On Jan 18, 2014, at 5:30 PM, Tony Thompson <tony@...
Spraying was not common before World War II, as I understand it, but became commonplace after the war. I have that impression from, again, Railway Age, but if anyone can put more specific dates to this, I would be interested to see
The Santa Fe adopted spray painting for its freight cars at least as early as the early ‘30s, and this made possible the application of the bold slogan-and-map lettering schemes starting in 1940. Railway Age (and the Car Builders’ Cyclopedia) had a feature article showing spray painting equipment in use in the Topeka car shops. The Santa Fe was evidently slightly ahead of the curve in adopting spray painting, but other railroads must have quickly followed suit, as the slogan lettering schemes adopted by Union Pacific. Burlington, Chicago & Northwestern, etc. obviously required spray painting; applying stencil paste to those very large stencils by hand would have been much too time and labor intensive.