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Thread: Who here tries to model a railroad based on a certain historical period and region?

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    Lightbulb Who here tries to model a railroad based on a certain historical period and region?

    I would like to style my layout based on the summer of 1979 in rural Pacific Northwest America if I could. It requires the correct content to be accurate.

    Most of my favorite American railroad rolling stock was fairly new and common then. Most of the automobiles would have been made in the 1970's and 1960's then with a few '50's cars on occasion. How would have young people dressed in the rural Pacific Northwest back then? I lived in the coastal parts of northern California then as a high-school-aged young boomer. Disco, Levis and bell bottoms were in. Overalls were a fad. 8-track was in as well as 45 records. Females largely wore dresses and skirts still and most males had no beards and younger fellows had longer hair styles. Think about how older people dressed back then as well. People young and old generally weren't dressed like tattooed bikers and homeless bums. Think about the infrastructure, buildings and homes. Think about the commercial truck and bus models then as well as their liveries. This is an era were disco was converted into new wave. The home computer was rare, expensive and in diapers. Phone booths and dial telephones where very common.
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    West of the Cascades a lot of us wore shorts and sandals year 'round, with rain jackets or parkas depending on the weather. No umbrellas! East of the mountains jeans, jeans, jeans, tennis shoes, fruit boots, plaid or striped shirts. Hats were more frequent. Everybody went into jeans, parkas and stocking caps in the winter. Older folks wore more traditional suits etc. Ladies wore mid-length dresses, young women wore short skirts.

    Architecture was largely of Norwegian descent, frame houses and so on. Stores were brick or cinderblock with flat or slanted roofs. Industries haven't changed much. Downtowns were brick and mortar.

    See <kuid2:68787:200300:17> HP-Trainz Region Marias Pass for appropriate road traffic.

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    I take it east of the Cascades is Idaho and Montana.

    I found this 1978 photo of a Montana university. Young woman with long hippie hair. One young man with beard. A couple young men rather short hair. Younger male hair length was probably not as long as it was in metropolitan California and New York at that time. Some of those colleges students look trashy by comparison with the high school students I knew in the late 1970s/early 1980's. Back then, in my youth times, coastal California youth often had that Donny and Marie look. California youth were generally better dressed than as shown in this photo.

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    East of the Cascades would also include the drier eastern half of Washington State. More agricultural, but probably similar to what you see in the Montana pic. Jeans were universal. Some women wore skirts made of denim or even old jeans. T-shirts in summer, flannel in winter. Generally light jackets in spring and fall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forester1 View Post
    East of the Cascades would also include the drier eastern half of Washington State. More agricultural, but probably similar to what you see in the Montana pic. Jeans were universal. Some women wore skirts made of denim or even old jeans. T-shirts in summer, flannel in winter. Generally light jackets in spring and fall.
    When considering how people dress (as for content of a train layout), wear their hair or possible facial hair, one has to consider age, gender, race, nationality, ethnic group, regional culture, occasion for wearing certain clothes, season and timeframe in history. Male beard wearing is all too common these days and female dress wearing is now rare. There was a time when railroad locomotive crews wore striped overalls.
    If people are standing on a a train platform in the rain or the snow, how should they be dressed?
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; July 7th, 2022 at 07:54 PM.
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    Well, they would probably be standing inside the station waiting for the train. Ski jackets and stocking caps? Cowboy hats and levi's coats or brushed leather coats with sheepskin collars? And don't forget the cowboy boots to go with the hats.
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power then the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forester1 View Post
    East of the Cascades would also include the drier eastern half of Washington State. More agricultural, but probably similar to what you see in the Montana pic. Jeans were universal. Some women wore skirts made of denim or even old jeans. T-shirts in summer, flannel in winter. Generally light jackets in spring and fall.
    More like 5/8ths area-wise, 1/4 populationally, but yeah.

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    Ideally, I like the way middle-class and above Americans dressed (this excludes hippies, bums, winos and street thugs) from about the 1950's through the 1980's in the San Francisco metro region of northern California where I was raised. It would be fun to model a train layout based on this culture of people and style of automobiles. I'm thinking though that in the late 1970's, vehicles and people in rural areas of the Pacific Northwest are going to look rather hickish. Lot's of Jeep CJ5's, Chevrolet Cheyenne pickup trucks (plenty of those are available on DLS) and Dodge muscle cars, think General Lee. Cowboy hats, farmer's overalls and straw hats. The look of Dukes (Ducks??) of Hazzard that came out on television in that timeframe. Dodge Monaco and Plymouth Fury cop and sheriff cars with dome flashing red lights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMyrlennBailey View Post
    I take it east of the Cascades is Idaho and Montana.

