Writing Thesis on Cabooses, Looking for Material

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Writing Thesis on Cabooses, Looking for Material

  • Hello Railroading fans,

     I am in my last semester in college and currently writing my thesis on the topic 'The Caboose - A North American Icon'. I found some articles already (including one very good one by John Kelly in the Trains Magazine), but I'm sure there's plenty more material out there that I have missed during my research. 

     If you know good sources of information, articles, books, anything on the history of the caboose, the different types and especially its emotional value as a classic american icon, I'd be very very grateful if you could share them with me! Any pointer is welcome...

     Thank you very much!

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  • As far as iconic goes, you may wish to include some reference to Delaware & Hudson caboose #10.  It was in that 4-wheel bobber in 1883 that the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (union) was formed.  This became one of the most powerful of all labor unions, and later became part of today's U.T.U.    This formation of the union in Oneonta, NY was seen as so historic that the caboose itself was preserved for display.  I think that BRT used to issue medallions with that caboose depicted upon it.  You can start research on this here:



    With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost. William Lloyd Garrison
  •  Thank you, I will definitely look into that!

  •      If you haven't already done so, take a look at the book The Railroad Caboose by William F. Knapke with Freeman Hubbard published by Golden West Books in 1968. It's well illustrated and contains a lot of information about cabooses from the 1800s into the 1960s.

  • My thesis is well on its way, thank you for your help!
  • Hi,

    By the way, I wrote my PhD in history on a railroad related topic.

    I think the following sources will be very useful for you:

    John H. White. The American Railroad Freight Car: From the Wood-Car Era to the Coming of Steel. (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. 1995) ISBN 0-8018-5236-6

    B.A. Botkin & Alvin F. Harlow. A Treasury of Railroad Folklore. (New York: Bonanza Books. 1953) ISBN:0-517-168685 - especially see pages 344 - 350 "the Caboose"

    Good Luck!