Since the beginning of the railroads in the 1830s in the United States, collecting railroad memorabilia has long been an interesting sector for antique collectors across the country.
Railroadiana, as it is commonly referred to, can be items that are generally railroad marked and used on the railroads throughout history. Examples include hand lanterns, signage, china and silver used on dining cars, padlocks/keys, posters, timetables and even railroad signals.
“Like a lot of sectors, the public perception is railroadiana was being ‘aged’ out by an aging demographic slow to change and there was beginning to be a lack of interest and enthusiasm from younger collectors,” said Chad Harpole, who just turned 40 and is President of the Railroadiana Collectors Association, Inc. “I think the perception this hobby is full of older folks doesn’t reflect reality and the interest and hammer prices we saw in recent auctions reflects the health of the hobby.”
The Spring, 2022 Auctions featuring railroadiana yielded some phenomenal results for consigners, auction houses and buyers alike. “This spring was a perfect storm for railroadiana collectors,” Harpole said.
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