Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sheet Protectors and Railroad 'Horse Blanket' Timetables?

Ever wondered what's it like in the old days when there wasn't monitors, computers or smartphones for you to check the timetables and schedules of trains, ferries, or even for airplanes?  Today you can probably find the timetables for any transportation at the tip of your fingers.  However, in the past, most of this information are actually printed out onto paper and posted or passed out to passengers and employees so they can have this information on hand.  A lot of these timetables are actually very valuable, in the sense that there is a lot of history that goes with these timetables, and a lot can be learned from studying them.  That is why it's become a hobby for some people to collect these timetables.  Today there is even a National Association of Timetable Collectors that brings together timetable collectors to share their collections and experiences with each other.

It all started in 1962 when a group of 12 men formed the association after Howard Sanford posted in a railroad magazine asking if others were interested in collecting timetables together.  Since then, the association has seen both a drop and raise in its number of members.  However, even till today, the association is active and brings all sorts of timetable collectors together, not just railroad, but also expanding to other transportation like ferries and airlines.

At first, it might seem like such a boring hobby to have - collecting a piece of paper with times on it for when and where trainings are leaving.  Trust me, we were just as shocked and found it surprising when we had a customer reviewed our products and said it was a good fit for their timetable collections.  They call a lot of these timetables ‘horse blankets’ (we have no idea why).  However, as we looked into it, we realized that it's not as boring and there is actually an importance to it because there is just so much knowledge in them that it can teach us about the past and help as preserve a bit of history.

As it turns out, a lot of these railroad timetables were printed on larger paper like 11 x 17, 13 x 19 and 14 x 17.  A guess is that the larger paper allows for more information to be printed on the timetable.  Printed in these timetables are very vintage design works and graphics that are great to collect and preserve.  What’s also valuable is the information it has, and what it can tell us about the history during those times like how population increased in one area coincidently after a train station is established in that area.  

A lot of the said timetables are from many years ago and if you happen to find any of them now, they are probably in very poor conditions depending on how they’ve been archived.  Our acid free sheet protectors are perfect for archiving these timetables.  You also don’t find a lot of sheet protectors in the sizes that these timetables are printed on – again like 11x17, 13x19, and 14x17 which of course are all available with Keepfiling.  Of course, we don’t only have sheet protectors in those sizes, but also binders that you can get to organize the sheet protectors into.

- Railroad timetables, or also called 'horse blankets'
(Source: http://www.naotc.org/)

Not to sell ourselves short, but every now and then we learn something new from our customers on how they use our sheet protectors and when we do, we like to share them with you because maybe you can use them in the same way.  

If you like to share with us how you use your binders and sheet protectors, we would love to hear from you. The more we know the better we can serve your needs. E-mail me at: ken@keepfiling.com.

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