New York Central Railroad Baggage Check

In the mid-18th century, large numbers of European emigrants crossed the Atlantic for a number of ports on the American East Coast. Railroads moved many emigrants from these ports to western lands. Some railroads operated special immigrant cars—economic cars with simple seats, community stove, toilet, and water. But usually the cars were old, reconditioned boxcars fitted with beds and seats.
There were many things to confuse the new immigrant on arrival in America. Railway travel might have been a new experience to the poorest newcomers, but even those who had experienced European trains were surprised that personal baggage up to 150 lbs. was carried for free. This large diamond-shaped brass check was given to a passenger as receipt for any goods deposited with the baggage master. This baggage check and ticket was issued in 1862 by the New York Central Railroad. The baggage check notes the destination where the baggage master would off-load the baggage. Stamped on its face is "Castle Garden Emg. Bagg. Buffalo."
Object Name
baggage check
date issued
Physical Description
paper (card material)
brass (overall material)
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift: John H. White
Additional Media

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