Emigrant baggage checks played an interesting part in american history. When you consider that emigrants were taking a "one way" truip to a foreign land where they couldn't speak the language. I don't have statistics on specific immigration numbers from Europe, however, 40% of the people in this country can trace ancestors back to someone who entered through Ellis Island in New York.
The focus on Emigrant baggage checks will be on the east coast of the US. The reason is simple, that's where they were primarily used. By using a combination of maker, makers hallmark, railroad name form and destination some interesting trends exist.
The "later" emigrants came through Ellis Island which
opened in 1892. Prior to this Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore
and other cities were all used as major entry points.
2 John Robbins Co.examples
NYLE&W RR and C&NW Ry to Council Bluffs Iowa
This road name existed between 1878 -1895. This road was
the successor to the Erie Railway. Note that there is no number. I do not
know what the NE 610 designation is.
Erie RY to Chicago
This road name existed from 1861 - 1878. Note the identical
shape. I do not know what the NE 630 designation is.
Both of these checks have the small six pointed star, which means that they were the passenger receipt..
Pennsylvania RR "from" PHILADELPHIA
HOOLE BAGG. CHECK CO example
Becasue this check has this specific makers hallmark, it can be dated to the period of 1872 - 1873. The Pennsylvania RR name is of no help at all becasue they had such a long life with this name form. This is a large check. It is also unusual becasue the reverse is blank and there are 2 slots. Usually 2 slots indicate a reversible check with routing on the reverse. I don't know if this oddity is unique to time frame or just this one check. An example below does have reverse routing.
B&O RR and CM&StP Ry via Chicago
HOOLE BAGG CHECK CO. example
It is likely that his was a Baltimore entroy point. Becasue this check has this specific makers hallmark, it can be dated to the period of 1872 - 1873. The other road names are is of no help at all becasue they had such a long lives wiith this name form (1874 - 1927 for the CM&StP ). The bag check (2 slots) does have reverse routing on the reverse.
|American Railway Supply Co.
B&O RR from Ellis Island NY
AM RY S. CO. NEW YORK
A later example that also has the SPECIAL designation. This passenger receipt is quite a smaller that the others. Between the makers name and the use of Ellis Island it can only be assumed that this check is post 1891. I believe that "special" generally refers to something out of the ordinary. When you consider that this is a relocation, some very unussual things may have been shipped.
Note that all of the images above have been enlarged for clarity. Additional information on all ofthese makers exist. Click on the name of the maker to get further information..
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