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Ron & Donna Miller - Publishers

Luggage Used To Show Off Where You’d Been

In today’s age of jet travel, it is no longer the “in” thing to cover one’s luggage with stickers showing where one has been, and the airlines won’t allow a person to keep old destination tags attached. Back when train travel was the primary means of traveling long distances, however, the railroad baggage stickers were applied directly to the luggage and a suitcase covered with a variety of stickers identified a person as a well-seasoned traveler.

The stickers were handed out at railroad ticket offices and depots when a ticket was purchased. They had a simple gummed back that could be moistened and attached to the bag, and the traveler was encouraged to do so. Since they identified the railroad line, this was a form of advertising that carried virtually no cost.

The sticker often identified a travel destination as well as the railroad company’s name or logo. The Burlington Route used Buffalo Bill Cody to tell one to visit “Yellowstone Park via the Cody Road.”

“See America First – Glacier National Park” was inscribed around the mountain goat logo of the Great Northern railway.

One can also trace the development of the trains through the baggage labels, since many of the lines pictured their most up-to-date engines on them. From the earlier classic steam trains, such as Missouri Pacific Railroad’s “Sunshine Special” to the City of Denver’s Streamliner, history was recorded on these pieces of gummed paper.

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‘Epi’ Was Better Than Epaminondas

One of the collectible names in guitars is Epiphone. The company was founded by a Greek violin maker named Anastasios Stathopoulos in 1873, in New York City. It was eventually run by his son, Epaminondas, nicknamed “Epi”; the company was named for him.

Epiphone first made banjos, upright guitars and other stringed instruments. It began building archtop guitars in the 1930s and electric instruments in the 1940s.

In 1957, Epiphone was bought by its main rival, Gibson. Gibson continued to use the Epiphone name until 1969.

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Roll Film Spurred Camera Miniaturization

George Eastman’s invention of roll film at the end of the 19th century made miniaturization of cameras possible. It opened up a whole new field in camera making.

Tiny cameras disguised as watches or cigarette lighters began to appear in the first decade of the 20th century. The most expensive of the miniaturized cameras was probably the Ben Akiba walking-stick-hand camera.

Among the makes of cameras of this type to watch for are the 1935 Thornton Pickard F2 Ruby Speed, the German Ernemann Ermanox, Rollei, Luzo, Tenax, Contax and Linhof.

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