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Inventory of the Thomas H. Gray Collection, 1874-1945
MS 36  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Collection Description
  • Historical Background

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Thomas H. Gray Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1874-1945
    Collection number: MS 36
    Creator: Gray, Thomas H.
    Extent: 1 document box
    Repository: California State Railroad Museum Library
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Shelf location: Big Four Building or off-site storage. Please contact the Library in advance of your visit.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Zoe Martin, 1996

    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 Senior Curator. 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

    [Identification of item], Thomas H. Gray Collection, MS 36, California State Railroad Museum Library, Sacramento, California.

    Collection Description

    The collection consists of news clippings chronicling Gray's contributions to railroad safety and obituaries from various sources marking his death. Also included is correspondence, primarily between C.J. Corliss and Thomas Gray's children in 1945. Mr. Gray's leather-bound notebook, kept approximately between 1874 and 1891, contains sketches for several railroad-related objects, including a crossing sign, warehouse doors, a baggage car floor grating, a tool box, and a caboose ladder. Notes on prices, materials, loans of materials, and mathematical formulas are also scattered throughout the notebook, which is less than half-used. Two photographs complete the collection.

    Historical Background

    Thomas Gray (March 22, 1846, Toronto, Canada - January 16, 1935, Burlingame, California) worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad in San Francisco, California from 1876 to 1916. According to Southern Pacific, Gray, and Gray's children, he invented the widely-used "Stop, Look & Listen" crossing sign in 1884. Correspondence included in this collection from C.J. Corliss, a manager in the Public Relations office of the Association of American Railroads in 1945, suggests an alternate origin.