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Earle Baldwin

NYCTA R22 Number Plate

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One of the more interesting pieces in my collection is a number plate from NYCTA R22 7729. It is metal in its construction and features white numerals atop a black background. It is a piece of excellent craftsmanship. The plate was purchased by me at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn during the 1980-82 time frame.

 

The R22 class and others were fitted with these metal plates which were positioned halfway up the carbody sides at the ends. As cars entered the shop for maintenance and/or painting, the metal plates were removed in favor of white numerals on black backing which was affixed via adhesive material higher up by the roof. The metal number plates along with other now unnecessary items were forwarded to the museum for sale to the public.

 

During visits to the museum in the early 80's, one never knew what would be waiting on the shelves. The TA was engaged in a great deal of work on stations and older equipment and many items removed in the process were made available. Station signs, number boards, roll signs...it was all there. You just had to hope someone didn't beat you to it. I picked up many prime items back then. The prices were favorable as well. Most items were priced at $10 or under. In recent years, I have seen some similar hardware at the museum store in Grand Central Terminal....plastic number boards from B Division cars come to mind; however, pricing was considerably higher than earlier levels. Even at the higher prices the supply of items does not last very long.

 

I thought I would post a review thread of the 7729 number plate to inform the forum membership these items are out there. They make great additions to collections since they are not mass produced hobby market items and not everyone will have them. The 7729's number plate is always a topic of conversation when people visit my train room. Watch for them at meets and on the web. They're out there.

 

Happy hunting,

 

Earle

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