Randolph, Grant win R&LHS research fellowships

RELATED TOPICS: HISTORICAL | RAILFANING
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BRYAN, Texas — To encourage the study of railroad history, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society has awarded 2017 research fellowships to Scott E. Randolph, Redlands, Calif.; and H. Roger Grant, Clemson, S.C. Both will use the awards, $2,500 each, for travel to research collections. This is the sixth year the R&LHS awarded the fellowships, named for railroad scholars William D. Middleton and John H. White, Jr. An R&LHS review committee chose the recipients.

Randolph graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in History and went on to receive his master’s from the University of Akron, and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. He has taught at Purdue, Wyoming, and Armstrong Atlantic State Universities and in 2011 joined the faculty of the University of Redlands. His areas of research include the culture of capitalism, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and transportation history with an emphasis on railways. He is curator and associate archivist for the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society and editor for the Society for the History of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. His project is a study of a mostly forgotten, yet essential example of Progressive-era regulatory law, the 1913 Federal Valuation Act. It was intended to establish a rational, scientific base-line for railroad rates. The law provided for a physical valuation of the assets of every common carrier railroad in the country. Neither railroads nor their regulators possessed a systematic understanding of the cost of providing transportation and thus pricing and its regulation were effected largely ad hoc. In part because of its seemingly irrational basis, rate-making was central to the “Railroad Problem” that permeated political discourse into the 1930s.

Grant came to Clemson in 1996 from the University of Akron, where he had been teaching since 1970. He was awarded the Kathryn and Calhoun Lemon Professorship in 2006. A specialist in U.S. history, especially transportation history and American railroads, he has written or edited 33 academic books. His latest book, John W. Barriger III: Railroad Legend, will be published in Spring 2018 by Indiana University Press. The award is for research for a book-length study of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, which will cover the long, complicated history of this major Chicago-based carrier. The Rock Island will be traced from its gestation in the early 1850s to its liquidation nearly 130 years later and include and the popular song "Rock Island Line" made famous by Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter.

R&LHS, founded in 1921, has long supported research through its journal, Railroad History, and other activities; it has ten chapters.

More information is available online.

— A Railroad & Locomotive Historical Society news release. Nov. 8, 2017

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