Railroad historian, writer, and photographer Gerald M. Best was born in 1895 and raised in Port Jervis, New York. While pursuing
a career in radio communications and in motion picture sound engineering, Best became active in model railroading and in railroad
photography. Beginning in 1948, he restored his own narrow gauge Baldwin plantation locomotive "Olomana" which he operated
on Ward Kimball's Grizzly Flats Railroad in Southern California. This engine is now on exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution
in Washington, D.C.
•Prior to his retirement in 1962, Best wrote two books and a number of articles on railroad history. After retiring, he authored
ten other books as well as several pamphlets and articles. His last article appeared posthumously in the Autumn 1985 issue
of RAILROAD HISTORY.
•Best was active in the Pacific Coast and Southern California Chapters of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society and
served as a vice-president of the national organization. He died in 1985.
•Bibliography: Arnold S. Menke, "Gerald M. Best's 'Autobiography of a Railfan,'" RAILROAD HISTORY (No. 158, Spring 1988),
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which must also be obtained by the reader.