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Nostalgia & History > Grips


Date: 04/19/08 01:44
Grips
Author: hockeyman

After 30+ years (retired from the brand new and still fouled) I got to thinking. Why do they call it a grip? I always told the new hires "because that's what we always called 'em". But now I must have too much time on my hands and have done some research on the subject. I am wondering what any of the knowledgeable members of this fine board have to say on this subject? Thanks from the powder river basin



Date: 04/19/08 05:45
Re: Grips
Author: QU25C

hockeyman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> After 30+ years (retired from the brand new and
> still fouled) I got to thinking. Why do they call
> it a grip?

who knows but, had to have a good GRIP to pull 50# things up in to the cab of a steamer



Date: 04/19/08 06:16
Re: Grips
Author: johnacraft

hockeyman Wrote:
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> have done some research on the subject.

Did you look up the word "grip" in the dictionary?

JAC



Date: 04/19/08 10:31
Re: Grips
Author: spnudge

My grandfather called his suitcase a grip and he was born in 1886.


Nudge



Date: 04/19/08 11:33
Re: Grips
Author: jdb

spnudge Wrote:
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> My grandfather called his suitcase a grip and he
> was born in 1886.

Years ago I used to hear a suitcase referred to as a grip. And not around the railroad.

I have an old dictionary that calls a grip a gripsack or valise. Then a gripsack is called a traveler's handbag. And a valise is called a case for the clothes or travelling bag.

jb



Date: 04/19/08 13:53
Re: Grips
Author: crackerjackhoghead

Now most rails carry a soft duffel bag sort of grip but I remember when I hired out the old heads all carried a hard shell suit case and referred to them as a grip.



Date: 04/19/08 19:03
Re: Grips
Author: fbe

John is correct, grip is a derivative of the grip sack. That is pretty descriptive of the form of the earliest luggage which seemed to be a bag with a wooded or rope type handle on the top. When the traveler held the wooden handle or the rope handle it closed the top and held the contents in.

Medical sample bags were once popular with railroades since they had a mechanical closure mechanism to hold both sides together and a leather handle to carry the bag. The downside was they were heavy, even when empty.



Date: 04/20/08 00:42
Re: Grips
Author: SurflinerHogger

"who knows but, had to have a good GRIP
to pull 50# things up in to the cab of a steamer"

In those days crews didn't have to carry 50# grips. Local runs carried a small rulebook and a thin timetable along with their lunch. Overnighters didn't carry much more in a grip not much bigger than a doctor's bag. The rulebooks were about the size of a pocket Bible. There were no three ring binder War & Peace type timetables.



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