10:11 PM

    I guess if everyone only bathed once a week, everyone for the most part smelled the same and you just didn't notice it. Growing up I went to a school in the country that was next to a hog farm and with no air conditioning the windows had to remain open most of the day, but after awhile you didn't notice the smell because you just got used to  it. The same with all your sweaty classmates after recess.

    I always thought about how bad the fly problem must of been in town. After all there were still a lot of horses being used then and what they left in the street or at the hitching post had to attract lots of flies. Before a/c people would have to leave their windows and doors open and even with screens you couldn't keep everything out. Even as a kid I could remember being yelled at when entering or leaving the house, "hurry up! you'll let the flies in"!

   I remember reading in the Little House On The Prairie books about the time that they went to vist Pa when he was working for the railroad. The train stopped to allow everyone onboard  to eat at a hotel and Laura remembered the food on the tables covered with screen cage covers to keep the flies off the food. 

   Maybe not so much "the good old days". But with everything moving so slow one smell they probably didn't have to deal with was the "dead skunk in the middle of the road"!

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Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:32 AM

I worked part time at a Sears garage. One of my co-workers was also a part timer. His full time job was at the sewage treatment plant. I guess he didn't notice the smell. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, January 19, 2020 6:57 PM

MARTIN STATION
The train stopped to allow everyone onboard to eat at a hotel

Reminds me of the story (legend?) of how the Harvey Houses got started.  The trains would stop and just a minute or two after the passengers got their beans they'd have to dash back to the train.  So they just scraped the plates back in the pots and waited for the next train to show up.  Travelers owe a lot to Fred Harvey!  Dinner  Now we just need an airline equivalent.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, January 19, 2020 7:14 PM

I think I read somewhere the Harvey House organization got so sophisticated they had printed menus on the trains, passengers would make their selections and give them to the conductor.  The conductor handed them off at the next station to the telelgrapher who'd relay the menu selections down the line to the next station with a Harvey House.  When the train pulled in the meals were waiting. 

Eventually Harvey House moved on to the Santa Fe trains themselves.  "Great Fred Harvey meals!" it used to say in the Santa Fe ads.

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, January 19, 2020 8:10 PM

In 1973, my wife, her threee childrem, and I went to Albuquerque and back. Going from Chicago to Albuquerque, the dining car steward was an old hand who knew what to do, what not to do--and what he could do. Later, I wished I had asked him if we could eat in the Turquoise Room. While we were at table for dinner, he took a picture of the five of us.  Going back to Chicago, the steward obviously was new, and knew only what was required and what was forbidden.

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Posted by NKP guy on Sunday, January 19, 2020 8:43 PM

   Fred Harvey believed in giving his customers their money's worth, but only their money's worth.  His last words are reputed to have been "Slice the ham thinner."

   That being said, Fred Harvey's English Oak Room in the Cleveland Union Terminal was, hands down, the finest restaurant in which I have ever dined.  

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, January 20, 2020 7:54 PM

Luckily, you still can.  https://executivecaterers.com/venue/the-oak-room/

Not Fred Harvey though I'm sure the food is still quite spectacular.

My favorite restaurant in the world is this one right here:

 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 20, 2020 9:26 PM

Until Becky fixes the link: she's referring to Cinderella's Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, January 27, 2020 3:45 PM

divebardave
So getting on a wooded un-airconditioned coach car in farm country with wood benches and a bucket for a toilet. like Vermont or Nebraska must have been hell with the smoking and people who only bathed once a month in addition to layers and layers of clothing.

Not sure where you're getting this from. In 1910 passenger car seats were generally covered in plush, some might have wicker (though I think that was more common in streetcars). In 1910 flush toilets were over a half-century old, and railroad cars had restrooms not that different from what we'd see now. The toilets did flush down onto the tracks, hence the "passengers will please refrain from flushing toilets while the train is standing in the station" warning.

Daily washing was perhaps more common than daily bathing - some Victorian doctors warned that bathing was bad for you, plus many urban people didn't have access to bathtubs - but the idea that everyone X number of years back was so much dirtier than today is really nonsense. People haven't changed for thousands of years, what bothers us now bothered people in the past.

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, January 27, 2020 4:21 PM

wjstix

 

 
divebardave
So getting on a wooded un-airconditioned coach car in farm country with wood benches and a bucket for a toilet. like Vermont or Nebraska must have been hell with the smoking and people who only bathed once a month in addition to layers and layers of clothing.

 

Not sure where you're getting this from. In 1910 passenger car seats were generally covered in plush, some might have wicker (though I think that was more common in streetcars). In 1910 flush toilets were over a half-century old, and railroad cars had restrooms not that different from what we'd see now. The toilets did flush down onto the tracks, hence the "passengers will please refrain from flushing toilets while the train is standing in the station" warning.

Daily washing was perhaps more common than daily bathing - some Victorian doctors warned that bathing was bad for you, plus many urban people didn't have access to bathtubs - but the idea that everyone X number of years back was so much dirtier than today is really nonsense. People haven't changed for thousands of years, what bothers us now bothered people in the past.

 

Thumbs Up

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, January 27, 2020 7:41 PM

wjstix

 

 
divebardave
So getting on a wooded un-airconditioned coach car in farm country with wood benches and a bucket for a toilet. like Vermont or Nebraska must have been hell with the smoking and people who only bathed once a month in addition to layers and layers of clothing.

