Because while writing about wide nose variations I realized there also didn’t really exist such a catalog of non-wide cabs. Conventional road-switchers only!
Except for the railroad custom jobs at the end, standard cabs are not being built new since the 1990s. However, so many were sold over the years that they remain ubiquitous in all situations other than the lead unit on a mainline train: trailing power, locals, switching; not to mention museum-pieces.
Early high nose
The classic, original EMD look of the 1950s. Used on early road-switchers such as the GP7, GP9, GP18, etc.
Early low nose
Used on a very small number of GP9s, and then on GP18, GP20, etc. The factory low nose sloped downward from back to front. I have seen divided and undivided windshields, not sure if both are original or not.
Early, chopped nose
Most of the low-nose first generation EMD’s are the result of modification by the owners. These vary wildly in appearance depending on who rebuilt them and when.
Unique design, never used again, but serving as a transitional model between the generations before and after.
If you think that looks unusual, check out the high hood version:
Standard, aka “Spartan” Cab
This is the normal basic EMD cab, the face of US railroading for decades. Introduced with the GP35 in 1963 and used up through the SD70.
Final models (SD70s, some SD60s and GP60s) have a housing on the side of the nose for the “ICE” (Integrated Cab Electronics).
Standard, high nose
Associated with Southern and N&W. Considered more crashworthy than the low version. (It was also cheaper for a long time) These kept their high short hoods well into the NS era.
Elongated nose to hold early radio control equipment. Used only on SD40-2 – taking advantage of the model’s long frame.
Used only for demonstration units, this is the standard cab with the edges rounded off.
GE’s standard cabs had generally stubbier noses than their EMD counterparts.
There are probably more variations than shown here, but one so rarely encounters older GEs that I’ve never had a reason to try to learn more about it than this.
Early version, low nose
Characteristic of U-boats, Dash-7s. Short, “round but square” nose, rounded roof.
The side view shows how short the nose really is:
Note the first model, the U25B, had a longer nose than its successors.
Early version, high nose
Southern ordered their GE’s with a high nose, because of course they did.
Transitional design used on early Dash-8s. The nose is more like the next version, but the round roof is still round. Notice the roof is lower than than body behind it.
Seen on Dash-8s and the small number of Dash-9s that were not built with wide cabs. The roof is angled instead of round, and matches the height of the overall body. The nose has sharper angles and is not as blunt as the Dash-7 version.
All of these are museum pieces now, but relevant in the history of road-switcher design.
Used on RS-1, RS-2, RS-3, etc., all the way back to 1941. These were by far the most popular ALCO models, so this is the look usually associated with the builder. The short hood is the same height as the long hood, but the cab is notably taller than both.
Later models are “rounder” than the RS-1.
1st version, chopped
No low-nose alternative was offered for these early ALCOs. But like their EMD counterparts, they ended up getting chopped every which way, resulting in a snoot almost like an SD40-2.
2nd version, high
Starting with the RS-11 they made the hood as tall as the cab, and changed the shape of the nose.
2nd version, low
The lowered version of the same nose as above. There appear to have been both one- and two- window variants.
The length of the nose compared to its height is truly crocodilian, especially on the 6-axle RSD-15. The “Alligator” is disproportionately famous for a model that sold only in the double digits.
On the even less successful RS-27, they shortened the nose down to a mere stub of its former self.
The Century Series featured a totally new look. They simplified the look of the nose, and angled the front windows. Most models had a very short GE-like nose. The C420 had a different, longer nose than the others.
Santa Fe CF7 Cab
The CF7 program to rebuild F-Units into a road-switcher involved an oddly proportioned parody of the standard EMD cab. Both rounded and angular roofs were used.
NS Admiral Cab
This is used by NS for some of their rebuilds. It is similar to the EMD standard cab, but with sharper edges, higher number boards (which go above the roof), and windows angled outwards (from bottom to top).
CSX “Dash 3” Cab
Some of CSX’s rebuilds use this blocky design which is very controversial among railfans.
Similarities to the cab used on various NRE Genset models have been noted, but they are not so identical as to suggest that CSX simply bought the cabs from NRE.
There have been several flavors of wide-nose / wide-cab designs over the years. I have not seen a site that has pictures of all on one page. So here they are in rough chronological order.
This article covers only hood unit and cowl units. Carbodies and monocoque designs are a different subject altogether.
The earliest version from 1967 had no crash safety benefits over a standard cab, and was designed purely for aesthetic reasons. Used on the FP45, F45, DDA40X.
Passenger-only no-steps version
This was similar to the first design, but lacked stairways and handrails. Used most notably on the ill-fated SDP40F of 1973, and F40C.
The first ones built had a nose almost exactly like the FP45:
On subsequent units the point of the nose, where the door was, was flattened.
When the SDP40F was put into freight service as the SDF40-2, stairs and cutouts in the nose were added.
Unique and unmistakable for anything else, especially by EMD. The F40PH of 1975 featured a much simpler nose design than its older cousins, and became the face of Amtrak for the next 20 years.
