Mystery Photo

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UnclePete
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:58 pm

Mystery Photo

Post by UnclePete » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:37 pm

I picked this up recently because it was a photo that intrigued me. When I asked the shop owner about it he had no clue as to the contents/context of it.

There are plenty of people scratching their heads trying to figure this one out.

Apparently it is from Pompton Lakes as shown on the train. The train/engine isn't actually a real one as it is curbside near a pharmacy and there are no tracks. So that leans towards a parade/presentation device. Naturally the main focus is the four men wearing the white coveralls with skulls and crossbones on them. The "legion" type caps they are wearing suggest an organized group. Also, the visible letters behind the dark suited man (2nd from the left) give us "HOCK" to the left and "PS" to the right.

I thought, others suggested as well, that possible they spell out "Shock Troops" or "Shock Corps". Those terms don't return any results relevant to Pompton Lakes or the uniformed men.

Can we figure this one out? I plan to make an appointment with the Pompton Lakes Historical Society one of these days to pay them a visit.
IMG_5248_1000.jpg
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GSC
Posts: 1747
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:10 pm
Location: NY&LB MP 29.2

Re: Mystery Photo

Post by GSC » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:59 am

I'll have to find the link. Many towns and organizations had these "locomotives" built on truck chassis for parades and other uses. At one time, there were a lot of these things. Not sure if any exist. I would think somewhere in the back of the municipal yard one would be hiding.
They tell me to act my age. I don't know how to do that. I've never been this old before.

CarterB
Posts: 2752
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:19 am
Location: Bergen County, New Jersey

Re: Mystery Photo

Post by CarterB » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:24 am

Perhaps part of the 1930's German American Bund? Camp Bergwald of the pro Nazi bund was located on the Pompton lakes border with Bloomingdale on Federal Hill.
Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!

snavely
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:58 am
Location: NJ

Re: Mystery Photo

Post by snavely » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:58 am

I think it's a pic of American Legion members (thus the caps) who belonged to the Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses, which explains the "locomotive" and was probably taken at a parade some time in the 20's or 30's. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty_and ... ganization" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

CarterB
Posts: 2752
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:19 am
Location: Bergen County, New Jersey

Re: Mystery Photo

Post by CarterB » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:40 pm

American Legion with the street "loco" makes sense, but the skull and crossbones???
The Pompton Lakes Legion did have a 40&8 loco as noted by the American Legion Magazine

National
convention

ATLANTIC CITY
SEPTEMBER 14-19. 1957
Convention-goers got closeup of the miniature locomotive of Pompton
Lakes, N. J., 40 &: 8 as it puffed along Atlantic City's famous Boardwalk.

So looks more like it may be them, but what's with the skull and bones outfits?
Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!

snavely
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:58 am
Location: NJ

Re: Mystery Photo

Post by snavely » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:22 pm

Probably something like the nickname of the local chapter being the Pirates.

GSC
Posts: 1747
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:10 pm
Location: NY&LB MP 29.2

Re: Mystery Photo

Post by GSC » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:41 am

These street locos were in fact used in 40 & 8 and American Legion parades.

Check this out for lots of pics of them:

https://www.pinterest.com/bohannon2317/ ... s/?lp=true" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
They tell me to act my age. I don't know how to do that. I've never been this old before.

UnclePete
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:58 pm

Re: Mystery Photo

Post by UnclePete » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:45 pm

GSC wrote:These street locos were in fact used in 40 & 8 and American Legion parades.

Check this out for lots of pics of them:

https://www.pinterest.com/bohannon2317/ ... s/?lp=true" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I took a look at the pics in the link and feel that we are on the right track (no pun intended).

The street locomotives and men wearing white are a good tie-in.

There's still the puzzle about the wording on the train and the skulls & crossbones.

I'm going to keep searching!

GSC
Posts: 1747
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:10 pm
Location: NY&LB MP 29.2

Re: Mystery Photo

Post by GSC » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:49 am

Involved with the American Legion as I am, I have feelers out to see what we can find about this. I know a few past State Commanders and other officers who seem to know everyone in the state, so maybe we can get some answers.
They tell me to act my age. I don't know how to do that. I've never been this old before.

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