What happened to all of the wonderful things that were once associated with the Stotesburys?

E.T. Stotesbury's Private Railroad Car

E.T. Stotesbury was involved in the financing and management of a number of America's great railroads. Beginning in the 1880's, he served as a director and--when his management skills were required--sometimes as an officer of various railroads. One of the privileges of being an officer or director of a railroad was access to private railroad cars that were maintained by the railroads. These cars were often lavishly furnished, and were used to transport railroad officials, prospective investors, business associates and even friends and family to various destinations.

In 1904, Stotesbury became a director of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad (later known as the Reading Company), a position which he held until his death in 1938. In 1907, he was elected to the Executive Committee, and in 1914, he was elected President of the company.

In 1916, the railroad ordered a new private car built for Stotesbury's use as President. It was named the "Paradise," but was called the Reading Car 10 within the organization.

Stotesbury and the Mitchells at the train station

E.T. Stotesbury, grandchildren Frances and Jack Mitchell, and daughter Frances Stotesbury Mitchell next to Reading Railroad private railroad car, circa 1917 (Photo Source: Private Collection)

In the early 1920's, Eva Stotesbury designed a new pattern of china for the Reading Railroad dining cars. The result from the Lamberton Scammell Company was the "Stotesbury" pattern, which incorporated mermaids, scallop shells and an ocean sunset scene on a cobalt blue trim.
Reading Railroad Stotesbury China Patttern
Reading Railroad Stotesbury China Pattern Close-up

Reading Railroad Stotesbury China Pattern Close-up

Today, this china pattern is valued by collectors for its unique design. Each piece is marked on the reverse with a manufacturer's stamp. The pieces with the "Reading Company" stamp are considered to be more valuable.

Reading Railroad China Mark

Plain China Mark
Reading Co. stamp

Non-specific stamp

The "Paradise" was used by many dignitaries over the years, including President Harry S. Truman. Today, it resides in its fully restored glory at the Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The "President's Car" at the Strasburg Railroad
The Reading Company's "President's Car" in its fully restored state at the Strasburg Railroad (Photo Source: Strasburg Railroad)
If you are aware of the current whereabouts of other similar items that were once associated with the Stotesburys, please feel free to add to our guest book.
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