GE, like EMD, produced wide-nosed cowl units for passenger service. Unlike the EMD counterparts, these appear to be one-offs, not part of the overall evolution of cab design. Not very many of these were ever built, and none survive.
Canadian Comfort Cab
The true “Canadian” Cab was created by CN in 1973. This was the first cab that was designed with crew safety in mind. All units with this design were originally sold in Canada but a number have been resold to US railroads and can be seen on shortlines and lease fleets.
For many years, US railfans tended to call almost any freight locomotive with a wide nose a “Canadian Cab”, as wide nose designs didn’t catch on down here until the early 90s.
The actual Canadian version can easily be distinguished by the four front window panes. Unlike the earlier (and most later) EMD designs, these windows are vertical rather than slanted back.
CN continued to order these from multiple manufacturers into the 90s, when they switched to the same 2-window models as US railroads.
Used on GP38-2W, GP40-2LW, GP40-2W, SD40-2W, possibly others.
Differs from the contemporaneous EMD design by the shape of the windows.
Looks very similar to the EMD one, but on a GE locomotive. Used on C40-8M, C44-9LW, possibly others.
Unmistakable 3-window design. Otherwise very similar to the Canadian cab. Introduced circa 1988 and used for the SD40-2F, F59PH, and the earliest orders of SD60M. This can still be seen on mainline freights, but is rare and much sought after by railfans.
EMD North American Safety Cab
The most numerous EMD variation, starting in 1990. “North American” means the cab was sold in both the US and Canada, unlike earlier versions that were only for one country or the other.
Note superficial resemblance to the original 1967 design, particularly the shape of the windows. One visible, though small, difference is the nose on these is slightly tapered and the corners are more rounded.
Used on SD60M, SD60MAC, SD70M, SD70MAC.
Sante Fe offset-light version
Designed by Sante Fe and used only for the GP60M. This design has a headlight that is not actually in the center of the nose but just to the right of center when facing the locomotive. Unlike the standard EMD wide cab, the nose is not tapered and looks more like the FP45 cab.
This looks nearly identical to the standard version, but was the first EMD cab isolated to reduce noise and vibration. A vertical seam is visible on the side of the nose. Used on SD60I, SD70I, SD80MAC, early SD90MAC.
Later “notched” version
Used on late examples of SD70M and SD70MAC. Nose has a slightly taller mid-section to accommodate full-height door, resulting in a somewhat “notched” appearance. The whole nose is less rounded and more angular than before, and no longer tapered.
Current Design, “more notched”
Late SD90MAC-H (1999), SD70ACe (2004-2014), SD70M-2, and several others. The nose is deeply notched to improve visibility. The distinctive teardrop window shape of earlier designs is gone.
On the SD70ACe-T4 produced since 2015, the nose shape is simplified – but still deeply notched – and the original EMD window shape has returned.
General Electric, Current Design
Unlike the constantly changing EMD, GE’s cab/nose design basically looks the same on nearly models since 1990. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
There are thousands on the rails, the most likely thing to see leading any mainline train. Examples include Dash-8, Dash-9, AC4400CW, ES44AC, ES44DC, etc.
This one-off prototype was created in 1988 from a B40-8.
Canadian Dash-9 “Australian” Cab
This seems to have been used in North America only on CN C44-9W’s, and on several GE models sold to the Australian market. Notice the EMD-like front windowpane shape.
Norfolk Southern Crescent Cab
Used for the SD60E rebuild program. This cab is designed by NS and manufactured by Curry Supply.
NS has a similar cab built by RLS that is used on the Dash-8.5 rebuilds.
An incomplete history of hard rock, heavy metal, and punk rock music, Part 1 of ???
The subtitle of this blog promises “classic rock”, a promise I have until now failed to make good on.
This post is mainly a series of links to youtube videos illustrating the music genres in question. This is not meant to teach you, the reader, anything you didn’t already know, but may be helpful in explaining these genres to your kids or something. I started making it for that purpose myself, but it has grown way longer than I expected it to.
Band names are links to Wikipedia, song titles are links to music videos.
Keeping the links alive is already turning out to be a constant battle – at least one song was removed from youtube for copyright reasons between when I started writing this post, and when I published it.
Blues, Jazz, early Rock-n-Roll
We begin with a very brief selection of early songs that “look forward” to fuzztone, distortion, and fast guitar pickin’.
Rocket 88 (1951) – usually cited as the first “Rock and Roll” song, it predates the first wave of “rock” by several years; also one of several early songs where the overdriven guitar sound is said to have been produced by the amp having been damaged prior to recording
Train Kept a Rollin’ (1956) – this is the version that inspired the Yardbirds; the highlight here is probably the screaming vocals, but the guitar is pretty overdriven for 1956; officially credited to Paul Burlison but some authorities suggest it may have actually been played by Grady Martin (see below)
Link Wray – important precursor of surf-rock, garage-rock, and instrumental rock in general. He had lost a lung in the Korean War, explaining both the rarity of singing and sound when he did
Rumble (1958) – infamous sound supposedly created by slicing up the amplifier’s speaker with a razor
Rawhide (1959) – even fuzzier guitar sound, hard to believe it did not involve a fuzz pedal
Ain’t That Lovin’ You Babe (1960) – a rare track featuring Link Wray’s vocals, this is probably the purest blues cover recorded by any “rock” (that is, white) artist until the British invasion
The standard narrative of the early 60s musical invasion of the US by British bands is that the Brits, being less racist (or at least racist against different races than Americans were), “got” the Blues in a way that most white Americans didn’t. This is almost certainly bullshit.
