Friday, June 03, 2011

Thomas C. Shedd, 1918-2011

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Thomas C. Shedd, editor of Modern Railroads from 1959 to 1983, died June 2 on his 93rd birthday. Shedd played a major role in making Modern Railroads a highly respected chronicler of a renascent railroad industry.

tom_shedd.jpgUnder his direction, the magazine’s Golden Freight Car Award encouraged development of modern marketing methods in an industry where “a smile and a cigar” was a time-honored selling tool. The magazine’s Railroader of the Award recognized and encouraged the new breed of management that was turning the industry around.

Shedd’s editorial leadership won for Modern Railroads three Jesse H. Neal Awards, one of trade journalism’s top honors, plus three Jesse H. Neal Certificates.

Shedd remained with Modern Railroads as editorial director until it was merged into Railway Age in 1991. Hs continued to write for the merged publication until his voluntary retirement in 1993.

Tom Shedd was born in Phoenixville, Pa., on June 2, 1918. He earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana, in1939. He served in 1940-41 as editor of Telephony Magazine in Chicago. From1941 to 1950, he worked for the Association of American Railroads, first as assistant operator and then operator of detector car service. He joined the staff of Modern Railroads in Chicago in 1950 as associate editor, and then held the post of eastern editor from 1952 to 1959 before returning to Chicago as editor. He was named editorial director in 1983.

Shedd held memberships in the American Railway Engineering Association and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

—Luther S. Miller