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Erie Railroad's herald

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Erie Railroad's herald
Posted by NKP guy on Friday, August 19, 2022 8:57 AM

   Does anyone know the approximate year the Erie RR began using its famous circle within a diamond herald?  I've seen it in photographs as far back as c.1900; any evidence it was used earlier than that?

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Posted by timz on Friday, August 19, 2022 11:33 AM

Have you looked in the pre-1900 Official Guides? A bunch of them are online at timetableworld.com, and also at naotc.org .

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 20, 2022 7:44 AM

I've seen that Erie herald on photos of boxcars from 1912.  Just when  they began applying it to locomotives I'm not sure but I have seen  photos of Erie locomotives from the 1920's where the herald's been applied to the tenders. 

I did find a reference that the logo goes back as far as 1891 but nothing about when it came into 100% usage. 

I've just checked one of my books and there's some roster shots of Erie Mikados from 1923 and "Erie" is spelled out on the tenders, no "circle in the square" logo. The book also has roster shots of Erie K5 Pacifics also built in 1923 and "Erie" is spelled out on the tenders as well.  There's also some photos of Erie locomotives from the 1890's and "Erie Railroad" is spelled out on the tenders. There's a line drawing of an Erie 2-10-0 Camelback displayed at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition and the tender's lettered "N.Y.L.E.&W." 

I'm guessing the "Erie Diamond" came into universal usage sometime in the late 1920's but I can't nail down a specific date.

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Posted by NKP guy on Sunday, August 21, 2022 7:38 PM

Thanks to you both.

I spent some time looking at Official Guides and found that the Erie Diamond is first seen in the 1889 edition.  The next earliest Official Guide available is dated 1881 and it does not have that logo or herald.  The answer to my question seems to be sometime in the 1880's; certainly by 1889.  Is it likely the same herald began showing up on locomotives, rolling stock and elsewhere about the same time?  I'll be studying old photographs looking for support for my thesis, but so far I haven't seen any pre-1920 examples.

Thanks to timz for giving me a good resource to use researching this question.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, August 22, 2022 7:21 AM

NKP guy
 I'll be studying old photographs looking for support for my thesis, but so far I haven't seen any pre-1920 examples.

Neither have I.  Good luck in your search!  And let us know if you find anything.

Jeez, it's at times like this I really miss Wanswheel...  Crying

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Posted by NKP guy on Monday, August 22, 2022 8:42 AM

Flintlock76
Jeez, it's at times like this I really miss Wanswheel...  

Amen.

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Posted by timz on Monday, August 22, 2022 12:11 PM

Google or someone has scanned lots of 1880s Official Guides. Go to naotc.org and click on the "Official Guides" link on the left side of the page that comes up.

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Posted by NKP guy on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 10:54 AM

   Re-checking, I find the herald appears in the Oct-Dec. 1888 Official Guide (and thereafter).  It does not appear in the 1886 OG; the 1887 OG is missing or unavailable.  So it seems the date is 1888 or maybe 1887.

   Now, back to looking at old Erie photos.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 12:21 PM

NKP guy
 Now, back to looking at old Erie photos.

Right, that's what I had to do.

The only thing I can guess, and I don't like guessing, is the "Erie Diamond" started becoming universal on locomotives after 1925 and was universal (I'm sure there were exceptions) by 1930. 

I went deep into the archives here at the Fortress Flintlock and pulled out my copy of "Men of Erie" by Edward Hungerford (1946) but Hungerford says nothing about it.  Plenty about everything else though!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 5:06 PM

1927!!!

I picked up a copy of Westing and Staufer's classic "Erie Power" and found the answer!  The Erie circle in the diamond herald on locomotives was first applied to the S Class Berkshires when they arrived on the property in 1927.  We can assume it was applied to the other engines on the roster as they came in for rebuilds.

So there we go!  Big Smile

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Posted by NKP guy on Sunday, January 28, 2024 4:23 PM

My question was When did the Erie adopt the herald; the answer seems to be, in the 1880's.  But I never considered when the Erie started applying it to their locomotives; and does that mean rolling stock in general?

What page(s) are you citing in Erie Power

It seems the Van Sweringens took ownership sometime about 1925 or so.  Your theory makes sense to me. A change in management would be a fine time for an updating, not only in motive power and facilities, but in look.  In the meantime, I'm once again studying the old (pre-1927) photographs...and finding nothing to disprove your point.  

 

 

 

 

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 8:59 AM

It did happen that a railroad would have a herald/logo it used in advertising, or in it's stationary, etc. for a long time before it started putting it on rolling stock or engines. My freelance "St.Paul Route" model railroad uses a herald and slogan ("Route of the Famous Lake Superior Limited") based on what the real St.Paul and Duluth RR used in print ads, railroad stationary, etc. in the 1880s-90s but AFAIK never used on any railroad equipment.

In general in the USA, it seems like before about 1920 the most common lettering style for engines was to have the railroad initials on the side of the cab, and the locomotive number painted in large numbers on the side of the tender. I've read references to that style in British railway literature as being the "American Style" (as opposed to the British way, where the railroad name or initials were on the tender and the engine number on the cab).

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 10:12 AM

The USRA (1918-1920) put numbers on cab sides with the big "U.S." on the tender.  I think a lot of railroads just got used to that arrangement.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 11:20 AM

NKP guy
What page(s) are you citing in Erie Power? 

On page 170 in the chapter titled "2-8-4 Berkshires."  The first Erie Berkshires ( S Class on the Erie) came from Alco in 1927.  And as I've said in earlier posts it wasn't unusal to see the the "Erie Diamond" on rolling stock like boxcars around the turn of the 20th Century.  

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Posted by NKP guy on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 8:13 PM

Thanks to Flintlock & rcdrye I have a much better picture of how this herald-on-the-rolling-stock thing developed. Your observations make perfect sense to me.

It hadn't occurred to me that the freight cars would carry it before the locomotives.

So it seems to have taken from 1889 until 1927 for the herald to become ubiquitous on things Erie.

 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, February 1, 2024 1:30 PM

It kinda makes sense. Newspaper ads about the railroad could use a herald to attract the eye. A boxcar with a attractive herald and catchy advertising slogan is kind of a rolling ad for the railroad, potentially seen around the whole country. Engines before recent run-thru and power/time-sharing agreements were only seen on the home road, so just got the basics.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Saturday, February 24, 2024 11:26 AM

The January 1888 Official Guide has the diamond logo in the Erie section. I've also come across an Erie timetable effective August 1887 which did not have the diamond logo. So most likely the diamond logo came into being between the last quarter 1887-early 1888.

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