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The cessation of railway services over Christmas did not occur until 1960 and this depiction of 'the signalman's Christmas dinner' was doubtless to remind readers of the discomfort endured by some to maintain them. To call the character a signalman would seem to be misleading, since signals and points had long been worked by a centrally located enclosedframe in 1890; he may well have been a Signal & Telegraph Dept worker, whose function would be to prevent signals and their wires, points and their rodding from becoming inoperative through snow or ice, or a fog signalman repeating the indications of the semaphore signals with hand signals, required during falling snow


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This page was created by Julia Lee '99. It is maintained by Professor Robert Schwartz of the History Department, 
Mount Holyoke College.