Bert Aikman>UIS Collection A's>UIS Collection, Segment 8


duration 14:44
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Bert discusses starting to work as a telegraph operator for railroad. Describes mail delivery via train to Honey Bend. Mail sorting done on train. Story about mail sack flying through railroad depot window. Description of "OS" scheduling of trains & reporting of train arrival & departure up & down rail-line. Through trains called "Cannonball". Describes taking in freight & paying freight-agent $40 to teach him how to write tickets for freight coming in & going out. Working & learning Morse code in "the tower". Describes "train order", the information on where trains were at all times accumulated by each station on a line. Communicating with engineer via messages on "hoop." Details types of train orders, 19 & 31. Direct orders went on type 31 train order & had to be passed to engineer personally. Mentions refrigerated cars carrying beef from St. Louis to Chicago at night. These fast freight trains were called "Highballs". Describes "draw-bars" between railroad cars & loss of part of train after draw bar let go. Mentions automatic air brakes if part of train became disconnected. Telegraph office was "voice" of train.