Re: Placards

Richard Hendrickson

On Nov 12, 2011, at 10:19 PM, Anthony Thompson wrote:

Jim Betz wrote:
Thanks for the link to your blog and the excellent write up about
route cards. If you are of a mind to do so - you might add a bit of
coverage about the tack boards on the ends of cars and when they
were used (and not?) and for want.
I believe, though I have no specific knowledge, that any
placard having to do with hazards or special handling of the cargo
were applied to both sides and ends. Notices such as "Unload Other
Side" would be most meaningful only on a side door.
Warning placards were required to be placed on both sides and ends of
cars carrying hazardous cargoes, which is why box cars and reefers
had placard boards on the ends as well as the sides.
Question - some one mentioned hazard placarding. Wasn't it
relatively rare for hazardous loads to be transported in any type of
car other than tanks - or is it just so much more common in tanks
that we don't see the hazard placarding on other car types?
I think your second possibility the most likely, but don't
really know....
In addition to flammable liquids loading in tank cars, hazardous
materials included flammable liquids in barrels or drums, poisonous
liquids and gasses, compressed gasses, corrosive liquids, and
explosives, all of which had their own distinctive warning placards.
Such materials were often shipped in house cars, so placarding was
often required on cars other than tank cars, as evidenced by many
photos in my collection.

I seem to recall discussion of the tank car placard formats in
eras, on this list, some years back, but don't find it on a cursory
search. I believe there are decals for tank car placards of both the
modern and transition eras.
Microscale once cataloged both a modern (i.e., post '60s) decal set,
#228, and a steam era set, #975, which included hazardous placards.
The modern set also had smaller placards as well as some of the chalk-
marking graffiti that had begin to appear at that time; the steam era
set had placards for certain loads that were not dangerous but
required special handling - glass, flint, newsprint - as well as do
not hump, unload this side, bad order, etc. I'm not sure whether
those sets are still available, as I got enough of both to last a
couple of lifetimes, but if they're out of print, they can (and
should) be re-introduced.

Richard Hendrickson

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