However, many of these bands did (re)introduce some of the rawer, grittier elements of the music back to American audiences.
You Really Got Me (1964) – power chords! Like Link Wray, the fuzzed guitar tone was allegedly created by poking holes in the amplifier’s speaker. There is a persistent urban legend that Jimmy Page (later of Led Zeppelin) played on this track, which he has always denied.
My Generation (1965) – in the 60s these lyrics and attitude were seen as the opening blast of generational war between the baby-boomers and their elders, but in long hindsight it seems more like a harbinger of punk rock 10 years early
Boris the Spider (1966) – the low, growly vocals here have been cited as influential on death metal. that’s probably bullshit, but it’s still a cool song.
The Yardbirds – predecessor band of Cream and Led Zeppelin. All of these tracks feature Jeff Beck on lead guitar
I’m a Man (1965) – speed-freak blues with a harmonica vs fuzz-guitar duel in the “raveup” section; widely influential in the garage-rock world; what I really love is the moment when you can actually hear guitarist Jeff Beck switch the fuzz pedal on
I’m Not Talking (1965) – 12-bar blues dominated by guitar fuzz riffs throughout, one of the first songs to be nothing but fuzz
Stroll On (1966) – re-recorded version of “Train Kept a Rollin'” recorded for the film Blowup; this was one of the only songs recorded by the Yardbirds with both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck on guitar; already nearly sounds as overdriven as anything Page would ever do with Zeppelin
Making Time (1966) – noted for using a violin bow on electric guitar, famously later popularized by Led Zeppelin
Garage rock can be seen as one of America’s first two punches back against the British Invasion (the other, more successful punch, was Motown).
Garage Rock was dismissed as teeny-bopper stuff at the time, merely a derivative of both British bands and of 50s rock and roll.
The retroactive re-appraisal of Garage Rock started with the Nuggets series. In the 70s it came to be seen as the direct ancestor of punk rock, also recognized for having pushed the envelope towards psychedelic or “acid” rock later in the 60s.
This section could use expansion.. or you could just go find more yourself.
Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock, Acid Rock, Proto-Metal (1967-1969)
This was the point when Rock (with a capital “R”) really split off from the pop mainstream. This is a selection of some of “heavier” songs; this period also featured a lot of wispy psychedelia, folk rock, and semi-classical chamber-rock that eventually became Progressive Rock.
This music is obviously directly ancestral to 70s hard rock and heavy metal, but most reckon punk rock’s ancestry to have already split off (see Proto-Punk).
Cream – the original “power trio” of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker set the template followed by many rock bands of the late 60s and early 70s
Jimi Hendrix – near-universally acclaimed as the greatest guitarist in the history of Rock, and one of the most distinctive performers in any 20th-century genre; blazed new trails of fuzz-tone, feedback, whammy bar usage; even most of his imitators never really bothered trying to sound like him
Beck’s Bolero (1966, released 1967) – the band assembled for this one-shot single was the earliest prototype of Led Zeppelin, as it involved Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones; Page and Beck have disputed composer credits for the song ever since.
These are the three main hard rock bands of the early 1970s, which most other bands are compared to, for better or worse. None of these bands self-applied the label “Heavy Metal” during the period represented here. Like many rock genre names it was generally not a label that bands tended to voluntarily embrace, until much later on. They and their contemporaries were tagged with the “heavy” label by the music critic establishment, largely as an insult at first.
The only one of these bands that is universally considered (retroactively) to have been a true Heavy Metal band the entire time is Black Sabbath.
Led Zeppelin – firmly rooted in blues, Jimmy Page’s post-Yardbirds supergroup dabbled in a little of everything: folk rock, middle-eastern music, almost-prog, fantastical lyrics, shameless plagiarism, teenage groupies and dead sharks. The topic of whether or not any of their music counts as “metal” is a minefield, pretty much the longest-running argument in rock fandom after “is Paul dead?”, though in the past 10 years or so the “No” side has pretty conclusively won and put the question to rest. This is a list some of their “heavier” songs.
Black Sabbath – Combining slow, “lumbering” music and a downtuned, heavily distorted guitar sound with dark lyrics in the style that would retro-actively become known as Doom Metal and Stoner Metal, Sabbath is the gold standard of Heaviness. Most modern fans simply do not recognize anything not built on top of Black Sabbath’s musical legacy as being Heavy Metal at all.
