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Strange Box From The Santa Fe. Any Info?


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I make jokes all the time with my family about getting a box as a gift.


Well guess what...


I got a box...


Anyways, jokes aside, this is an old register drawer from the Santa Fe. Likely has the calculator thingy on top, which then pressed the pin you see sticking up, which opens the drawer. I am told it was in a coach of some sort, but I have no idea what. Could be a mail car, could be a diner or club car, could be just from a simple conductor's office if they used those. It was designed to be portable and I guess to have the register taken off since that's not present.

Things to note:

All original. Appears to have been well used and well taken care of.

The coin insert is heavy, thick plastic.

The whole box reeks of 30s and 40s art deco, but I honestly don't know where it was in use.

Came from the collection of someone who used to work on the Santa Fe way back when, but I don't know who or how old said gentleman was.


If anyone has any information on a possible use or possible age, or knows where I could find such information, do tell. I like to know about the things in my collection of oddities.












I don't really have any plans for it, but I'll probably oil it up and make it look nice and then use it at train shows for it's intended purpose: as a cash drawer. We'll see if I can have a key made safely or not since I don't have a key.

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Looks like an old cash drawer from a station ticket office. Or pay office.

Edited by katoftw
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16 hours ago, katoftw said:

Looks like an old cash drawer from a station ticket office. Or pay office.

 It's definitely a cash drawer, but not from a permanent office. It's built to be portable and I am told that it was used on board a train, although I was not told which train, what service, or where other than "in California".

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It might be worth contacting the Illinois Railway Museum, they have some ATSF exhibits and may recognise what it is plus what it was used for. That way you'll know what the missing bit should look like if you come across one for sale.


It may have been a standard item signed out from stores to use on whichever train needed it, rather than permanently assigned.

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