Jesse "Jay" Clay Conde papers

Finding aid created by California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives staff using RecordEXPRESS
California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives
111 I Street
Sacramento, California 95814
(916) 323-8073

Descriptive Summary

Title: Jesse "Jay" Clay Conde papers
Dates: 1888-1993
Collection Number: MS 696
Creator/Collector: Conde, Jesse C.
Extent: 5 boxes + 1 half-box + 3 OV folders
Repository: California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives
Sacramento, California 95814
Abstract: This collection documents the railroad research and writing career of Jesse "Jay" Conde, a noted railroad photographer and author who focused on Hawaiian railroads.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research by appointment only. Please give us 7 days advance notice.

Publication Rights

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 Head Librarian. 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.

Preferred Citation

Jesse "Jay" Clay Conde papers. California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives

Acquisition Information

Gift of Jesse and Evelyn Conde, 1991-1994

Biography/Administrative History

Prominent railroad historian and photographer of Hawaiian railroads, Jesse "Jay" Clay Conde was born on May 25, 1912 and raised in Everett, Massachusetts. After graduating from high school, he trained for the Merchant Marine Service at the Massachusetts Nautical Training School. Beginning in 1932, Mr. Conde spent several years at sea, during which time he visited many of the world’s railroads. Mr. Conde then trained at the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland, California and joined United Airlines as an instrument man and general aviation mechanic. After several promotions, he became a flight engineer. During World War II he served in United Airlines wartime service to the Air Transport Command. In 1947 Mr. Conde began his commercial flying career with United Airlines, retiring in May of 1972. He became interested in Hawaiian plantation railroads in 1964 and was instrumental in the preservation of several plantation locomotives. He was a charter member of the Hawaiian Railway Society and one of the founders of the Lahaina, Kahaina, Kaanapali & Pacific excursion railroad. Mr. Conde served on the board of the Oahu Railway & Land Company Historical Foundation and belonged to the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. Mr. Conde's publications include: NARROW GAUGE IN A KINGDOM: THE HAWAIIAN RAILROAD COMPANY, 1878-1897. Felton, CA: Glenwood Publishers, 1971. SUGAR TRAINS: NARROW GAUGE RAILS OF HAWAII. With Gerald M. Best. Felton, CA: Glenwood Publishers, 1973. SUGAR TRAINS PICTORIAL. Felton, CA: Glenwood Publishers, 1975. FOWLER LOCOMOTIVES IN THE KINGDOM OF HAWAII. Peterborough [England]: Narrow Gauge Railway Society, 1993. After his first wife Isadora died, he married United Airlines stewardess Evelyn Spoor in 1974. Mr. Conde died March 23, 1994, at the age of 81.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Conde collection is arranged into six series: 1. PUBLICATIONS 2. RAILROAD RESEARCH 3. LOCOMOTIVE ROSTERS 4. CORRESPONDENCE 5. COLLECTING 6. SUBJECTS The following items have been filed in the general Library collections: annual reports (White Pass & Yukon Corporation Ltd., 1953; Hawaii Railway Company, 1935, 1936), MS 709: a cash book (Hawaii Railway Company, 1916-1919), photographs, miscellaneous corporate ephemera, and newsletters from the Hawaiian Railway Society, 1983-1993.

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