 

Not sure where you're getting this from. In 1910 passenger car seats were generally covered in plush, some might have wicker (though I think that was more common in streetcars). In 1910 flush toilets were over a half-century old, and railroad cars had restrooms not that different from what we'd see now. The toilets did flush down onto the tracks, hence the "passengers will please refrain from flushing toilets while the train is standing in the station" warning.

Daily washing was perhaps more common than daily bathing - some Victorian doctors warned that bathing was bad for you, plus many urban people didn't have access to bathtubs - but the idea that everyone X number of years back was so much dirtier than today is really nonsense. People haven't changed for thousands of years, what bothers us now bothered people in the past.

 

In the 1850's, passenger seats were becoming much more sophisticated than wood benches. I do not have my (reproduced) copy of an 1852 Guide here, but at least one advertisement for seats showed an upholstered seat that had springs. As I recall, the seat was supposed to prevent your feeling that your bones had been beaten in a bag.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, January 27, 2020 7:44 PM

The 1890s RR growth was very fast.  I can imagine that many secondary routes had pre and just post civil cars in use.  Plush probably only the very 1st class trains.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 9:30 AM

Plush was quite common in ordinary coaches by 1910, and the fabrics used were incredibly tough.  On streetcars rattan was preferred by most companies, until women started getting their stockings caught. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 11:48 AM

NKP:  I posted this some years ago regarding Cleveland's Oak Room.  !957 - !967, work-place was Bolt Beranek and Newman's Cambridge, MA office.  Had jobs and a few conventions in St. Louiis, Indianapolis, Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus.  Return trip was usually coach to Cleveland, then a sleeper on the New England States to Boston.  Regular was dinner between trains in the Oak Room with Walter Holtkamp (Senior), Cleveland organ builder, third generation.  (His grandson, the fifth generation, Chris Holtkamp, runs the still-successful company today.)  We exchnanged lots of ideas.  One evening was devoted to Corpus Christe R. C. Church near Col. U., with how the choir hears the organ and how both are in balance for the congregation were worked out.  Living in NY 1970 - 1996, once a month "Music Before 1800" concerts, Louise Basbas director, were a must for me at that church.  They are still going strong.  Good music and good food and beautiful surroundings go well together.

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Posted by Ulrich on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 2:09 PM

Personal hygiene is a relatively recent phenomenon. 100+ years ago people didn't bathe daily, brush their teeth, and deodorant and other hygiene products were simply not available. The good old days.. bad teeth and horrible BO.. on trains and everywhere else. 

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 2:43 PM

Ddin't the Romans have hot running water and public baths? Wasn't Penn Station's concourse based on the Roman baths at Caracalla? (sp) Also, regarding flush toilets- they were invented by one Thomas Crapper in England. Today at Kings Cross station in London there is a pub called the Parcel Yard. It's a fairly new place. The toilets are reproductions from way back when and are labelled for Thomas Crapper. His invention along with indoor plumbing in general had a good effect on life expectency back then.  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 4:58 PM

The Romans had public baths all right, and quite sophisticated ones.  Hot running water?  I'm not so sure about that.  Running water in the wealthier homes, I believe so.  Everyone else went to public fountains for water, there was plenty of those, and it was good  water as well.  

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 6:04 PM

Flintlock76
I'm not so sure about that.

Look up 'caldarium' and you will be.

But that's hot and cold bath water (see 'hypocausts' to see how the hot water got that way).  That's not hot and cold taps.  For that you require pressure.  The Romans had all the technology (see inverted siphons) to build such a system, gravity-pressurized and sealed with tasty lead, but to my knowledge didn't use it for hot potable water...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 8:22 PM

Caldariums and hypocausts.  Right, I watched a documentary a few years ago about the Baths of Caracalla that described exactly that, even showed the ruins of the same.  

I was sure the Romans didn't have hot water from a tap, but if they had cold water from a tap, by whatever means, that wouldn't surprise me.  

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 8:54 PM

Those times were still having water systems in many places that were not really potable.  There were many locations that the best drink was c2h5oh.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 9:04 PM

Flintlock76
I watched a documentary a few years ago about the Baths of Caracalla that described exactly that, even showed the ruins of the same.

Probably the one I'm thinking of where they built a small replica?  I remember they had hot coals under the floor in the one I saw.  Probably a Nova episode btw.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 10:28 PM

Ulrich

Personal hygiene is a relatively recent phenomenon. 100+ years ago people didn't bathe daily, brush their teeth, and deodorant and other hygiene products were simply not available. The good old days.. bad teeth and horrible BO.. on trains and everywhere else. 

Lifebuoy Soap radio ads from the '30s were famous for the "B.O." foghorn, so the shift in personal hygeine was definitely taking place by 1930. I would suspect that air conditioned trains also helped as people weren't sweating as much in transit.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 8:51 AM

Penny Trains

 

 
Flintlock76
I watched a documentary a few years ago about the Baths of Caracalla that described exactly that, even showed the ruins of the same.

 

Probably the one I'm thinking of where they built a small replica?  I remember they had hot coals under the floor in the one I saw.  Probably a Nova episode btw.

 

I don't remember anyone building a replica on the show I watched, it was more of a walk-through the ruins and a "this-did-that" and "this-was-that" show.

Doing some follow up research last night I learned the Baths lasted until the 9th Century AD, the buildings that is, not the bath function, and were wrecked by an earthquake.  Much of the masonry was removed for other building projects, not uncommon in those days, leaving what we see now. 

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