I have commented several times on this blog about Shipper Guides published by railroads (and you can find the previous posts by using that term in the search box at right). For a general discussion, this post may be best: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2015/11/waybills-part-44-shipper-guides.html . For more recent comments about one of the better guides available so far, there is this post about a Northern Pacific guide: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2018/12/an-excellent-np-shippers-guide.html .
One of the big geographical gaps in the growing collection of these Guides available from Rails Unlimited (see their listing, now up to 21 Guides, at: http://railsunlimited.ribbonrail.com/Books/shippers.html ) is the entire Southeastern United States. Just released recently is a break in that gap, an excellent guide for the Louisville & Nashville. It served nine of the southeastern states and accordingly is a very interesting railroad for which to have a Shipper Guide. Here’s the cover; note the title is actually “Directory of Industries,” which may be a more informative name:
As are almost all these guides, the page size is 8.5 x 11 inches; page count is 163. Though the book is not dated, internal evidence points to a date in the vicinity of 1940 or 1941.
This Guide is especially valuable (at least for non-L&N fans) because it has included in it 34 or so pages of “front matter” about the railroad and its primary on-line industries, as well as information about location of track scales, interchange points, livestock markets, and LCL stations.
You may be saying, “Yeah, but I don’t model the L&N,” or words in that direction. Well, like all these guides, this book contains a phenomenal amount of information about where the loads arriving on your layout may have come from — or where the loads shipped from your on-line industries may be going. Included are a huge number of coal mines and coal brokers, if your interests run in that direction. If you care at all about realistic waybills, this information is pure gold.
To choose just one very typical regional industry, this Directory lists brokers, producers and shippers of “Naval Stores:” turpentine, rosin and other substances that are obtained from the resin of living trees (primarily pines). Here is part of the listing, omitting a few Alabama locations (you can click on the image to enlarge it, if you wish):
I really treasure the small shelf of Shipper Guides that I have, and am especially glad now to finally have one from the Southeast. And I have to thank once again the marvelous service provided by Ted Schnepf, proprietor of Rails Unlimited, for searching out originals of these Guides and getting them reproduced for sale. They are simply a great resource. If you don’t have one yet, go to the Rails Unlimited site, pick one out to buy, and see if you’re not impressed — and going back for more.