Monday, April 30, 2012

Waybills-18, resources: update

A major source of detailed information about prototype waybill procedures, which I didn’t include in my previous post about sources (available at: ) because I hadn’t then seen the book, is entitled The Station Agent’s Blue Book, by O.B. Kirkpatrick (Kirkpatrick Publishing, Chicago, 1928). It contains more than 500 pages and is phenomenally detailed in some areas, such as minutiae on how to do daily accounting reports of passenger ticket receipts, credit and debit analysis, cashbook entries, etc., etc. But its big attraction for me is a perfectly pitched chapter on waybills and the procedures which go with them, along with several chapters on freight handling.
     Here is what the book looks like. It is a hefty volume, with pages of 7.75 x 10.5 inch dimensions, and is nicely printed and securely bound.

     Although the book can be found in the on-line listings of a number of internet booksellers, it is not particularly cheap. There is a digital copy of it on line, at the Hathi Digital Library, at:;page=root;view=image;size=100;seq=5;num=i . This site shows you a single page at a time, and you can download a limited number of pages, but you are not allowed to download the entire book. Here is the contents page, so you can see what may be interesting for your own use, and choose pages to look at in the on-line version.

I have really pored over chapters 8 to 15, and 19 to 23, on freight handling, and chapters 31 and 32 on waybills, but have barely skimmed much of the rest. It’s a great resource in some parts, and I would say anyone interested in these topics would benefit by at least a look-see, but its value may not repay a purchase for everyone.
Tony Thompson

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