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Don't Bid on This!

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  • Don't Bid on This!

    Just to show you that you have to do your homework, here's a listing on eBay for a 'Civil War era' railroad hat badge. Let's take a look.

    What is wrong with this picture? Keep in mind the seller's belief that it is from the Civil War era. Note the evidence of machine stamping of the letters visible from the reverse side and the cartouche with the letters 'C&M RR'. Note the letters are also cast in the cartouche. Starting to get the idea? The machine technology required to make a stamped sheet of metal didn't exist during the Civil War...and wouldn't for decades to come.

    Now, let's take a look at an example of a C&O hat badge up for sale on eBay as well.

    Look familiar? The fake was manufactured, probably in Taiwan, using a C&O badge as a master. The fake is entirely stamped out of cheap, thin metal and then acid-aged to produce a rather shoddy patina. On the real badge, note how the letters 'conductor' and the cartouche are cast and polished, but the letters 'C&O RR' are machined into the cast cartouche and then enameled in black. In the fake, the letters in the cartouche are cast. This is just another example how fake items are presented on eBay either through ignorance or purposeful"Comic Sans MS">id="blue">

  • #2
    That's very interesting, Russ. I'm one of those who is totally ignorant when it comes to such things. [:-dunce] Thanks for the lesson. :up:


    • #3
      Wow, Russ...thanks for the "heads up" for our forum members. You've certainly got the eagle's eye! [:-apple][:-apple]
      Mike Hamer

      Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


      • #4
        Man, I bet your miserable to be with at the movies...

        Neat pick-up there Russ.



        • #5
          I got to say you are way into this more than I am. Just to point out how ignorant I am about it, I have a big question. Did the brakeman even get a fancy hat to wear? [!] I thought that was for the upfront guys that dealt with the public. Not to say Brakie doesn't deserve one but did he ever get one? [:I]

          My favorite knockoff is the camo shirt I saw in Japan labeled, "Member U.S. America flying Force". Just seemed a little phoney but he sure likes the US. [:-bouncy]


          • #6
            Maybe you should pose this info to the seller, and see what answer you get (or not get) There are a lots of phony stuff on Ebay. most people are gullable when It comes to taking all info as gospel :erm:


            • #7

              Thanks for enlightening us! Maybe that's one good reason for me not to be buying memorabilia.


              Originally posted by hudsonelectric

              <font size="4"><font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color="blue">Allen</font id="blue"></font id="Comic Sans MS"></font id="size4"> []<br /><br><b><font face="Comic Sans MS"><font size="3"><i>Modeling the East in the West on the <font color="green">Northeastern</font id="green"> <font color="blue">Pacific RIM</font id="blue">, <font color="green">Oregon</font id="green">, that is!</i></font id="size3"></font id="Comic Sans MS"></b>


              • #8
                Russ,Thanks for the headsup..One should always be careful when buying railroad memorabilia or "hard to find,"RARE!" Vintage HO" and other catchy words when buying sight unseen.


                Rich,I never had a "brakemans" hat those where reserved for brakemen in passenger train service as was the "conductors" hat..

                Our favorite hat on the PRR was the "pin stripe "engineers" hat(some old line Irish conductors wore a derby)or your common baseball cap.Some brakeman and conductors wore a felt hat.

                On the C&O under Chessie/CSX banner it was a ball cap.


                • #9
                  Thank you, Brakie. I had not watched close enough to know even on passenger runs the brakeman got a t nice hat. You're probably like me when it comes to hats. Closer to the hard hat than the felt one.


                  • #10

                    Originally posted by kay4pacific

                    Maybe you should pose this info to the seller, and see what answer you get (or not get) There are a lots of phony stuff on Ebay. most people are gullable when It comes to taking all info as gospel :erm:

                    There is an eBay policy against selling 'counterfeit' items, although this policy mainly refers to phoney 'Rolex' watches, 'Gucci' handbags, the ususal knock-off stuff that you see for sale on any large city street. I did contact the seller, said that he probably received some bad info from someone else, and told him that he has a fake and why it is fake. I also suggested that he pull the listing to prevent 'someone' from filing a complaint. If he doesn't pull it, I'll file the complaint myself. Here are two websites that help collectors understand what fakes are out there...a must for anyone that collects railroadiana.



                    On another forum where I'm a mod for a railroadiana collector's board, someone joined the forum just for the purpose of describing a lantern, wanting more info about it, and its value. The lantern described was a cheap piece of crap 'barn' type lantern that he said was given to his wife by her grandfather who worked on the Frisco. Right! He was simply trying to get a free appraisal and description prior to listing the lantern on eBay as a railroad lantern. In my response, I told him that he had a cheap barn lantern, told him generally what a REAL railroad lantern looked like along with a photo of one of mine, and what the value range of a REAL railroad lantern would be. I then changed my 'Welcome' sticky to include a clause that the board was not a place to provide the general public with free appraisals. All in a day's collecting!


                    • #11
                      The comment that I made concerning this item showed up on the listing. Here's the comment and the seller's response:

                      Q: I would like to assume that you received your information concerning this badge from others for the sake of thinking the best of people. What you have is NOT a Civil War era badge but a cheap, stamped out fake based on the C&O hat badge. There was no way that nay machining process existing to produce exact curves in the cartouche and lettering. Also, the design is obviously a copy of the C&O badge except the letters have been changed. The 'aged' look is easily obtained through chemical's done frequently with fakes. Sorry to bring you the bad news, but no collector would ever bid on this and you may want to pull the listing rather than risk a complaint.


                      A: I'm in no way an expert on RR badges. Got this from a woman who's late husband collected RR items. If does sell and buyer is unhappy, I will refund their money. giantpine

                      Okay, let's go to the videotape...


                      He's in no way an expert, but it IS the oldest one he's seen...and knows enough to list it at $75.00!


                      • #12

                        That's some real nice detective work. It really shows that you know your stuff.

                        Peter [:-kitty]


                        • #13

                          I buy things off of Ebay and so far I felt as though I have done ok. For the most part it seems people will refund money if the buyer is not satisfied. however in the above case, I am suprised he just didn't pull it.

                          Thanks for the lesson.


                          • #14
                            I rarely look in on Ebay any more but since I was there to look at this item I went to Missouri Pacific items. Seems there is a lot of misrepresenting there also. I looked at three listings for "collections" of cars supposed to be one of a kind hard to find collectors items of four or five cars each. The pictures were done in such a way that one could not tell exactly what was offered but from looking at them I can tell they are not high value cars. I own one copy of most of them. I don't have the the highly sought after "Herbie" car but I can get one at the next show for a few dollars.[:-bigeyes2] Buyers beware, there's crooks out there.


                            • #15

                              It was good to see that the seller did not hide your comment or his response. I think if someone still bids on this then it is there fault and not the sellers.

                              If it was original would it be worth $75?