Pictures of Charleston Rail

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a book about railroads in Charleston with lots of great photographs would be priceless, right? Well with a little help from the folks here in town, and maybe a few spread further away, that is what I am hoping for.

Charleston South Carolina Arcadia PublishingI am working with Arcadia Publishing, coincidentally located here in Charleston, to produce a book for their Images of Rail series. This is not going to be a dry history, but a look into how the railroads and streetcar lines in Charleston really fit in with local life and helped to shape that life. To that end, I am looking for old photographs that might be used in “Charleston Rail”.

Do you have a photograph of a great uncle waving from the streetcar on which he was a conductor? Do you have a snapshot of the old Seaboard Air Line Railway station at Grove and Rutledge? Maybe you even have a few pictures of relatives coming in to town at Union Station that burned in the forties. Anything like this would be of interest.

The importance of family collections cannot be overemphasized. Vintage photographs become increasingly fragile and by scanning and reproducing them in a book, they become available for all to see. While postcards are great, and well loved, what I am looking for here are actual photographs. They have to be out there somewhere – in trunks, in photo albums, or hanging on the wall.

So please, if you have anything you think might be of interest, just let me know. I would love to talk with you. Shoot me an email, give me a call or jump me in the street. If you choose the latter, please be gentle.

And if you are interested in the book, stay tuned and I will let you know when it comes out. If you subscribe to this site, you will be one of the first to know.

Two New Additions

It would be harder to get much further apart in for or function than these two items and still remain within the model railroading hobby, but they both make perfect additions to my collection.

The first is nice N Scale MicroTrains 50′ boxcar decorated in South Carolina motif. Yes, it is way too modern for anything I plan on modeling, but I like the SC cars. A number of different manufactures made them in different designs, and the goal is to collect them all. In time. I am in no hurry. I got this one from an excellent dealer at a bargain price. Just the way I like it.Scale Model Tramways

The second item is an older book, published in 1972, on building model trams and tramways. Entitled “Scale Model Electric Tramways and How to Model Themir?t=palmettobugdigit&l=as2&o=1&a=0715354809” by E. Jackson-Stevens, it is that amusing combination of British seriousness, good information, and derisive commentary on those who don’t agree. For example, this passage in the chapter on choosing a scale to model:

The smallest ‘TT’ gauge is only suitable for table-top and, and although some modellers to adopt this tiny scale and also OO gauge, neither could be regarded as actual scale modelling in its truest sense as both scales rely upon the purchase of ready-made kits of parts, anathema to the purist modeller.

The rest of the paragraph, and in fact the remainder of the chapter and book even, continue on in the same manner and provide me with a comforting mixture of amusement, historical perspective, and English snobbery. Quite delightful!

Well that’s all the fun for today folks. Did you get anything interesting in the mail, UPS, or at the shop?

Top 5 Reasons To Vote In South Carolina

Just received this in my email at work, and while I hate being spammed I thought the message was pretty good. So, here it is for your consideration.

You don’t live in Ohio. You don’t live in Florida. The chance is pretty small that South Carolina will decide the presidential election. So: Why vote?

Here’s why. This list is important—so please read it, and then pass it along. And remember: To find out where to vote, what you need to bring, or when the polls close, click here:

The Top 5 Reasons To Vote In South Carolina
Or: Why It Still Means A Thing Even If It Ain’t Got That Swing


  1. Big margin = big mandate. The popular vote doesn’t put anyone in the White House, but it affects what presidents can do when they get there. Want Obama to be able to actually do the stuff he’s been talking about? Pass universal health care? End the war? Then we need a landslide.
  2. The other things on the ballot matter! For example: Congress. Plus, there are other important local races and ballot questions in some places.
  3. If you don’t vote, everyone can find out. Voting records are public. (Not who you voted for, just whether you voted.) Pretty soon, finding out whether you voted could be as easy as Googling you.
  4. Help make history. You could cast one of the votes that elect the first African-American president. If we win, we’ll tell our grandchildren about this election, and they’ll tell their grandchildren. Do you really want to have to explain to your great-great-grandchildren that you were just too busy to vote in the most important election in your lifetime?
  5. People died so you’d have the right to vote. Self-government—voting to choose our own leaders—is the original American dream. We are heir to a centuries-long struggle for freedom: the American revolution, and the battles to extend the franchise to those without property, to women, to people of color, and to young people. This year, many will still be denied their right to vote. For those of us who have that right, it’s precious. If we waste it, we dishonor those who fought for it and those who fight still.


Live your values. Love your country. Vote.

Click here for information about where to vote, what to bring, and when polls close: