Railroad Conductor's Case

This railroad conductor's case was used by an "A. Randall" in the 1860s and 1870s. A railroad conductor on a passenger train was (and is today) the supervising officer of the train and supervisor of the entire train crew. In addition to this supervisory role, the passenger-train conductor serves as the purser, in charge of seeing to it that all fares are collected, either by himself personally or by his assistants, the uniformed trainmen on board. After fares are collected, the conductor does the accounting. A passenger-carrying railroad company was (and is) thus dependent on responsible and diligent conductors for its income.
In the days before laptop computers and scanned tickets, the passenger-train conductor carried redeemed tickets or stubs, as well as cash, in a locked case. On a passenger train, a conductor appropriated an unassigned passenger compartment as his office, and the ticket case was kept locked in the compartment when the conductor made his rounds.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1860
used date
ca 1860s
Physical Description
leather (covering material)
steel (overall material)
brass (lock material)
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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