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Eight years ago, I moved my primary residence to Maine. This Hiawatha nose emblem was given to me as a gift from one of my employees. Yesterday, after going through some unopened boxes in the barn, I found this hidden treasure from the past. I am going to have it framed and it will go in a prominent place in my train room.




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Brian - That is fabulous! It is exactly like the one I saw in the Milwaukee Road full dome car that we rode in from Chicago to Quincy earlier this year. The Milwaukee Road was a very classy railroad and had great logos and unique passenger cars.


This is right up there with your El Capitan drumhead for railroad memorabilia.


Perfect addition to the train room of a man that loves passenger trains.



You are very priviledged to have that Hiawatha emblem! The closest I have to it is a photo of the one on the skytop observation car that was on display at the Milwaukee Museum of Art a few years back. As a fervid Milwaukee Road fan, that would be a treasure for me. I am old enough to have ridden on the passenger trains of the Milw. Rd when I was a young boy. As Chugman said, "classy railroad with great logos and cars, the Hiawatha emblem is just one of many pieces of the Milw. Rd. that made that railroad really stand out from the rest of the crowd. Enjoy it! Paul 

Mike Slater turned me on to this. So a big thanks go to Mike. The emblem # is 7723 and after some research, this car is alive and well at a museum in Daytona Beach. It is a Sky-Top which is one of my favorite styles of passenger cars (I have two, one in orange/red and one in yellow/grey.


This tuned out better than I could have possibly imagined.

You have a wonderful treasure and I bet it is going to look really great on your wall.


The Hiawatha emblem is probably the best looking of all Railroad symbols.

Unlike the PA, UP, NYC. ect, ect it is a piece of Modernism art that  is going to to a appeal to a very wide variety of people.

Have you given any thought to the type of framing you are going to use? A black and white photo of a train station behind it would bring it out and add some subject depth to it.


In any case it is a beautiful thing and I'm sure it will look great no matter what you do with it.

Without question its definitely a valuable collectors item and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. There are plenty of antique dealers and collectors out there who'd love to get their hands on one. Just guessing - most likely worth somewhere between $1000 to $1500 give its excellent original condition - i.e. no discoloration or missing pieces. Whatever you decide to do with it please don't repaint it or try to clean it!


It's a real keeper................




What I thought I would do is to have it professionally framed with the Hiawatha orange in the center of the emblem and the appropriate red surrounding it. I would have the framer simply screw the emblem (where there are holes) into the back of the frame and have a glass cover over the face of the wall hanging.


nyc, etc., I agree, it is a real keeper. It is special to me as it was a gift from a valued employee. I will be most proud to display it in my train room. Although I have several nice train pictures on the wall, this will have a place of honor.


Art, thanks for the advice. I will leave it it's original (perfect) condition.

Brian, Your concept of the framing sounds great. I hope you can post a picture of it when it is up and on the wall.

I am also glad that Art brought up the subject of not trying to make it look new. With something like this the patina is everything, It tells a story of true historic value.


In any case I hate to admit it but I am more taken with this piece then if you said your employee gave you a Big-Boy. It is really cool!

Brian - I really like your idea of using Milwaukee Road Orange as a background color and trimming it in red. I believe that will bring out the real beauty of the piece. When you look at the logo it is piece of real beauty and could stand on it's own as a piece of art unrelated to trains.


I can't wait to see it when it is finished and displayed in your train room. It will keep your Santa Fe Chief lighted drumhead good company. A very classy addition to a great layout. Nice job!



I can always suggest a little railroad museum in Sturtevant WI that he can always donate it to if he gets tires of looking at it .  No its not in my basement .  The museum is in a village park where I live.  We will be fixing up a 50' boxcar to place additional dispalys into .  Enjoy taking care of these items, and to think all the museum has of the Milwaukee Road Passanger cars is a floor tile and some windows



I think that everybody got the correct idea that it is not for sale. It is always nice to know that it is valuable, but it is more valuable to me in my train room as a piece of passenger train history. I have two K-Line Sky-tops and it is nice to know where it originated.

You may want to check the area you live in to see if there is a casting foundry that will make a sand mold(sand just for molding) and see what it would cost to have a brass casting done from the mold, looking at the size I am thinking mold and casting 300.00 bucks another 100.00 to polish it. I did it for the retired navy guys when I was in CA. If it is as rare as you think it may make you enough for that new MTH Hudson Hiawatha I bought. That would depend how much you would charge for the castings.
The Maritime museum got request from time to time to have duplicates of the ships plaques if they had the original, They really were small about 12"x 6" and they charged a 100.00 donation to the museum. Now keep in mind that was 15 years ago when I was a volunteer there who got the work done for them, I am sure it is a little more expensive today.I am told they do not do that since I left. Just a thought.
P1120241.jpg I got one of them,love it!


Last edited by John Pignatelli JR.
Originally Posted by Passenger Train Collector:



I think that everybody got the correct idea that it is not for sale. It is always nice to know that it is valuable, but it is more valuable to me in my train room as a piece of passenger train history. I have two K-Line Sky-tops and it is nice to know where it originated.

Oh I definitely got that, but I also know there are some huge Milwaukee Road fans on these forums that may sell an arm or two to get an incredible piece like that.

John P, Jr.


The overall dimensions are 13 1/2 " by 18 1/2 ". I like your idea of a casting. I wonder how many Milwaukee Road fans would have an interest in having a copy.


Thanks for your response and to all of our Forum members who have shown an interest. It is truly a wonderful collectible.

A stainless steel reproduction would be an excellent idea except for one big problem - cost. I'm not an expert when it comes to metal casting techniques but I do think it might be less expensive to look into making a reproduction using either bronze or brass or perhaps some other material. Stainless steel is an expensive and difficult material to work with and there might not be many metal foundries in the US willing to do the work.


I'm well aware a brass or bronze casting won't look the same as the original but the cost might be more in line with what people are willing to pay for a reproduction. Maybe the metal repro. could then be plated to look somewhat similar to the original. Plating would also allow the use of several different casting materials - not just metal.


Anyway its just a thought..........

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