A website idea...

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Steampipe
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Post by Steampipe » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:16 am

LVRR2095 wrote:Gee a central registry of live steamers, where have I heard that before?
What do you know...it sounds just like the IBLS! You may remembver that as an orgnaization that nobody supported, even though it was a free service. In the last five years of the group....the only new registrations came from the North East Ohio Live Steamers, who automatically registered each new member of their club.
I wish you luck.....but I found most live steamers to be very secretive about what they had and where they lived. And in the eight or so years I was the East Coast IBLS Secretary, the number of requests I received for contact info for nearby steamers, or steamers building the same model was virtually zero.
Best of lusk to anyone willimg to try....again.
Keith Taylor Former East Coast IBLS Secretary

That maybe so but was not the IBLS before the internet??? Seems like with the new convenience there is a good chance to try again. Not saying it will work but giving up should not be an option either.

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Dave_Johnson
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Post by Dave_Johnson » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:20 am

This started out as an idea to list the locomotives, now we are talking about a registry of persons.

JohnK
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Post by JohnK » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:43 am

Carl Purinton did this in the 1930s with his "Wandering Locomotive Books".....books that passed from "live steam brother, to live steam brother" and these builders (they were all referred to as "brothers" back then) entered photos, notes, their location, comments about their projects, etc. and then passed it on to the next person, who entered all of HIS information. It was like a website registry of people and their locomotives, but the people back then had no concept of "internet" of course. But those books provided for THEM back then, what the internet is able to provide for us today.

In the 1930s and 40s these books went via mail, auto, (and probably rail in some cases), from Maine to California and back, probably Hawaii, and all across Canada. The only cost Mr. Purinton charged was the cost of more paper and supplies, etc. And I suspect each individal contributor paid the postage to send it to the next "brother", or, carried it in person via auto (or rail) when he was going to another club, or area of the country, during his vacation, hobby, or business travels and in order to give it to someone else while on the trip.

For example, if I had the book this month, and was taking my family to Florida by rail next month, I would bring it with me and drop it off at the home of another "live steam brother" who lived near where I was staying in Florida. Or if I was driving to Florida and not taking the train, I might drop it off at the home of a "live steam brother" while going through the Baltimore area.

Mr. Purinton said that he had SO MANY contacts from "the books", and his personal correspondences, that he could drive across the country and never be more than a few miles, or a few towns, away from someone he had written to in the past, or who was "in the book". Amazing. No computers to do that, either. Just paper and postage stamps.

I was sad to see the BLS (Brotherhood of Live Steamers) in the USA come to an end, but, like Keith says, almost nobody was joining, plus I suspect that most "active" members (on the roster) were probably, in actuality, inactive or deceased; and the internet largely made the service the BLS was meant to provide obsolete anyway.

I don't know for sure, but I bet Keith, as the BLS East Coast Secretary in the 1990s, had virtually no "sign ups" from the 1980s and 1990s but had a full "active" roster of mostly inactive or deceased people who had been faithful members since the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

-John K.

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Carrdo
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Post by Carrdo » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:02 am

So who here still have their (I)BLS (in my case) membership card?
I do.

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LVRR2095
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Post by LVRR2095 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:12 am

That maybe so but was not the IBLS before the internet???
The North American portion of the IBLS finally gave up in 2004, well into the age of the internet. I offered to register folks and their projects by e-mail, and only asked for a stamped self addressed envelope if the person wanted a membership card. We sold IBLS cloth patches to try and recover a portion of the expenses we incurred in getting membership cards printed and to pay postage expenses to mail the membership cards to those who chose to not send along the requested SASE. Not one person was ever denied membeship even if they did not provide the cost of a stamp to mail them the card.
To the question of whether we are talking registering people, or locomotives, there isn't much point in registering locomotives, if you don't know who owns them or where they are located. I can name many, many Harpur / Allen Moguls.....but it won't do the prospective builder any good if he has no way to contact any of the owners with their questions. The handful of people that did register with the IBLS towards the end, except those from the NEOLS, didn't actually have a live steam loco, or even an internal combustion powered model, which we included as a vital part of the hobby today. They were mostly folks who "liked trains" and thought that "someday" they might buy one.....if they could find one cheaply. Then....I would never hear from them again. Not one asked if there were any local live steamers, and not one ever asked if there were a club nearby. I fear that most locomotive owners, having a substantial investment in their equipment and tools, trailers, hauling vehicles etc. are reluctant to advertise on a web list the fact that they are ripe targets for thieves. Just within the last week, a well known classic car collector here in Maine lost his 1933 Packard Dual Cowled Phaeton, a custom trailer and hauling four wheel drive pick up truck. Had he been less generous is letting folks know who he was and what he had.....he might still have his classic automobile.
Keith

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Harlock
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Post by Harlock » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:00 pm

The demise of BLS/IBLS is one of the reasons I propose my site. Also, many clubs are no longer keeping updated rosters, as another friend pointed out. It's just not something that has remained a priority as clubs and the people in them have evolved, as have methods of communication.

In regards to privacy -

My idea is to let people list as little or as much as they'd like to, but all I really want is a city or zip code, or affiliated club if any. Even the state would be good enough if someone feels comfortable at that level.

