Re: Red Swift reefers

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>


This appears to be same photo reproduced in John Henderson's CLASSIC FREIGHT CARS v. 3 on the inside front cover and continued to the right onto page [11] (probably a second photo shot as a panorama since some of the cars are repeated). According to the information there, the photos were taken by George Berkstresser at Sioux City, Iowa, in the fall of 1954.

It does appear that many of the wooden cars have weathered black roofs, but I'm not prepared to say if that is paint, or just dirty weathered wood. Curiously, in these photos there is one wooden car in the old yellow scheme. Although the roof is equally weathered, the roof fascia is clearly a red oxide color. Another Berkstresser photo is on the inside back cover, which shows one of these surviving yellow cars. It also clearly has a freight car red fascia board, though because it is shot from a low level, the roof itself can't be seen (nor on the adjacent red cars).

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 11/1/14 6:46 AM, Pierre Oliver pierre.oliver@... [STMFC] wrote:


Morning all.
Richard sent me a lovely colour photo of a slew of Swift reefers. I don't recall the location or the exact year. I believe it's early '50's
You can see the photo on my blog,
Pierre Oliver
On 11/1/2014 1:24 AM, 'Douglas Harding' doug.harding@... [STMFC] wrote:

Oh where is Richard Hendrickson when we need him? Fortunately he still lives within my computer.


On Jan 22, 2014, Pierre Oliver asking about Swift’s 40’ steel reefer: Can someone tell what color the roof should be on this horizontal seamed steel reefer? Black or red?


And Richard responded: Mineral red, Pierre (not the same red as the sides and ends).  I have photo documentation I’ll send you off-list.


That answers the question about the 40’ horizontal seamed steel reefers. May not answer the question about Swift’s 36’ wood reefers. I agree with Mike (who wouldn’t after all, he has the keys to moderator jail) photo’s in Gene’s book do appear to show black roofs on some Swift reefers. While that could be soot from steam engines, it could also be faded black paint as it looks uniform across the entire roof, except where boards have been replaced. Is it possible that Swift painted some reefers with black roofs, then switched to the mineral red with later reefers? Pierre what documentation did Richard send you?


Fortunately I do not have any Swift reefers waiting on the work bench for the definitive answer, but I am of course curious.


Doug Harding

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