Railroadiana Organizations

There are two national organizations devoted to general railroadiana collecting -- Key, Lock & Lantern or "KL&L" and Railroadiana Collectors Association, Inc. or "RCAI". Both are all-volunteer, non-profit groups whose main activity is to publish a magazine. Below is a brief description of each organization with links to their websites.

Key, Lock & Lantern. This organization traces its beginnings to the Spring of 1966 when Paul Pietrak of North Boston, New York started a publication for railroad hardware collectors called "Key, Lock & Lantern". Paul produced eight additional quarterly issues before turning over the editorship in the Spring of 1968 to Walter L. George. In the Spring of 1970, Bill Lindblom became Editor and for the first time "Key, Lock and Lantern" was printed, not mimeographed. Bill's reign as Editor lasted until his untimely death on May 4, 1975. At that point, the publication ceased, although Forbes Hauptman put out a single sheet issue to inform people of Bill's death.

The magazine was resurrected by Joe Gross, who convinced several of his fellow collectors in the Rochester, New York area to get involved and restart publication. Pete Gores became editor and continued in this capacity until the Spring of 1977 when he was succeeded by Hugh Guilliame. Other editors in turn were Jim Crosby, Dick Barrett, Sam Ferrara and Joel R. Shaw (co-editors), and Gerry Geisler. In Spring of 1989 Dick Barrett resumed editorship of the magazine following problems with publication schedules. After resuming a regular publication schedule and significantly improving the magazine, Dick stepped down in the late 1990's. He was succeeded by Pat and Sam Lombardi, who became the the most recent editors.

The magazine continued a regular publication schedule until the Summer of 2003, when a number of unavoidable circumstances caused publication to cease for a period of time. Now things are back on track, the magazine is back in regular publication, and the organization is growing again. See KL&L website for details.

Railroadiana Collectors Association, Inc. This organization traces its root to 1971 when it was started by Dan Moss. The first edition of the RCAI’s quarterly newsletter was published with Dan Moss as the Secretary, Treasurer and Editor, in January of 1972. Dan held a contest to pick a name for the publication, with the "Express" being the name chosen. By Fall of 1972, RCAI had 200 members. Around this time, Jim Bartz took over as Editor.

In the 1970's, RCAI adopted a regional directorship system whereby eight regional directors (vice presidents) are elected from the memberships for 2 year terms. This system constitutes the board and continues to the present. Arnold Lang, a regular contributor to the Express, became the first elected president of the RCAI in January, 1976. In 1978, Bev Birk became the third editor, and membership passed 600.

In the early 1980’s, membership approached 1000 collectors. Everett Maffett, Author of "Silver Banquet, a Compendium of Railroad Silver Holloware," was elected president of RCAI in 1983. Bev Birk resigned as Editor after six years, and was succeeded by Jack Barefield. By this time, the "Express" had grown into a glossy, black and white publication. Also during this time, Richard Luckin, author of numerous books on railroad china, started a regular column in the "Express" called the "China Corner". He continues this long tradition into the present. In 1985, Jack Austerman was elected President, and Steve Mazanek became editor of the "Express." In the late 1980's, Rick Wright was elected President, a job that he has held ever since through re-election.

In the early 1990's, the "Express" took on new look with color covers and improved printing. Bill Mill became the most recent editor in 1993. He brought many improvements to the magazine and has maintained a stellar publishing schedule throughout the intervening years. The Spring, 2001 issue was the 30th Anniversary Edition of the "Express." The "Express" is published four times a year, covers all manner of railroadiana items. The organization maintains a website at www.railroadcollectors.org -- see their website for details by clicking on the "Join RCAI" link.

Other Organizations: There are many other organizations and historical societies devoted to various facets of railroadiana and/or railroad history. Two national organizations are particularly worth noting: the National Association of Timetable Collectors and the National Railway Historical Society.