My current thought is to have a contact form for each engine, and if the user chooses to (privately) provide his email address, the message will be forwarded on through the contact form without revealing the email address, similar to the contact form on the Discover Live Steam forsale ads.

In short, no one's personal information would be displayed, but contact would be possible through anonymous forwarding. This is a common method of initializing first contact online and works well.

If the recipient wishes to respond to the inquiry, at that time he would reveal his address to the sender by replying to the forwarded email in a normal fashion.

Last name would also be optional. (first + initial would be nice at a bare minimum) It would be nice to get as many engines as possible listed, and providing varying levels of privacy would be a good way to accomodate that wish.

In regards to the comparison of the theft of the automobile, I believe live steam to be so esoteric as to not attract that kind of attention. That being said, phone numbers and addresses WOULD NOT be online or asked for, period. I wouldn't reccomend it and no one would go for it anyway, if they were smart. The best method is using the online form to email forward mechanism that does not reveal the email address of the recipient.

Aside from the anonymous email forward, People can be contacted safely through clubs or friends if one knows the general location of the item.

The primary purpose is indeed to list the engines, as someone mentioned above. But having a safe method of contact for those who wish to be contacted is something I fully plan to implement.

Thanks for the continued comments,

--Mike

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ccvstmr
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Post by ccvstmr » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:40 pm

Mike,
At this point in time, I don't have an opin one way or the other regarding your intentions...yet.

If you're looking to create a electronic registry of live steamers and large scale RR hobbyists across the country (around the world)...that would be one thing. And I have no problem participating... after all, I am already a registered user/contributor to this bulletin board. While I don't have the total number of registered persons on this forum, there is not doubt that has grown and continues to grow. All live steaming and large scale hobbyists are welcome. There's a wealth of information AND EXPERIENCE that shows up in these topics that is unparalleled. Just remember, not all railroad hobbyists have internet access...let alone a computer.

However, if your intent was to generate a registry of locomotives and other equipment...I might draw the line there. I don't advertise how many road vehicles I have or what types. I don't advertise my house or personal property therein. Similarly, I have shop equipment...used...and that suits my abilities and capabilities for now. But I don't publish an inventory of my tooling. I may mention some of these items in conversation or responses, but I don't post a listing.

With the advent of the internet and club/private track websites, there is access to much of the information you are looking to gather...just not all in a single location. As long as websites have a contact person, much of the information someone might want along with contact info can be had with a couple emails. People/hobbyists form their own networks and contacts depending on their needs.

Now...if you're looking to do something that might generate a lot of interest (and this was mentioned on this board several years ago), if someone who was a glutton for punishment wanted to collate and publish subject matter from all of the topic pages in this forum...with the variety of points of view...NOW...you got something! I wouldn't mind trying that... but as long as I have regular job (that I would like to keep) and a few years to go before I can I retire (other than right before I go to bed every night), I'll have to take a pass on that project. For what it's worth... Carl B.

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Steampipe
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Post by Steampipe » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:46 pm

ccvstmr wrote: However, if your intent was to generate a registry of locomotives and other equipment...I might draw the line there.
I think what caught my attention was establishing an online pedigree of where someones loco came from, who built it and establishing whose hands they have passed down from. This goes to legacy etc. Also where did many locos disapear to? The many I see in older issues of Live Steam, where are they now?? Thats what I thought this thread question/web site idea was about.

Pat

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Harlock
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Post by Harlock » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:22 pm

Steampipe wrote:
ccvstmr wrote:

However, if your intent was to generate a registry of locomotives and other equipment...I might draw the line there.
Just steam locomotives, not cars or other equipment.
Steampipe wrote: I think what caught my attention was establishing an online pedigree of where someones loco came from, who built it and establishing whose hands they have passed down from. This goes to legacy etc. Also where did many locos disapear to? The many I see in older issues of Live Steam, where are they now?? Thats what I thought this thread question/web site idea was about.

Pat
Yes, that is my intent....something that shows builder, current ower and past owners, if they want to be listed. It could be as anonymous as "builder" and then "current location" (zip code, club, state) Also details regarding what castings or plans were used, if any, and other notes as the person sees fit.

As mentioned, first name and last initial would provide a good amount of privacy, while giving enough information to be useful if someone decided to try contacting the person through a message board or a club / friends.

I guess the main issue is how to handle someone other than the locomotive owner adding the information in. Perhaps putting the information about what it is and the general location (city/club) but not the name unless permission is sought, unless that person is deceased.

The more restrictions you place, the less useful and populated the database will become. It's a delicate balance.

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LVRR2095
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Post by LVRR2095 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:34 pm

Esoteric items or not...I know of at least one east coast club that was the target of thieves who hit the club with a shopping list. Only certain storage facilities were broken into and specific pieces of equipment taken, with other valuable pieces left behind. When you have something that you value....there will always be somebody who will go out of their way to steal it.
Keith

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Harlock
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Post by Harlock » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:20 pm

LVRR2095 wrote:Esoteric items or not...I know of at least one east coast club that was the target of thieves who hit the club with a shopping list. Only certain storage facilities were broken into and specific pieces of equipment taken, with other valuable pieces left behind. When you have something that you value....there will always be somebody who will go out of their way to steal it.
Keith
Sounds like an inside job...

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LVRR2095
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Post by LVRR2095 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:07 pm

The break in occured just days after a public display.

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