Virginia Creeper Whistle

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Dec 17 14:12:43 EST 2016

The Alley "Whistle Machine" was donated to the Watauga Valley RHS&M in
Johnson City, TN. There is a N&W whistle on board but I don't know its
pedigree. Will assume it went to VMT as a later post claims.

Fred Waskiewicz

On Sat, Dec 17, 2016 at 9:54 AM, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>

> 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
> Jason
> 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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Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum
P.O. Box 432
Johnson City, TN 37605-0432
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