Thomas, Edison H.

Date:
11-27-1979
Length:
180 minutes.
Interviewer:
Bobo, Mary
Transcription available:
yes
Series:
Louisville and Nashville Railroad
Series ID:
9999_006
Interview Number(s):
__804
__805
Summary:
Covers Milton Smith from 1866 on -- ran locomotive for General Sherman. History of L&N prior to Milton Smith, local fund raising. Headquarters at 9th & Broadway, 8 miles first ride to present Strawberry Yards. About 1858 L&N Louisville tracks met north of Bowling Green. The change from local ownership to New York domination; position of L&N after Civil War; New York financiers; Atlantic Coast Line connection. Leadership under William Kendall and John Tilford. Merger of NC&StL, explanation for modern mergers. Interstate Commerce Commission, reasons behind formation. Increased railroad expenses. Promotional campaigns: The General, removal from Chattanooga February 1962, history and restoration. Given to Georgia. Special cars. Career opportunities with L&N Magazine. Railfans and the Sulzer collection. Modernization of the L&N railroad. Centralized traffic control. Microwave system-signaling, telephones, computers. Development of railroad's private telephone system, two-way radio, closed circuit television. Connected regulations. Classification yards, uncoupling trains, sorting cars for new loads - types of cars and methods for shipping to proper yards and customers. Rental process and load time on various cars, adjustments for products hauled by railroad, coal market. Improve car accounting process. Press relations. Investigative reporting, change in attitude toward L&N. Positive L&N community actions. Community responsibility and public relations. Involvement with railroad and its image. Employee loyalty and the L&N Magazine. People connected to the L&N Magazine: Tom Owen, Kincaid Kerr, Martin RoBards, William Heffren and Charles Castner. Kincaid Kerr's edition of L&N History. Research and responsibility for preservation of materials. Structure of L&N under John Tilford and William Kendall. Land development, agricultural to industrial. Cybernetics and System - subsidiary now selling time to other companies. Legal structure, attorneys and doctors along the line. Railroad towns, services for employees, old railroad YMCA. Changes in personnel including minorities and women. Black firemen and switching in the southern states. Reasons behind families of railroad tradition. Reasons for male secretaries throughout most of L&N's history. Articles on minorities in first time positions. Management and labor. Change in policy of executives moving up from ranks of employment. Labor still based on seniority in relation to leadership.
Topic(s):
Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, Railroads--Management