Wednesday, December 5, 2012

TRAIN TIME: Milwaukee Road Topps Trading Card

Collecting train stuff can be fun, and believe it or not can be cheap (although, how many adults do you know of that really don't go overboard on their hobbies from time to time?) But the point is, with a little willpower, hobbies don't have to be expensive. Case in point; collecting railroad ephemera. Mainstream collecting may involve toy or scale model trains (either collecting engines and rolling stock or building layouts), or perhaps collecting real hardware like signals and railroad lamps, collecting uniforms, and for the rich - actual railroad cars or engines. Collecting ephemera involves those nitnoy little items that often go unnoticed like ads, post cards, timetables, stationary, and a gazillion other things. Often times these can be had for a song-&-dance.

Today's selection is one of those. It's a trading card from Topps. Many of us growing up in the fifties remember Topps cards as the ones that came packaged with those large, flat pieces of pink bubble gum. I remember baseball cards, Mars attacks, and Civil War cards specifically, just to name a few. But Topps had quite a few series one of which dealt with American railroads from which today's offering is culled. Now, as a collector I could choose to track down this whole series or just stick with my favorite. I chose to stick with my favorite, the Milwaukee Road Hiawatha. It is card #104 and is lettered for the 'C.M.St. P. & P. RR' ('Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad' - aka The Milwaukee Road) and features the road's premier passenger train The Hiawatha being pulled by one of the line's fabulous Hiawatha steam engines.  Enjoy!