    I found this 1978 photo of a Montana university. Young woman with long hippie hair. One young man with beard. A couple young men rather short hair. Younger male hair length was probably not as long as it was in metropolitan California and New York at that time. Some of those college students look trashy by comparison with the high school students I knew in the late 1970s/early 1980's. Back then, in my youth times, coastal California youth often had that Donny and Marie look. California youth were generally better dressed than as shown in this photo.
    That's pretty much how we dressed back east here in New England. I graduated from high school in '79.

    Our weather isn't as stratified, but it is regional with coastal areas remaining warmer and moister during the winter months than it is inland, and with the Cape Cod and Long Island being much warmer and wetter due to the Gulf Stream. We also have more extremes depending upon the weather with storms bringing warmer weather to be followed by a cold Arctic blast afterwards. Those warm wet days, usually mixed with ice and snow, lead to frigid cold windy days afterwards with awful blasts of miserable cold wind that always occur when I need to put gas in my car.

    Clothing is varied but much similar to the PNW with a bit more warmer clothes in the winter. Winters have us wearing flannel shirts, pullover shirts, jeans, and sometimes sweatpants for those that do that. We also include lots of pullover wool sweaters and heavy jackets.

    Springtime is a mix of warm clothes, including sweatpants and heavy coats, hoodies, and flannel shirts that are followed with lighter fare when it warrants it. This has changed with increased weather changes with us going from cold to instant heat.

    Summers are hot and humid, but we do have our cool days, and really cold damp days if a storm sits off our coast. We live in shorts, jeans, short-sleeved shirts, and T-shirts most of the summer.

    Autumn is similar until we get cold then we take out the longer sleeves, jackets, sweatshirts/pants and the other warmer clothes, although like the spring to summer period, we seem to be going through an instant heat to cold pattern with little sliding between the seasons.
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    I dunno. I don't think we were hickish in Eastern Washington, where I grew up. But I see old episodes of Adam12 and other shows from California in the 70s, and I shake my head. That disco look just did not last that long, and neither did the hairstyles. Having said that, I wore bell-bottom jeans in high school and college. But I also had a blue brushed leather winter coat with a sheepskin collar and a real Stetson! I liked Disco, rock, jazz and country western!
    Last edited by Forester1; July 8th, 2022 at 12:44 PM.
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    Most middle-class younger people in middle-class California of the disco/new-wave eras sported that cute Donny and Marie look. Older people dressed businesslike, staid and conservative and respectable. More suits and ties were worn in business. Doctors wore shirts, ties and clean white lab coats. Nurses wore clean white pressed uniforms. Males faces were mostly clean-shaven. Females were largely in dresses, skirt bust sometimes jeans. My blue-collar grandfather and father wore nice Pendleton buffalo-plaid wool shirts and Ben Davidson pants in colder seasons. Flannel or cotton shirts in warm weather. My mother and grandmother were heavy and wore Hawaiian-style moo-moos and sandals. My brother and I wore Mervin's flannel button-up shirts and mostly Levi's corduroy pants that were so popular then as well as Hushpuppy shoes. We liked the straight-bottom cords, not the then-faddish bell-bottom ones.
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    My grand fathers always dressed up to go to work. My dad's father worked as an accountant in Boston and dressed up in a full suit including a pocket watch. My mom's father was a house painter. He too dressed up the same. When he got to the job, he changed to his work clothes. Both wore Stetson hats too. My dad too dressed up for work, suit, tie, and suitcoat. One day he dropped a bottle of India ink on his shirt and he wore regular clothes after that. The bosses were a bit upset that he didn't wear a white shirt any longer to work.

    How I dressed depended upon the job. When I was in manufacturing and test, I wore jeans but always a button-down shirt. Sometimes, I would wear a T-shirt during the summertime, but that was on a Friday "casual" day. When I moved to service, I wore the same unless out on the road and visiting customers, and then when I moved to MIS it was dress clothes all the time. My job at an annuities and insurance company required dress clothes including white shirts and ties for us in the computer room and in support. We did have casual Fridays. What irked me the most is we used to handle refilled laser toner cartridges that used to "explode" in the printers. I destroyed more shirts and pants from the toner because it wasn't easy to get out once it got on the clothes. Washing didn't work and when the toner went through the clothes drier, it fused to the threads and never came out.

    Now I'm retired and dress up for me is jeans or shorts and T-shirts.
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    I was in Forestry (hence the name), so usually wore jeans, but a new manager came into our company office and declared that any foresters working in the office had to wear at least black jeans or dockers. So, I wore black jeans until I moved into computers and computer systems, then I wore dockers for many years, until I ended up in an environment where most of IT just wore jeans, and I went back to jeans.
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power then the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix

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