Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Deb's PopPop Sam, A Railroad Man

Deb's maternal Grandfather, Samuel Dare Estilow, worked for The Central Railroad Company of New Jersey for a number of years. A crippling accident where his lower leg got crushed in the coupling of two freight cars ended his days as a brakeman. The injuries were severe and the danger of gangrene setting in was great but he wouldn't hear of amputation. He kept the leg but never walked well again.

Another name that railroad is the Jersey Central. Here's the cover of his rules book that shows a crease where he used to fold it to carry in his pocket.

Having suffered such a horrendous accident PopPop was always one to stress safety to his grandchildren.

I looked at the exam card below and wondered why it was so neat and unsigned. It wasn't until I scanned it that I noticed the typo in the name, spelling "Estilow" as "Eastlow." Most likely they typed out a correctly spelled one which he signed and carried. Perhaps they let him have this rather than throw it away.

1 comment:

Jim Maddox said...

It was common for brakemen to lose an arm or a leg by being crushed between the couplers. Sam was lucky that he survived the gangrene. My father had a friend who visited us regularly in the 1960s. We called him Mr. Louie. Mr. Louie was a brakeman and a signal man who lost his arm in a similar accident. I always watched in amazement when Mr. Louie came to dinner and was able to eat so effortlessly using just one arm.