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Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Local 536 (Paducah, Ky.) records

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Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Local 536 (Paducah, Ky.) records

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Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Local 536 (Paducah, Kentucky):

A Guide to its Records at Georgia State University

Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
Fax: 404-413-2881

July 13, 2007

Profile Description

Creation: EAD version 1.0 finding aid created in XMetaL 4.5 by Traci JoLeigh Drummond, July 13, 2007.
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator:Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Lodge 536 (Paducah, Ky.)
Title:Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Local 536 (Paducah, Ky.) records
Dates: 1916-1924
Quantity: 5 linear inches. (in 1 boxes)
Identification: L2007-03

Scope and Content of the Records

The Records of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Local 536, 1916-1924, consist of membership applications, correspondence, reports, and printed materials related to the work and labor issues of the Paducah, Kentucky, lodge. The collection is organized by type of material.

The Membership Records provide members' names and addresses and other information, such as the names of current members recommending the applicants, and whether or not the applicants were accepted for membership. The small amount of correspondence provides some details of a labor issue faced by BRT members who were asked to stock train cars, which was the work of striking carmen. The correspondence not only provides the workers' questions and concerns for the Grand Lodge, but also the Grand Lodge's response.

Other materials created by the Local 536 include Annual Reports (1919-1922) submitted to the Grand Lodge, a treasurer's quarterly report, several invoices (for items requested from the Grand Lodge) and a receipt for dues.

Materials in the collection not created by the Local 536 also provide insight into their work, issues, and organization. The report of the Legislative Board of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen in Kentucky includes details about the exchanges between State Representatives and the Board regarding labor issues. Also included are voting records for the State Representatives. Other materials, such as communications to membership, circulars, reports of the boards of trustees, and insurance forms, were created by or in conjunction with the Grand Lodge of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen for their members' edification and use. The Report of the Home for Aged and Disabled Railroad Employees of America includes information and statistics related to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen's support and use of the home.

History of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Local 536

The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT) was founded in 1883 in Oneonta, NY, as a protective and insurance organization. The BRT was established to represent member's interests in obtaining a satisfactory contract with the management of different railroad companies in the United States and Canada. The rail service members of the BRT included conductors and their assistants, dining car stewards, ticket collectors, train baggagemen, brakemen, and train flagmen. The yard service members of the BRT included yardmasters, yard conductors, switchtenders, foremen, flagmen, brakemen, switchmen, car tenders, operators, hump riders, and car operators.

At the time the BRT formed, rail workers earned a little more than $1.00 a day working one of the most dangerous jobs. An estimated 70 percent of all train crews could expect injury within five years. Realizing that passing the hat whenever a co-worker died was ineffective, rail workers formed a brotherhood to provide a benefit in case of death, at the time $300.00. Begun as the Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen, the BRT in 1889 changed its name to reflect its expansion into other crafts, with membership reaching out to include rail workers in 14 different trade classifications. Later, in 1933, the BRT organized interstate bus operators.


Guide to the Brotherhood of Trainmen Records, Kheel Center for Labor-Management, Cornell University,, July 2007.

The United Transportation Union website,, July 2007.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Lodge 536 (Paducah, Ky).
Labor unions --Kentucky.
Labor unions--United States--1910-1930.
Railroad employees (Paducah, Ky.)--1900-1920.
Railroad employees' unions--1920.
Railroad employees.


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Administrative Information


[item], [folder title], Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Local 536, Records, 1916-1924 , L2007-03, Southern Labor Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by D. Scott Molloy, January 2000.

Processing Information

Processed by Traci JoLeigh Drummond, July 2007.

Related Material

Related materials in other repositories: The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen Records, 1883-1973, are housed at the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library. A finding aid for this collection can be found here.

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