Ride the Rails link (simulation game)  click here

 

 

By exploring some of the jobs related to the railroad, we can begin to get a better feel of what life was like for different working groups.  Click on the links within your group, read the documents, look at the artifacts, and be ready to share what you learned with the other job groups in our class.  Remember, YOU are the expert!


CHINESE RAILROAD BUILDER

Job fact card

1874 Chinese Newspaper

Example of a pay roll ledger for Chinese Workers

Chinese Exclusion Act - remember "exclusion" means to NOT include. This was a legal document that our government created to keep Chinese workers OUT of America.  Read at least the first paragraph and see if you can translate the "government talk."



PORTER

Fact Sheet - you may have to scroll down to "Fact Sheet - Porter" on page 3.

Look at the artifacts pictured on this page.  Click on the picture to make it bigger.  What hints do they give about the porter's job?

In this picture, the porter is "making down" a sleeping berth (turning a day car into a sleeping area).  Read a bit about it...

In this picture, the porter is assisting people about to board the train.  Read about his uniform both outside the train and inside the train.

Why do you think this picture of a Pullman porter's hat has the title of "black pride" above it?

CONDUCTOR

Fact Sheet - you may have to scroll down to "Fact Sheet - Conductor" on page 4

In this picture the conductor and engineer compare time on their watches. Why was this important to their jobs?  Click on the artifacts on this page to learn more about each of them.


ENGINEER

Fact Sheet - you may have to scroll down to "Fact Sheet- Engineer" on page 5

In this picture the conductor and engineer compare time on their watches. Why was this important to their jobs?    

On this page are many of the tools that an engineer would need to have and be able to use.  Click on the pictures on the left side of the page to learn more about each tool.    

This page shows a life insurance certificate from the "Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers." Life insurance is something that a person can buy, and in the event of their death, that person's family receives money (sometimes a great deal).  Why would an engineer want to buy life insurance?  Scroll down on the same page as above and see a poster for artifical legs for railroad men.  Why would this poster try and sell thei product to this group of people?