Re: Spencer Kellogg & Sons tank car

Gerry Fitzgerald

While I have no specific information about tank cars I do have some brief corporate history background. At the moment I am doing a World War I history project that deals with Spencer Kellogg And Sons Inc. -albeit rather tangentially- and as such I have been looking into the early years of the firm. One of the nations’ leaders in linseed oil production, the firm had a number of mills built especially for the bulk production of linseed oil and the company dates in one form or another to 1824 although really begins in April of 1894. The first plant in Buffalo, which dates to the mid-1890s was the largest flaxseed-crushing plant in the country at the time of construction and was joined by another facility in Minneapolis in 1907 and in Edgewater NJ in 1909. The New Jersey plant was built in part to receive flaxseed and castor bean shipments from overseas, especially India and Brazil. The overall corporate history is really quite intriguing especially as it became more of an international player.


In seems that in 1949 the Minneapolis plant could produce approximately 7 tank cars per day which might be a useful ball park figure for those interested in fleet building or planning op sessions. I do not have data on any of the other plants.


In addition…One of the earlier posting mentioned possible links or over lap with the Spencer Chemical Co.. While I am not familiar with every chemical company in the United States there was a Spencer Chemical Co out in Kansas City area, which was NOT related in any way to Spencer Kellogg as far as I can ascertain. Spencer Chemical Co was involved in part with the analysis of the coatings of ammonium nitrate crystals and was looking into various approaches for fertilizer production and explosives conversion. Spencer Chemical Co grew out of an earlier concern, the Military Chemical Works, Inc, which apparently was looking into both explosives and fertilizers. These latter two firms date back to the early postwar period say 1946/47.






Gerard J. Fitzgerald

Charlottesville, Virginia

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