Vintage Tins & Railroad Tracks

Vintage tins and railroad tracks. What do they have in common? Well…

This is a vintage MJB coffee tin commemorating ‘the’ monumental moment of 1869. The completion of the American Transcontinental Railroad.

Vintage MJB Coffee Tin - Building of the Transcontinental Railroad 1868

Even though I peeled the tape back I know it’s hard to read the fine print, so here it is retyped for you.

The building of the Union Pacific Railroad started westward from Omaha, Nebraska, in 1868. This monumental work culminated with the driving of The Golden Spike at Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869, completing the Transcontinental Railroad. The photographer, A. J. Russell, traveled with the construction crews, carrying several hundred pounds of glass plates and a darkroom on his horse-drawn wagon. This photograph reproduced from the original 10 x 13 glass negative, is one of almost 200 Russell plates documenting this important part of Western history. [Photograph courtesy of The Oakland Museum.]

Remember when I promised to share one more hidden treasure from my Gran’s sewing box? Well, this vintage coffee tin is the other bit of treasure that was tucked away inside…

Transcontinental Railroad 1868 MJB Coffee Tin

Not only was it filled with more beading and sewing supplies, but when I discovered the brief history lesson on the side I felt like I had struck gold! Click here for a little more background on The Golden Spike moment… it’s a short read, and what you learn might surprise you!

Vintage MJB Coffee Tin - Transcontinental Railroad 1868

I love the way a vintage coffee tin and a piece of railway history resurfaced together. That’s the thing about all these pieces from the past – you never know when or where they’ll turn up again, but when they do, if you’re lucky you’ll discover a story or two… right Nicole Scott? This tin made me think of you!

A special thanks to Andrea for the feature…

Junkin Joe Linky Party - I Was Featured

And thank you for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller

10 Replies to “Vintage Tins & Railroad Tracks”

  1. Gosh, I’m glad I don’t have to carry glass plates around to shoot!!!! Certainly makes you appreciate what those men did. I just love all of this history your Gran’s sewing box has given us. I think it’s really cool you’re sharing all of this nostalgia too!

  2. I love this!! So cool Sheila! You and I have a weird and wonderful connection. The work I was just doing last week “supposed to be writing” was ABOUT HIM! I’m not kidding. Don’t you think that’s crazy!

  3. Not only did my uncle work for the railroad but I love coffee and old tins, so this is really awesome. What a neat find for you. I’ll have to read more about it. Also, according to my Mom, someone on my dad’s side of the family owned a pretzel company at some point and there is a tin in the family (we think my cousin has it) from the pretzel factory with my maiden name on it – I’d love to find something like that and always keep my eyes peeled when I’m out and about.

  4. What a cool piece o history with a cool story 🙂 My great-grandfather scoped out territory for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Unfortunately we don’t have any souvenirs from his experiences, but there’s a small mountain on the Alberta/BC border named after him 🙂

  5. As always…you have the coolest stuff and the most wonderful stories…I am a bit smarter than when I started out this early morning…they say you learn something new every day and I got that done EARLY! : ) Hugs…featured and pinned!!!

  6. I love your appreciation for your family history. So many people just toss things and don’t even care to find out about them or why they were important to family. What a keepsake. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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