Virginia Creeper Whistle

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Dec 17 09:54:05 EST 2016

This is why I often recommend to collectors to sell their railroad items to 
other collectors and make a donation to their favorite museum.  People make 
donations to a museum and expect their collection to be displayed.  This is 
usually not the case.  Most museum can use cash donations more than just 
"more stuff."   This is just something to consider when planning what to do 
with your collection.  I have collected builder's and number plates since 
1963.  All of my plates will be going back into the hands of other 
collectors to preserve them for the future.  I also know of cases where 
donated plates have "disappeared" from museums.  I recently got an email 
from the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum to be on the look out for one of the 
Juniata plates from the PRR #460.  They had both of the original plates and 
now one is "missing."

Ron Muldowney

-----Original Message----- 
From: NW Mailing List
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2016 8:30 AM
To: NW Mailing List
Subject: Re: Virginia Creeper Whistle


One thing to remember about larger museums; anywhere between 70-90% of their 
holdings are in storage and not on display.  A retired Smithsonian employee 
told me that for them it was close to 95% of the stuff they had. He says 
there are hundreds of models of ships, airplanes, vehicles, and trains in 
storage and not on exhibit.  The online list is not likely to show 
everything sitting in warehouses and basements of the museum buildings.

So maybe they have the whistle; maybe not.

Jim Stapleton

> On Dec 17, 2016, at 01:08, NW Mailing List  wrote:
> I am curious as to what happened to the FT Nichols whistle after Mr. Lee 
> Alley passed away.
> I had the privilege of blowing the whistle several times on Mr. Alley's 
> "whizzle machine".
> I have often wondered what became of the whistle after he passed away. I 
> was told that the whistle was donated to the Smithsonian, but do not see 
> it listed in their online listing of exhibits. I have even seen a 
> poorly-worded YouTube video that makes the claim that the whistle was 
> buried with Mr. Alley.
> I am just wondering if we will ever hear it blow again.
> Thanks in advance.
> Jason Hollifield
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