Re: Is what we're doing REAL history??

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>

My previous post was a quick response to the original question. Now, having read the other responses, a feww brief comments.

One ought to be very careful about using railfan publications as authentic history. Much of it is, but there is also much unverified personal recollection. I've seen enough statements in them that I've know to be wrong or misleading to make me very skeptical. I think the problem here is that publications like Trains, MR and RMC are not trying to meet the standards of professional historians. This is particularly true of statements that purport knowledge of the "why" of what happened. You need to ask if that person was really in a position to know.

On the other hand, I would think that model railroad publications, names escape me at the moment, that go into details of cars or equipment are probably more valid sources because thier authors follow a more rigorous process of verifying information. You might also say the same of discussions on this list that lead us closer to knowledge of "real history" than many of us had before the discussions.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478

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