Sunday, December 14, 2014


In the U.S. one hot collectible field is Railroadiana--which refers to artifacts or items of current as well as defunct railways no longer in operation.This very rare specimen-- a small milk pitcher from the Manila Railroad Company is one such example. Passengers were served hot meals and drinks by uniformed railway staff, using tableware--plates, coffee cups, saucers-- bearing the MR logo. This surviving piece from the 30s, was offered by by a Manila collectible shop and it took little convincing for me to acquire it, as it's not only unique, but is also full of history.

The Manila Railroad Company was one of the largest domestic corporations in the Philippines from 1917 -1940's which the Philippine Government acquired in 8 Jan. 1917. Its railway lines totaled 1,140.5 in 1941, located in Luzon.  The lines extended from San Fernando, La Union, in the north, to Legaspi, Albay, in the south. The more important branches are the Paniqui-San Quintin, Tarlac-San Jose, Bigaa-Cabanatuan, San Fernando-Carmen, Calamba-Batangas, and College-Pagsanjan. The company was taken over by the U.S. military during World War II, to be used for the defense of the Philippines. The Manila Railroad Co., suffered irreparable losses from which it has never recovered, thus ending its operations.

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