C&C History tour part 5 Origins of common sayings we use today  

RailBaron2 55M
684 posts
11/17/2005 5:59 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

C&C History tour part 5 Origins of common sayings we use today

Have you ever heard the expression- 2 bit whore?
back in the 1880's in the Mining camps like Bodie, Virginia City, Aurora, That was the price for the cheapest sex-available 2 bits .or a Quarter. Same price for a shave & a hair cut.
How about - Red light district?- The Prostitutes followed the rail road little shacks were set up.
The Railroad men all had to buy 2 lanterns for work- a clear globe lantern & a red globe lantern.
when the men went to visit a particular lady,they would knock on her door- if she was willing the railroad man would light his red globe lantern & hang it outside the door to let others know this lady was busy .& the rows of shacks with red lights became the " red light district".
how about the 'Wrong side of the tracks"? you guessed it the Prositutes were segregated from the rest of the " Civilized" community useually on the side of the tracks where the majority of smoke would drift.In Virginia City the town is on the side of a Mountian. Above the tracks on trhe hillside were the rich,& on the down hill side the poor, the Prostitutes, the " Undesireables".
How about- " Lets see a show of hands"?
Before the invention of modern Knuckle couplers to couple train cars together they had a system known as Link & Pin- Basicly the couples consisted of a pocket on each end of the car a steel oval Link was put into the pocket & a pin dropped in place to keep the link in the pocket.
The Brakemans job was to couple & uncouple the cars & stop the train useing hand brakes on each car.- it was a VERY dangerous job- to couple cars together the brakeman must stand so that a couple of cars are comming together he could raise the link so it would slip into the pocket of the other car & drop the pin- if the brakeman did not move fast enough the coupler pockets would come together & amputate a couple of fingers. a foreman looking for men with experiance would ask for a " Show of Hands" the men would raise thier hands & men that had a couple of fingers missing
were hired because they had permanant proof of experiance.
the term - pulling the pin also comes from the brakemans job-If you hear someone say " He/She pulled the pin it ment that they had uncoupled from thier employment, back then pull the pin ment uncouple the car.
Have you ever heard of a Steam Locomotive Engineer being called a
"Hog Head" or "Hogger" The old wood burning steam locomotives would burn a couple of cords of wood - a cord of wood is 4' high- 4' wide & 8' long in the Bishop Creek yard in 1895 200 cord of wood were stacked to fuel the locomotives - That is a pile 20' wide 8' high & 160' long a C & C tender would hold about 3 cords of wood. So wood & water had to be taken at each of the stations stations which were spaced roughly 15-25 miles apart so the Locomotive would be known as a Hog & the Engineer a Hog Head.
# 9 a Baldwin 4-6-0 was built in 1909 it is a oil burning locomotive that has a tender capacity of 1537 gallons of # 6 or Bunker c fuel oil & 3500 gallons of water. For every Gallon of fuel oil burned,10 gallons of water was turned into steam.
on a 70.4 mile run From Keeler- orriginally known as Hawley to Laws orriginally known as Bishop Creek # 9 would burn 400 gallons of oil & turn 4,000 gallons of water into steam or in simple terms # 9 got 5 gallons of oil & 500 gallons of water to the mile.

rm_magnet4u22 50F
18406 posts
11/17/2005 7:26 pm

2 bits.... I'm worth at least a buck


RailBaron2 55M

11/17/2005 7:46 pm

Magnet- Your worth more than a buck- Your priceless. & Your not a Whore As allways Thanks for stopping by.

RailBaron2 55M

11/17/2005 10:42 pm

Glad you like it there is still much more to come HBGirl,Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to read it

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