Deep Purple – Purple had been kicking around for several years before theyswitched to full-bore hard rock. They played faster than the other other two here, with more classical influences (especially in John Lord’s keyboards), serving as the prototype of Speed Metal and its ilk.
Speed King (1970) – note the actual song starts at 1:30, after a freeform noise intro
Hard Lovin’ Man (1970) – Richie Blackmore’s guitar solo is pretty damn advanced for 1970.. from the overdubbed harmonies at 3:37 to what sounds a like tapping at 4:33
At this point, “hard rock” and “heavy metal” were not defined as different genres, and indeed were not really even distinguished from progressive rock yet.
The standard sound was rooted in blues and early rock, usually mid-tempo, with a guitar sound that tended to be powered by fuzz pedals at first and gradually relying more on amplifier overdrive as that technology became more advanced, and a vocal style that bordered on screaming (but would of course be considered “clean” by extreme metal standards).
Songs consist mostly of guitar power chords, swinging/shuffling rhythms inherited from blues, riffs derived from the blues scale, and frequent guitar solos. The bluesy nature is a main thing that distinguishes this style from later styles of metal and rock.
Grand Funk Railroad – as I wrote many years ago, Grand Funk is possibly the most characteristic rock band of the early 70s. They don’t sound like much before them, and they don’t sound much like anything after them, they are firmly of their era and damn proud of it.
Sir Lord Baltimore – this is one of the bands that you can use to tell if the person who are talking to is into all this stuff – if they’ve heard of Sir Lord Baltimore, you’ve found a friend! SLB is also one of the few examples of a rock band with a singing drummer who actually sang while drumming!
Warpig – in spite of what you’re probably thinking, this Canadian band was formed too early to have been named after the Black Sabbath song “War Pigs”. Like many of the lesser-known bands here, they produced only one album but it was quite a doozy
The Magician’s Birthday (1972) – this is included here for sheer ridiculousness of the “oh how they danced, the little children of Stonehenge..” variety – one either hates this sort of thing or loves it I guess
Here we pause the progression of hard rock in the 1970s, and step back to the 60’s to explore the development of punk out of garage-rock roots.
Other than the Velvet Underground, who were too artsy-fartsy to be lumped into a “genre”, these bands were characterized as Hard Rock or Glam Rock by contemporary observers. Later (meaning after the Ramones and Sex Pistols) they were retroactively re-christened as punk forebears.
Even after the deluge of the 1977-style punk rock, there have been continual waves of new punk- or punk-related bands that still sound more like these ancestral bands.
The Velvet Underground – while they dabbled in all kinds of musical indulgence, drugs, dark lyrics, and beatnick pretentiousness, some of their songs are sufficiently loud to serve as unmistakable milestones.
The New York Dolls – the Dolls were on the scene immediately before New York punk, and represent its most direct musical antecedent; they sound like a fusion of the Glam tropes with a Stooges intensity
Glam Rock was closely related to hard rock, but had a glitzy hair-and-makeup image completely different from the “dirty hippie” look of most other contemporary rock. It was an almost exclusively British phenomenon except in the very late phases.
It should be noted the Glam Rock was more of a fashion movement than a musical one. Musically, if glam rock has a central tendency, it would be towards a sound firmly based in 1950’s Rock n Roll – including such trappings as I-VI-IV-V chord progressions, boogie-woogie rhythm guitar, pounding piano, vocal harmonies, saxophone as a main instrument – but updated for 70s production values and hard rock guitar sounds, with a certain pompous grandeur that’s harder to describe in words than it should be.
The same 50’s nostalgia can be heard in much other 70s rock, from Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” to about half of Bruce Springsteen’s career, not to mention the Rolling Stones and Faces – Glam was musically continuous with its contemporaries and hard to draw a box around. It’s not for nothing that this was also the decade of “American Graffiti” and “Happy Days”.
The musical elements of Glam – especially the pounding beats and “Chuck Berry turned up to 11” guitar – were important influences or inspirations to punk and post-punk, and even more obviously an influence on Glam Metal (especially the 2nd, less metallic wave of bands like Poison).
This list only includes the harder-rocking songs by these artists.
Into / Sweet Jane (1974) – owing more to Mott the Hoople’s cover than to Reed’s own Velvet Underground version of Sweet Jane, the intro (which is basically an independent composition by the band) is famous in its own right
Paradise By the Dashboard Light (1977) – almost a (self?) parody of the nostalgic tendencies of glam, recorded a time when punk was already kicking down the door, but damn did Meatloaf get the “pompous grandeur” part of it right
Pub Rock was a “back to basics” style of music based on early Rock and Roll that existed mainly in the mid 70s and almost exclusively in London. Most of the bands involved in Pub Rock were never well-known in the US, and never will be, though a few individuals later became big name as New Wave solo artists.
It is notable mainly for being the genre that Punk Rock directly replaced as the “hot new thing” on the British music scene.
Queen – Queen’s earliest material fused prog and glam elements with a solid hard-rock foundation. The overt prog tendencies were gradually muted as they became one of the biggest bands in the world. Freddie Mercury’s huge vocal range and the band’s harmonious, anthemic music was influential to later genres including NWOBHM and Glam Metal.
