PRR memorabilia and accurate prototype reproductions

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by miktrav2, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. miktrav2

    miktrav2 New Member

    I am thinking of modeling and collecting memorabilia from the PRR with my son. I have seen stock certificates online. The prices range from $3 to $50. How can I tell that what I buy is the actual item and not just a reproduction or outright fake? Does anyone have any idea where I could find a reliable source for these items? I'd also like to buy accurate steam and diesel engines and car reproductions for hanging on his wall. I'm not looking for high end engines but something in the middle of the range. We already have a spectrum K4 that came with his set that I'm going to substitute with a $15 diesel for him to play with. We'll display the Spectrum K4 in his room along with any other items we collect as he's a big railfan. Is this a good engine to start with?


  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Wow - That's a tough question :(

    For the most part anything "paper" wouldn't be faked. They just dont sell for that much money and so forging them isn't worth the aggravation.

    All "books" I have seen, have been authentic in that you can tell the age of the paper. As far as artifacts, Lanters, etc, that would not have the PRR logo, it's alost impossible to tell wether its a PRR or Conrail or Penn Central.

    Obviously anything with a keystone (PRR) or worms (Penn CEntral) or Conrail "C" are pretty much authentic, as again - it's not worth the price to fake these things.

    You just have to be careful... If the price seems too high, or too low - stay away - or be really really careful. If it seems too good to be true - it probably is......

    As far as collectables - I have the book below. If that's the kind of thngs you are looking for, let me know :)

    Attached Files:

  3. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Well, my first thought is to ask whether you're "collecting" or simply "decorating"... I don't say that judgementally, I absolutely do the latter myself, not the former.

    Which leads to the question... If you're "decorating" why do you care if it's a "fake" if the price is reflective of that? Shouldn't you buy stuff you enjoy looking at, being around, etc.? If you pay $2.50 for a "PRR Stock Certificate" do you really care if it was printed in 1920 or 1990, as long as it looks nice and like the real deal? Heck, a reproduction might even be better as it will likely be on acid-free paper that won't yellow, etc. And if your son is tossing a b-ball around the room and smashes it... so what?

    Or, if you're "collecting" and paying prices where having a fake would be a problem... Then you probably should NOT be decorating with the stuff anyway. E.g. if you buy a genuine PRR stock certificate with some level of rarity that makes it a $50 sheet of paper, then it probably needs to be put away in a dark, acid-free environment and conserved, not put in a kid's room.

    In that case, with all due respect to this board, you also probably need to develop more expertise than you'll find here. Anyone can go to a factory in China and stamp out a bunch of railroad lanterns with the PRR keystone and all. If they're clever they can even use cruddy glass with bubbles in it to look "authentic" -- only an expert is going to know the difference.

    Example of what I mean: I recently was looking at a brass Burlington Zephyr. $800 (and counting) on Ebay. I say "was" because I decided not to buy it... Why? Because the posting makes a point of saying how the owner kept it locked away, never ran it, etc. If I were to buy it, I'd run that sucker nonstop. I'd probably put significant wheelwear on it, it would probably get the inevitable dings or scratches over time. I don't need to pay $800 or more for something like that... Simultaneously, I have no interest in buying it in order to never run it, put it in a walnut case on the wall and wait for my friends to come over and "ooh, aah" over it (especially since my friends would say "let's get it out and run it!")

    Just my take on the matter...

  4. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    I found a cute little bit of PRR memorabilia the other day--it's actually a guide to Washington D.C., printed by PRR sometime before World War II. Apparently the PRR conducted tours of D.C. in conjunction with excursion trains, and this was a guide for that tour. I picked it up at an estate sale with some other old ephemera and books.

    Tell you what, though--this guide didn't really cost me anything (I spent $5 for a fairly large pile of stuff) and if you and your son get a kick out of PRR ephemera, send me your snail-mail address using the board's email function and I'll send it off to you.

    I have a small collection of Sacramento-related railroad stuff festooning my office desk: a Central California Traction drink coaster with a handful of Sacramento City Lines and PG&E trolley tokens in it, various railroad and local postcards and brochures, etcetera--I know how much fun that stuff can be to have around. I don't sweat too much about authenticity since I'm buying it for fun, not for collector value, and if I have to pay collector prices I'll pass.
  5. miktrav2

    miktrav2 New Member

    We have different ideas about collecting KChronister. The point of having it for me is so I can take it out and run it around. That doesn't mean it'll be run every day or that I will let it get battered. An example of this is my comic book collection. I have them packed with acid free backing boards and while they are not displayed they are boxed and stored in linen closet where I can get to them and every once in a while I'll pull out an X-Men, Spiderman, etc storyline and read them from cover to cover. I even gave a few of the ones that I had picked up early on in the bargain bin to my son so he could look at the picture and maybe get an interest in reading the storylines and suck him into reading a little earlier than normal.

    Anyway my main point is that if I'm paying for something, regardless of whether it's 1 or 1000 dollars, and the description says it's authentic I'd like it to be as described. I actually wouldn't mind buying a reproduction certificate as long as I knew what it was when I purchased it.

  6. miktrav2

    miktrav2 New Member

    Ngauger - I'll do some more research and try and see what he ooh's over before I buy anything for his room. I myself am very interested in the manual like you have pictured. My wife however reminded me that this room and set is for him and not me.

  7. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Michael -

    Actually it seems to me we have the exact same ideas about what collecting is, just that you do it and I don't: If the situation you describe with your comics is how you intend to handle PRR memorabilia, I'd say you're definitely a "collector" (as opposed to myself).

  8. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Yeah - watch out - That "line" can change into a "gray area" real quick. But you will probably Ohh & Ahh over the same things he does :) :) It'll just cost him less :D :D :D
  9. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    He he he... Yeah, my biggest mistake in model railroading was choosing a father who wasn't into it, rather than one from whom I could mooch/inherit...


Share This Page