A Joe Photo Study

I had a special request for a few more detail shots of the Milwaukee Road's only surviving Little Joe. If you can, she's worth a visit in Deer Lodge, MT, but plan on spending some time around her. She's loaded with interesting features and dripping with stories. I could write something for each of these shots, but for now, I'll let them speak of their own accord. Enjoy.


Anonymous said…
She's a beaut with the new paint job. Just as random chance, perhaps half of the times I was on Joes while they were in service, I was on the E-70, so I have some fond memories of being there and of the engineers and crew. An unsung hero of the last two paint jobs is Ed Lynch who has, since she was first preserved, dedicated an inordinate amount of time and energy to the preservation and presentation of the E-70.

best regards, Michael Sol
Oil-Electric said…
One can almost hear the giggle from a gaggle of glad hands!
SDP45 said…
Your tiny photos do not do the E70 justice! That paint is fabulous.

As an aside, I bought a collection of railroadiana from someone who was a BIG Milwaukee Road fan. Many of his materials I had never seen before. It has been great seeing electrics back in the day, and you taunt me with photos of the nearest survivor to my location...

Anonymous said…
It nice to see that the E-70 looks in good shape. The Milwaukee electrics have been a favorite for many years. The last time I saw a "Joe" was in November 1974 at Purdy scrapyard in Chehalis Wa. There were six waiting the torch. I think some were also scrapped by J. Simon and Sons at Tacoma but am not positive. I was glad to see you labeled the Joe Stalin-Little Joe connection a legend (i.e. a myth). For 35 years I have been looking for definintive proof as to the source of the "Little Joes" nickname. Wikopedia says that "Milwaukee's operating employees referred to them as Little Joe Stalin's locomotives" which was then shortened to Little Joe. I have never heard that explanation given in any of the literature written about the Milwaukee electrics. Wikopedia also shows a picture of a South Shore electric EF-4 and labels it as a Little Joe. CSS&SB refered to their units as 800's after their roadnumbers. (In 1974 they did have plaques mounted on the side of their noses that read "The Little Train that Can"
What I would like to know is why everyone buys into the Stalin linkage and never has any comment about Little Joe mountain seven miles from ST. Regis Montana (which was by the Milwaukee tracks) or the St. Joe river or Little Joe creek in the same area or the St. Joe mountain range. Lot a "Joes" in that part of the country. One of your fellow bloggers suggests that the creek and mountain were named after the electrics!
The internet is a wonderful tool but I do lament its ability to spread the unfactual at a most rapid clip.
Oil-Electric said…
My considerable experience with Wikipedia is that it is a good departure point for serious data mining. Unfortunately, the Achilles Heel of Wikipedia is that the founder of Wikipedia made a dangerous assumption that accurate information would be posted.

One has to remember that all you need to do to post to Wikipedia is come up with a nickname and valid email address and you can post new material to, and edit existing material on, pages of your choice. Indeed I have edited an entry or two.

It’s also been my considerable lifetime experience in the communication field, that misinformation is generated when people do not correctly process information coming in to them, and have a proclivity to alter material when they pass it on to someone else.

Accuracy, as I was taught as a radio news director, was to verify from at least three independent sources before “going to press,” if at all possible and depending on the “social impact” of the information.

So we accept the fact that President Truman stopped the sale of “strategic goods” to Communist nations in 1948, kicking off the “Cold War” and sticking General Electric with a track full of undeliverable electric locomotives ordered by Russia.

The General Electric 750 locomotive was quickly dubbed “Little Joe” and was referred to as such in all but official memos and operating documents.

Source 1: “… an unknown employee named them Little Joes.” Page 118, The Milwaukee Road Electrics, Noel T. Holley

Source 2: “These ALCo-GE units, dubbed “Little Joes” after Josef Stalin because they were originally built for use in the Soviet Union, were acquired in 1950.” Page 11, “The Milwaukee Electrification: A Proud Era Passes,” published as a supplement to The Milwaukee Road Magazine (the official house organ) Volume 61, Number 3, July/August 1973 issue.

Two out of three - that’s good enough for me! A copy of this magazine is available on the Internet.
Oil-Electric said…
The Wikipedia article on Little Joes clearly states the nickname for the South Shore units was "800's," under "Nicknames," and in the narrative. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Joe_%28electric_locomotive%29
Anonymous said…
Milwaukee Road personnel told me that they were referred to as "Little Joes" before they came out West. A Milwaukee Road Magazine article on the first Joe leaving Milwaukee to head to the Rocky Mountain Division refers to it as a "Little Joe."

best regards, Michael Sol

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