Aerosmith – largely dismissed by contemporary critics as a derivative knockoff of Led Zeppelin and other earlier bands, Aerosmith proved to have staying power and wide influence on 80’s acts like Guns’N’Roses, Mötley Crüe, and others
Train Kept a Rollin’ (1974) – yet another take on this rock-n-roll standard; note that although this was frequently played at Aerosmith concerts, this well-known version is a studio recording with fake crowd noises added
Rush – mostly belongs on a separate prog-rock list; first-album, pre-Neil-Peart Rush, was a hard rock band with almost no prog elements; the story is that when the songs from the album first started to be played on the radio, the general public actually thought it was Led Zeppelin
Scorpions – had to fit them in somewhere.. as a German band, don’t really fit these mostly Anglo-American genre distinctions; they evolved from an almost Prog or even Krautrock style emphasizing long, slowly developed jams (most of which is not covered here) into a tight, metallic outfit for the MTV age
AC/DC – probably the first Australian band that any American can name, AC/DC’s style of hard rock was so deliberately primitive that people at the time were tempted to lump it in with punk rock rather than the mainstream
The initial wave of Punk Rock took the Glam/Proto-Punk template a step further away from mainstream hard rock. Songs became shorter, faster, simpler, with fewer (or at least simpler) guitar solos, almost universal lack of any instruments beyond guitar/bass/drums, and deliberately unskilled vocals.
Punk Rock per se was short lived as a major commercial genre. Many of the more successful bands and/or their constituent musicians moved off, by the 80s, into the world of Post Punk, and the ones that didn’t change went back to a small niche market. Punk was largely replaced, in the public eye, by “New Wave“.
However, the stage had been set for descendants of punk rock to flourish underground, in local clubs and small independent record labels, in hand-written fanzines, out of sight and out of mind, to periodically burst back into the rock mainstream over the decades. (Seen this way, these bands here may actually count as the 3rd such eruption, after Garage Rock and Proto-Punk)
Patti Smith Group – Patti Smith’s activities predated the main wave of Punk, and were significantly different in many respects, but still, she was part of the same scene, and an album out (Horses) out before any of the boys.
The Dictators – the Dictators are hard to pin down, alternately sounding like hard rock, proto-punk, straight up punk, a precursor to the sleaziest kind of glam metal, or some ungodly combination of all those things
The Ramones – The first Punk Rock band that most people can name, they practiced a minimalist version of rock, based around rock-steady beats and three (maybe, occasionally, four) power chords, with almost no lead guitar at all.
The Sex Pistols – the first punk band to “make it big”, the Sex Pistols thrived on pure controversy as much (or more) as on the music itself – swearing on live TV, getting banned from the radio in the UK (but selling even more records as a result), bizarre hair and clothing.
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers – unrelated to Tom Petty’s band of the same name, these Heartbreakers were based around former New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders, and had already been kicking around for 2 years, pioneering punk rock before even the Ramones, before they recorded their first album.
Richard Hell and Voidoids – Richard Hell was a veteran of the proto-punk scene by the time he put this band together, having been a member of Television and the Heartbreakers (before any of those bands recorded anything)
Marquee Moon (1977) – Television was either a throwback to the Velvet Underground style of proto-punk art rock, or the first fully post-punk band, or possibly both at the same time. Either way they didn’t really fit with Punk Rock. Here they are anyway.
The Clash – their period as a true punk band was very short lived; by 1979 they’d moved out of the punk ghetto, but their brief period was influential out of all proportion on later waves and revivals of punk
This post gathers the information I’ve been able to find about the Roswell Railroad, one of the almost-completely vanished and forgotten rail lines of the Atlanta area. This was branch of Southern Railway that operated between Chamblee and Roswell from 1881 to 1921.
The town of Chamblee was originally called “Roswell Junction”.
However, feeling the name of the settlement was too similar to nearby Roswell, they randomly selected Chamblee from a list of petitioners for the new post office name.
The railroad followed very roughly the present-day Chamblee-Dunwoody Road to the center of old-town Dunwoody, where the building located at 5518 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road was a section house.
The original Dunwoody depot was later moved and used as “Thompson’s Store”, but this building no longer remains.
The line never actually reached Roswell, as the company was never able to build a bridge across the Chattahoochee. It ran along Roberts Drive and what is now Dunwoody Place, and ended near the present North River Tavern. This station was referred to as “Roswell” by the railroad. The engine house was “moved to by the river for use as a barn”.
Roberts Drive is named after Isaac “Ike” Roberts, the “only engineer of the Roswell Railroad”, whose house still stands at 9725 Roberts Drive.
The final stop was Roswell Station, on the south bank of the Chattahoochee River, just east of the current Roswell Road. There was no means to turn the locomotive around, so it simply ran backwards on its return trip. The train was powered by 0-6-0-arranged Baldwin 1878 steam locomotive named “Buck.”
The railroad famously was used by Teddy Roosevelt when he visited Bulloch Hall in 1905.
