Lehigh Valley emblem

Discussion related to the Lehigh Valley Railroad and predecessors for the period 1846-1976. Originally incorporated as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Company.

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Lehigh Valley emblem

Postby Richard1 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:25 pm

Everyone is very familiar with the Lehigh Valley flag emblem. But I have only one secondary source that states it was created in 1890. It apparently was about that time that the Lehigh Valley got into the maritime business with a fleet of tugs and barges in New York harbor. However, they also had a fleet of package freighters/passenger vessels on the Great Lakes. Since this emblem was the trademark of the LV so long, it would be interesting to know more about it.
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Re: Lehigh Valley emblem

Postby scottychaos » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:41 pm

Richard,
I think this is probably one of those bits of LV lore that has been "lost to history"..
Someone once knew when the LV flag was first created..People were there when it happened! ;)
But sometime between then and now, that information has been lost to us, 140 years later.

The information is probably still out there somewhere, locked away in museum documents somewhere..the trick is finding it again.
LV had maritime operations: tugs, barges and ships, in three locations:

1.) Fair Haven, began maritime operations in 1872, the year coal was first loaded into lake freighters there.
And the Southern Central owned a tugboat at Fair Haven in 1872 called the A.J. Hoole.

2.) The first LV New York City area harbor operations were in 1875.

3.) Tifft Terminal maritime operations began in 1881. (even though the LV mainline didnt get there until 1892! ;)
quote from my LV maritime webpage, which still has not seen the light of day:

But even before the LV reached Buffalo on its own rails in 1892, it had already purchased and developed harbor facilities in Buffalo, for the shipment of coal via Great Lakes steam ships.

In 1881 the LV organized the "Lehigh Valley Transportation Company", which immediately began to build a fleet of lake steamers for the purpose of transporting coal, grain, and other freight from Buffalo out to other Great Lakes port cities, such as Chicago, Duluth, Milwaukee and other cities. The steam freighters acted as an extension of the railroad. Coal and other freight could travel via rail to Buffalo, then transfer to the LV lake freighters for shipment further west into the Great Lakes industrial region. Or travel the other way, by "sea" to Buffalo, then by rail to the east coast markets.

The first four ships were of wood construction, commissioned in 1881, and were named:

the Robert A. Packer
the Oceanica
the Clyde
the Tacoma

Business was so good that two more ships were added a year later, in 1882:

the Harry E. Packer
the Fred Mercur

Making a total of six wood ships in the fleet.
The wood steamers were retired between 1900 and 1911.


So LV maritime operations date from the 1870's..
None of this answers the question about the flag logo however! ;)
Im just putting the dates out there to get the ball rolling..

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Re: Lehigh Valley emblem

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:57 pm

ICC made LV divest the maritime division as they considered it to count to a monopoly - how, exactly, when most other roads that reached the great lakes also had a fleet of ships, is beyond me - but that's the prime reason that went away. Per Archer's Lehigh Valley Railroad.
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Re: Lehigh Valley emblem

Postby scottychaos » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:08 pm

The Lehigh Valley Transportation Company and its Great Lakes fleet was very busy and successful up through World War 1,
but ran into some trouble with the US Government beginning in 1912.
In 1912, The ICC passed the "Panama Canal Act", which declared railroad ownership of water-borne
common carriers to be illegal, which included all railroad-owned shipping on the Great Lakes.

The Panama Canal Act stated that no railroad could directly compete with its own shipping line.
the LV argued, quite correctly, that its rails ended in Buffalo, and therefore could in no way be
competing by rail with its own ships, and therefore the act should not apply to the LV.

The LV took the US government to court. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, ending in 1917.
the LV lost the case..not because they were wrong about not directly competing with their own ships,
but because the Supreme Court ruled that the LV's participation in through-freight with other railroads that
did serve the same ports as the LV ships, was reason enough to dismiss the LV's case.
the actual case summary can be read here:
http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal ... /case.html

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