Kruse House Museum's Summer Exhibit "All Aboard"
Jul 28, 2015 4:42 PM -
The summer exhibit, "All Aboard," at the West Chicago Historical Society Kruse House Museum is right on track. The 1917 four square home depicts the lifestyle of a railroad family. Fred Kruse was a collector for the Chicago & North Western Railroad, A collector is the person who collects the ticket, not to be confused with the conductor, who manages a freight or passenger train and directly supervises the train crew. Although there are some model trains on display, most to the items are Railroadiana items, which are artifacts of current or former operating railroads. Some of the items on exhibit are on loan from persons in the community and others are from the collection of the KHM. The types of lighting portray the different uses by persons working for railroads. As the position of conductor was a prestigious one, their lanterns were more ornate. On display is an inspector's lantern, designed for the purpose throwing light. This was borne of necessity as car inspectors worked mainly in in yards and terminals. Switchmen's' lanterns also were utilitarian, as their work often required working at night in in railroad yards or nearby industrial tracks. Other lighting fixtures include lamps for cabooses which provided shelter for the crew and, sometimes, as the working office for the conductor.