Theodore Roosevelt, who had begun his presidency on reasonably good terms for a half-northerner president, had infuriated the South by inviting Booker T. Washington to dine in the White House. Consequently, he waited a few years until the episode blew over and finally visited Bulloch Hall for the first time while touring the South in 1905. He was thought to be the first sitting President of the United States to visit the South since the end of the American Civil War, however this is incorrect as William McKinley had visited the South earlier while celebrating the victory of the Spanish–American War.
It looks like I need to be paying a visit to the Roswell Visitors Center.
I have no recollection of Schambeau’s advertising on TV, especially not a spot this long. It looks like the early 80s. The kids shown buying from the candy counter were probably my classmates.
Schambeau’s was one of the two main grocery stores in Bayou La Batre, along with rival Greers. Schambeau’s was about a mile further from our house, but we shopped at both.
Schambeau’s was more of a General Store than Greers, which was purely a Supermarket. In the last years, Crum Schambeau was heard to remark that the real competition was the Walmart in Tillman’s Corner.
Schambeau’s did not long outlive Mr. Crum, due (I’m told) to his heirs not wishing to continue running the store. Greers continues.
When we would drive around the shore on Shell Belt Road, my Pawpaw would point out a location where the “Old Factory” used to be. There was not even a trace of anything that looked like a building remaining.
This map, dated 1918, shows a “Canning Factory” at the end of a railroad spur, located conveniently near to the “Oyster Beds”. I don’t remember anyone specifically saying that oysters were what was processed at the factory, but it would certainly make a lot of sense if it was.
The railroad here was the “Bay Shore” branch of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, which operated from approximately 1899 to 1940. There is little to show of this line today, the rails having been physically removed soon after abandonment. It is memorialized by Railroad Street in the Bayou and Bay Shore Avenue in Mobile.
This (1926) map highlights the route from Mobile to Bayou La Batre:
At the far western end of the wye at San Souci was the lead to the Alabama Canning Company, also known as the American Canning Company. Alabama Canning Company was located on the north end of Coffee Island, about a mile south of the junction at San Souci. It was on this track that the trains would head down first, then back up through the wye toward Bayou la Batre.
The 1918 map disagrees about the factory being on Coffee Island, and I’m inclined to side with the map. An island location would have required the railroad to build a mile-long trestle over the bay. This does not fit with any description of this railroad that I’ve ever heard of before, and would have been a literal “bridge to nowhere”.
It seems more reasonable that the factory was located on the mainland.
At the approximate location of where the “Old Factory” was said to be, there is still a dirt “road” off from Shell Belt Rd through the salt marsh, leading towards the shore of Portersville Bay. It goes to a point that naturally sticks out into the bay. It can clearly be seen on modern satellite images:
This is what it looks like in Google Street View (and in real life too!):
It is most consistent with the old map if this “road” is actually the railroad right-of-way. Here is the satellite image with the guessed route of the railroad tracks highlighted in yellow:
The real revelation happened when I began searching for more info on the “Alabama Canning Company”.
It turns out there are a lot of pictures of this place, located in the National Archives and the Library of Congress!
This photo shows oysters being unloaded onto the dock. It looks like they had a large pier running out into the bay, with railroad tracks utilized for wheeled oyster baskets. The factory in the background looks like a sizeable operation. It must have been the biggest industry in town at the time.
Here we see the whole thing as it looked from out on a boat in the bay:
Many of the photos show very young workers in the factory and on the boats. This was the early 20th century, the era of child labor.
These photos were taken about 1912-1913. The children would have been born in the first decade of the 20th century. This is about the age of my great-grandparents. If you are from Bayou La Batre, some of them could be your great-grandparents, if not great-great-grandparents.
The work was seasonal, with many families coming to town only during the cooler months when oysters were in season. You can see in the photos almost everyone is dressed for cooler weather. Many of the workers were also immigrants, as the captions mention some children being unable to speak English. From the Mississippi Gulf Coast Museum of Museum of Historical Photography website:
The [labor shortage] problem was resolved initially by bringing in Eastern European immigrants known as ‘Bohemians’ from the Baltimore, Maryland canneries. The Baltimore people traveled in special railroad cars from their homes in Baltimore to work the canneries during the winter oyster season along the coast. They lived in factory-owned camps near the canneries, and the children rarely attended local schools. Some of the Baltimore families stayed on after the oyster season.
We can assume the hiring practices established in Biloxi were also followed in Bayou La Batre.
It turns out the reason all of these 100-year old pictures from Bayou La Batre are part of the national historical record, is because they were part of a famous series taken by Lewis Wickes Hine. Lewis Hine is an unsung hero of American labor relations, risking his own safety to end the practice of child labor in this country.
Hine’s work for the NCLC was often dangerous. As a photographer, he was frequently threatened with violence or even death by factory police and foremen. At the time, the immorality of child labor was meant to be hidden from the public. Photography was not only prohibited but also posed a serious threat to the industry. To gain entry to the mills, mines and factories, Hine was forced to assume many guises. At times he was a fire inspector, postcard vendor, bible salesman, or even an industrial photographer making a record of factory machinery.
