The Chicago Railroad Fair started in 1948 and was so successful it was extended into 1949. While the title makes it sound like just a typical trade show (and in many ways it was) it was also a lot more with various exhibits and the classic “fun for the whole family.” Even with those high numbers in attendance it was apparently “the last great railroad fair” held (which means that there must have been a decent number of these in the past). The theme of this fair, besides anything and everything RR, was the expansion of the RR west of Chicago. This of course meant a model of a Western town had to be built, and of course there had to be a bank, hence the creation of this souvenir. There are plenty of postcards and other images from this fair on the web, and it was a surprisingly large event held right on the Lake.
While researching this token I came across a modern event that I didn’t know existed: National Train Day. And wouldn’t you know it that it is this Saturday May 7th! There are various events being held across the country with multiple events being held in many states. In my town there are tours of various train cars and locomotives, history related exhibits, some sort of entertainment, and of course train models.
Guess what the kid and I will be torturing my wife with this Saturday?