The Valuation Reports of the Interstate Commerce Commission provide interesting "broad brush" historical information dating from the World War 1 era. Unfortunately the ICC did not publish an index to those reports.
In 1951 the Association of American Railroads commissioned such an index which I will call The Rice Index. I have several times used copies of The Rice Index, having borrowed them through inter-library loan. Finally tiring of the delays involved in that, I set out to make a copy for my own use. The original I received, from the State Library of Connecticut, was stapled in such a way that I could not photocopy it, so I spent several days typing the data into a computer file and several more proof-reading and correcting the file.
I have reproduced here the Foreword of The Rice Index. Since I am not interested in pipelines, I omitted that part of The Rice Index.
The railroad portion of The Rice Index consists of 50 lists of company names. The main list records all companies for which a valuation report was issued. For each company it lists the valuation docket number, the volume and page number(s) where that report can be found. The other 49 lists represent the then 48 states and the District of Columbia. The entries in those lists recite the same information as in the main list. I did not post the state lists here, as to do so would have greatly increased the storage required, while adding very little information.
As I was entering the data I noticed several errors in the original. There were some obvious typographical errors; "adn" for "and", "railorad" for "railroad", which I changed. Having just typed all that text myself, I sympathized with the typists who had to type it onto mimeograph stencils, without benefit of a "delete" key. However, there were a few of some substance.
"Railroad", "Railway", and "Rail Road" were used interchangably. That is, one might find "Here and There Railroad Company" in the main list, "Here and There Railway Company" in one state, and "Here & There Railroad" in another state. Where I knew which was correct, I used it. Otherwise, I let stand whatever had been used in the main list. Please note, I am aware that "H & T Railroad" and "H & T Railway" may be distinct co-existing corporations. But in such a case, both names would have been listed in the main list.
Each company should have been listed at least twice, once in the main list and in at least one of the state lists. As it happened, there were 3 or 4 companies named in a state list which were not listed in the main list. I added those to the main list. There were also several listed in the main list which appeared in no state list. Since I wasn't going to post the state lists, those errors required no action.
The Rice Index included a list of depository libraries, which I have reproduced. Note that some of these libraries now have different names and some may not exist at all. I am certain that the copies at Penn State, Brown University, and the State Library of Connecticut exist since I have seen them.
Added 8 Jan 2005:
I have received one or two e-mails from readers asking about the numbers in the library list, "Berkeley 4", "Pittsburgh 13", that sort of thing.
In the days before the 1963 introduction of Zip codes (recall that ZIP stands for "Zone Improvement Plan"), larger cities were divided into postal zones. Each zone was numbered. Those are the numbers seen in the library list. They are not an indication of multiple copies. So far as I know, each library received only one copy.
I have looked at the on-line catalogs of a few other libraries on the list and couldn't find a listing for The Rice Index. It may well be that in the over half century since The Rice Index was distributed, some libraries have decided they needed the shelf space more than they needed The Rice Index. On the other hand, the library catalog of the University of Michigan does list a copy of The Rice Index. I did not attempt an exhaustive search, remarks regarding availability are intended to be illustrative, not definitive.
The reports themselves are probably more readily available. Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh law library have them, and I am sure there are many others. Some may be in a storage facility, requiring advance notice before they can be used. Check with your favorite library.
When the first valuation reports were published, they came out as volumes within the series
Interstate Commerce Commission ReportsLater they were published as a separate series
Decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission
Interstate Commerce Commission ReportsThe following table is based on data in the Penn State library catalog:
When the separate series was started, the first volume was numbered 22. The Rice Index refers to the 21 volumes noted in the table above, and volumes 22 through 47 of the Valuation Report series. I note in library catalogs that the Valuation Report series reached Volume 57 in 1964. Perhaps someone would like to extend The Rice Index to cover reports published after 1951? Perhaps I'll do it, some day.
Added 7 Jan 2005:
Late in 2003 I borrowed each of the volumes 48 through 57 from Penn State's library. All the reports in those volumes are pipe line company reports. It would seem the AAR knew what they were doing when they asked Prof. Rice to do the index after volume 47 was published. In any event, volumes 48 through 57 have nothing for the railroad historian or enthusiast.
Since The Rice Index is rather large, I've split it into several pages, one for each initial letter (there were no names beginning with "X"). Use the links below:
Company names beginning with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z