So here we have a connection to historical events of national importance, right there in Bayou La Batre, and all that’s left of it is a dirt path through the marsh grass and scattered recollections of an “Old Factory”.
Hine is also the photographer of a very well known series on the construction of the Empire State Building.
So when was this factory built, and whatever happened to it? The Bay Shore website says:
Below is a photograph taken before the hurricane of 1906, showing the company tracks on the west side of the building. The photographer is facing south, toward Portersville Bay.
The buildings seen in this image were either heavily damaged, or destroyed, in the 1906 hurricane, and the company either elected not to rebuild, or was financially unable to. At a later date (unknown) this location became the Dunbar & Ducate Factory. Dunbar & Ducate was later destroyed by a boiler explosion which claimed the lives of several employees.
“Dunbar & Ducate”, (or DuKate) had already taken over by the time of Hines’ photos in 1912-1913 (and indeed some of his captions refer to it as such).
The Biloxi Historical Society lists a number factories owned by several firms involving the DuKate family, including “Dunbars, Lopez, & Dukate Company“, in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It appears that it was often called the “Alabama Canning Company” even when it was owned by DuKate.
Julian Lee Rayford, writing in 1956, describes a world already long gone, including a “Big Factory” owned by “Dunn, Barr, and Ducate”.
GEORGE BRYANT told me about the factories
in Bayou la Batre.
The factories fall into two classes. First, the
factories of 1915, and a few years later. And,
second, the factories of today. There is little con-
nection between the two. True, the factories have
always canned shrimp and oysters, but there is a
distinct contrast between the periods.
Pure Food Laws have cleaned them up, and
now, everything is peaceful and quiet in the fac-
tories. Government inspectors stand on constant vi-
gil making the pickers maintain purity and quality
in the products.
After 1906, the factories lined the Bayou.
There was the Union factory, operated by the
Union. There was the finest and largest, the one
run by Daughdrille. On the coast, was the “Big Factory,” controlled by Dun, Barr and Ducate. And
there was the “Green Factory,” so called because of
the color used on the outside of the building. All
along the Bayou were the picking sheds, which sent
their products to the larger establishments to be
packed, or, canned.
An article in the New Orleans Times-Democrat, April 7 1910, mentions a factory being constructed by this company in Bayou La Batre:
The John F. Wentzell mentioned here is probably related to Wintzell’s Oyster House founder J. Oliver Wintzell, as well as the Wintzell family of Bayou La Batre.
The factory is described as packing shrimp. It is not clear if this was the same facility as the oyster plant shown in the photos, or a different plant also located in Bayou La Batre.
I cannot find any information about the existence of the Alabama Canning Company earlier than this. It is possible it operated under a different name before DuKate took it over, if it actually existed before 1910.
The plant survived and was repaired after the 1916 storm:
I can only find one other page about an explosion, the Find-A-Grave page for Robert Walter Cox who died on August 16, 1923 when an ammonia tank exploded in the ice plant of the cannery. It reads like a newspaper article, but there’s no citation and I cannot find the same story anywhere else.
EXPLOSION KILLS ONE AND INJURES TWO AT ICE PLANT
Ammonia Tank Blows Up At Bayou La Batre, Killing Robert Cox and Wrecking Plant
Death injury and heavy property damage resulted form a violent explosion at the ice pant of the Alabama Canning Company at Bayou la Batre Thursday night. Robert Cox, 40 years old, frieman at the plant was almost instantly killed and two other persons, Willie and Aime Castello, father and son, recieved serious injuries. The disaster occurred when an ammonia generator exploded, wrecking the one-story structure. The loud noise which accompanied the explosion attracted the attention of people throughout the community, many of whom hurried to the scene.
Cox was discovered in a dying condition outside the boiler room a few minutes after the generator exploded. The younger Castello was huried to the roof of the building from which he was rescued by persons who rushed to the plant. Willie Castello, the father, is an engineer at the plant according to information received in Mobile. His son is tankman at the ice plant.
Shortly after the accident a Mobile physicain was summoned to treat the injured. The small casualty list was apprently attributable to the fact that only a few employees were on duty whe the explosion occurred.
Perhaps this explosion was too much for the Big Factory to come back from, and put them out of business. Perhaps the Pure Food and Child Labor laws had made the business unprofitable. Or maybe decreasing supply due to overfishing. Or a combination of all these things.
By the time of this 1943 map, the railroad is abandoned, the spur track for the factory is already just a dirt road, and the there is no indication building where the factory would have been.
It is also gone on this aerial photograph from the 1940s, where things do not look terribly different from today:
In the 20 years from 1923 to 1943, all trace of the Old Factory has vanished into the sea and sand.
When I was a kid in the early 1980s, the public library had a children’s movie program once a week during the summer. My mom, and I think most of the other parents who took advantage of it, would drop us off at the library and go do her shopping or whatever other errands she needed to run, while we sat in a darkened wing of the library and watched movies.
