- Overall Button

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Sep 28 06:46:45 EDT 2022

I spent 33 years on N& W and NS and I’m amazed and impressed by the depth knowledge in this group. You all are a rare find and very valuable. 
My father was extremely knowledgeable and a book collector. I remember when the 611 was in Portsmouth a question was raised about the purpose of a particular element on the engine. The local expert (who had published several books) didn’t know but when I went home I asked dad and he explained the purpose and history of the part.
I say that to say this. You and your wisdom is invaluable. Dad died about 6 months later and sadly his knowledge left with him. It is truly worth keeping your posts for one day what you know won’t be available in any other way.
Thank you all for the kind and informative way you share your wisdom on so many diverse topics.
Have a blessed day Larry Reed

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On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 6:27 AM, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> wrote:

  As Ken Miller and Abram Burnett commented, N&W Overall Co. was definitely located in Lynchburg. The building was located on Kemper Street, along the Southern Railway tracks within sight of the N&W Railway's Twelfth Street Depot and also within sight of the trolley barn belonging to Lynchburg Traction and Light. The N&W building still exists, it now serves as apartments. As a matter of fact my mother worked there briefly as a seamstress in the 1950's. -Ed Burnett, Lynchburg, Virginia 
  On 09/27/2022 8:04 AM NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> wrote:   
   Mr. Reid -   
   The item you pictured is a brass button from a pair of N&W-brand overalls.    
   These were used where the over-the-shoulder straps hooked onto the top of the bib (one on each side.)  There were also two on each side about waist level or a little higher, for closing up the front and the back (one left these open in the hot Summertime.)  There were also two brass buttons on the fly, but as I recall they were just stamped, flat metal, and not hollow like a button.   
   The N&W Overall Co. advertised in the N&W Magazine, probably until the 1950s.  That company may have been located at Lynchburg.  It would be interesting to find out how they were able to use the name "N&W" without being sued for trademark infringement.   
   I never had a pair of N&W overalls.  All my work clothes came from the Vasco (Virginia Supply Company,) which operated the beanery at Shaffers Crossing, which sold the Lee brand of work clothes: overalls, caps, and the best overall jackets I ever owned.   Vasco had been owned (I think) by some N&W officials since the day of Joseph H. Sands (who came with the Shenandoah Valley RR.)  Someone closer will know that story.   I have been away too many years to remember.      
   When I hired (1964,) a pair of Lee bib overalls cost $5, which was 28% of a day's pay for a Brakeman (the pay being $17.56 per day.)  Leather gloves cost $1 per pair for the canvas gloves with sewn-in leather palms, or $1.25 for a good pair of short-cuff. solid leather gloves (which all the experienced trainmen wore.)   In those days, one could get a big breakfast on State Street in Bristol for 35 cents.  What the heck happened to our country...?   
   -- abram burnett,          designer of fashion turnips    
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