The TMRC Dictionary

by Peter R. Samson
(to home page)

TMRC is the Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT. Its clubroom, in a building on the MIT campus, had a large model train layout, with various operating positions connected to the trains by a 1200-relay switching system.

I joined the club in the fall of 1958, and in June of 1959 wrote the first edition of the TMRC Dictionary. A little over a year later, I updated it to a second edition. It should be noted that the Dictionary was intended to be humorous. Each entry was thought to be funny: some are puns, some are irreverent reflections on TMRC culture, and a few are more or less straight definitions that seemed amusing to me in their own right. To explain these entries I have now annotated both editions.

Many members suggested words to be listed, though nearly all the text is mine. Entries are marked where I recall other members provided the wording; if readers can identify other such entries, that information would be welcome.

Annotated First Edition of the TMRC Dictionary (1959)

Annotated Second Edition of the TMRC Dictionary (1960)

TMRC has since moved to another building on campus, and a new System has been built which is entirely electronic. There is a new layout, and rolling stock has changed over the years, but the club still has a Coke machine, and there is still lots of interest in computers. Here is a link to the TMRC Web site, which includes the most current version of the Dictionary.

Special thanks to Robert Kerber for keeping a copy of the first edition, and for carefully comparing it to the text of the second edition.