I’m guessing they were legally only allowed to show things that were in the public domain. Because everything they showed was old. Some of it as old as the 1920s.
Sometimes they would show silent movies and cartoons, which was a problem because the audience included children too young to read. The older children were expected to read it out loud for the younger ones.
Many of the cartoons I saw there, I later learned were so old that they were significant in the development of animation!
Things I can remember seeing there:
Lotte Reiniger’sCinderella – 1922 silent, black and white “cartoon” where all the characters are just black silhouettes. You can imagine how this confused the hell out of a bunch of 80s kids.
Max and Dave Fleischer’sGulliver’s Travels – 1939 technicolor feature film, the first such released by a non-Disney studio. The high budgets of this and their only other feature, Mr. Bug Goes to Town, contributed to the Fleischer studio losing its independence and becoming part of Paramount.
Lev Atomanov’s The Snow Queen– 1957 animated feature from the USSR. The fact that this got an American dub release in 1959, with an all-star cast, seems like it must have been a triumph of Cold War diplomacy.
Some weird, silent (but color?!) thing with puppets.
Question to my librarian friends, do ya’ll still do stuff like this?
Here I reproduce information from the Norfolk Southern and CSX timetables. I have many times wished I had this to pull up on my iphone in a form other than the bulky PDFs this data is from.
Stations marked “not in timetable” represent signals that trains have been observed to call out (“Clear Doraville, NS 203 southbound”) over the scanner. NS generally does not list intermediate signals (between control points) in their timetables, but they may be shown on their track diagrams. Not sure about CSX.
Text in italics is additional commentary, not from timetable.
First, a “British subway map” of these lines. Obviously not to scale.
Picking up where the last one left off, this gets you out of the burbs and into the woods. At the northern end, it gets you into the mountains, even.
The route through Gainesville is rather arbitrary and I’m not sure how close it follows the divide.
You are pretty much running parallel to US 23 (when you are not actually on US 23) all the way.
The early parts of this route are very close to Lake Lanier.
From Lula through Mt. Airy, you are running directly beside the Norfolk Southern main line.
I have only been as far north on this route as Alto, so I can’t really say what the remainder of it looks like.
The end point here looks to be about as far as you can follow the ECD on public roads. From here, the ECD turns westward and generally forms the Habersham/Rabun county border until meeting the Tennessee Valley Divide at Young Lick. I don’t see any roads that directly follow this ridge, not even dirt Forest Service roads. From Young Lick, the ECD continues north on the Appalachian Trail. At that point, following the divide becomes more of a matter of hiking than driving.
Start on Aviation Blvd, continue east from last time
Right on GA 60
Left on West Ridge Rd
Right on Athens St
Left on East Ridge Rd
Left on Old Cornelia Highway
Right on US 129
Left on White Sulphur Rd
Left to stay on White Sulphur Rd
Left on Cagle Rd
Right on GA 52
Sharp left on GA 51
Continue onto Main Street (Lula)
Continue onto Gainsville Highway
Continue onto Old Cornelia Highway
Continue onto Willingham Ave
Continue onto Main Street (Cornelia)
Right on Highland Ave
Left to stay on Highland Ave
Continue on Chenocetha Dr
Right on Wyly St
Continue on Dicks Hill Pkwy
Left on Rock Rd
Left on Antioch Church Rd
Right on US 23/US 441
Right on John Wood Rd
Left on Tom Born Rd
Right on Old Historic US 441
Left on The Orchard Rd
Right on Bear Gap Rd
Picking up where the previous route through Atlanta ended, this follows the ECD (within the limits of road placement) through the northeastern metro area. To be honest this is a rather boring drive through the suburbs. You can skip to the next post to pick it up where things get mildly interesting again.
The earlier part has some shenanigans with Old Peachtree Road, leaving it without turning and turning to stay on it at different points.
The segment on GA 20 is an area where no road follows the ECD. If you look close at a topo map you’ll see this section crosses a creek, not something you’ll see when following a ridge line.
The segment on GA 124 passes the site of Ft. Daniel, one of the original endpoints of the trail that became Peachtree Road.
The GA 13 portion mostly runs closely parallel to I-985.
Gainesville’s airport is an arbitrary stopping point dictated mainly by limitations on the number of route modifications that Google Maps allows you to make.
(Aside: notice how close the divide is to Lake Lanier? The western edge of Lake Lanier’s drainage basin is also visible on this map, over near GA highway 9. The lake is really not very far at all from the boundaries of the area drained by it.)
Start at Old Peachtree Rd and I-985, go east
Left on Northbrook Pkwy
Continue on Old Peachtree Rd
Continue on Horizon Dr
Left on Old Peachtree Rd (yes, again)
Left on Rock Springs Rd
Right on GA 20
Left on Old Peachtree Rd
Left on GA 124/Braselton Hwy
Left on Hamilton Mill Rd
Right on Ridge Rd
Continue onto Hog Moutain Rd
Right on GA 13
Right on Industrial Blvd
Right on Aviation Blvd