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GERALD M. BEST COLLECTION
MS 16  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The correspondence, writings and research material from noted railroad historian and photographer Gerald M. Best.
Background
Railroad historian, writer, and photographer Gerald M. Best was born in 1895 and raised in Port Jervis, New York. While pursuing a career in radio communications and in motion picture sound engineering, Best became active in model railroading and in railroad photography. Beginning in 1948, he restored his own narrow gauge Baldwin plantation locomotive "Olomana" which he operated on Ward Kimball's Grizzly Flats Railroad in Southern California. This engine is now on exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. •Prior to his retirement in 1962, Best wrote two books and a number of articles on railroad history. After retiring, he authored ten other books as well as several pamphlets and articles. His last article appeared posthumously in the Autumn 1985 issue of RAILROAD HISTORY. •Best was active in the Pacific Coast and Southern California Chapters of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society and served as a vice-president of the national organization. He died in 1985. •Bibliography: Arnold S. Menke, "Gerald M. Best's 'Autobiography of a Railfan,'" RAILROAD HISTORY (No. 158, Spring 1988), pp. 14-71.
Extent
8 boxes
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the District Collections Manager. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
Collection is open for research.