Welcome to Vintage Railroad Postcards!

Thank you for stopping by! This is the blog for the Russell P. Panecki Collection of vintage railroad-related postcards. The entire collection consists of nearly one thousand so far with images dating from circa 1904 to the 1950s. To leave a comment, ask a question, to contribute or correct historical information, a comment box is located to the left for your convenience.

Beginning in October, 2015, the blog was redesigned to include an index of individual postcards, both listed in alphabetical order and by categories. Each page, including this homepage, has the index located in the lower portion of the page. In addition to the index, posts were updated with historical information, new postcards added from storage files, while some posts were completely rewritten or edited for corrections. Three articles have been added and are worth reading. They include how vintage postcards were made, the history of Pennsylvania Station, and the history of Grand Central Terminal.

My apologies, but the postcards in my collection and on this blog are not available for sale, copying, or for contribution to projects. Please keep in mind that I reserve all rights to the images and content of this blog.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Although this card is postmarked 1932, I have had to do some detective work in order to find a few clues as to its real age as I suspected that it was older than its postmark. To begin, there is another postcard that I've seen that was postmarked 1923 and was taken from the passenger platform (seen here across the tracks to the right) and showing the same station with the exception that a train is approaching at a distance. The same lithographic color scheme on that card was used as well. All the photographer had to do was to cross the tracks after the train had stopped in order to take the photo used for our card. Looking at the vintage 'station wagon' parked alongside of the station, I would have to say that our card above is from the same year and same camera as the one postmarked 1923. Another clue is the round engine number plate on the front of the smokebox: the Pennsylvania didn't start using the famous 'keystone' number plate on passenger locomotives until 1929-1930. 

The location of the station on this part of the Pennsylvania was also a challenge. A good bit of research ended up in discovering two old railroad maps of this region.  As the railroad expanded, it bought up and merged other railroads into its routes, it retained the old railroad names and used them as division names. In Beaver Falls, two divisions of the Pennsylvania and one from the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad passed through this area. The two Pennsy division tracks were on the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne & Chicago, the other is some trackage of the Erie & Ashtabula Railroad, forming a junction right below Beaver Falls. The E&A junction connected other secondary lines and served the area just to the northeast. A good bit of work for one postcard!

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