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The author begins the book this way: This is the story of how it used to be in the romantic days of railroading, when the entire force, from the policymaker at the top to the track laborer at the bottom, took pride in a railroad's service, its efficiency, its safety, and its personal appearance ... and 'on time' was a religion. Originally published in 1978, The Brasspounder won the Ohioana Book Award of 1979 in the category of The Ohio Scene. The author was D.G. Sanders who worked 50 years for the Pennsylvania Railroad as a telegrapher and block operator. The book is being republished by his daughter and editor, Sandra Sanders Breuer. When Mr. Sanders began working for the Pennsy in 1915 at age 16 (he lied about his age), working for the railroad was like becoming an astronaut in a later age, he said. It was the most thrilling job you could have. The flavor of the book is suggested by some of the chapter titles: Breaking in, Long Nights, Bright Days, The Wally Flyer, A Visit into Yesterday, High Jinks and Humor, Heroes and Goats, Pulling the Pin. One of the most gripping chapters is the one in which Sanders was called as a potential witness in a murder trial. Long out of print, used original copies of The Brasspounder continue to sell briskly, as it is one of the most vivid books ever written about American railroads of the 20th Century.
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