Re: Livestock through Chicago



I will be interested to see what you find - I wonder if data for Pennsylvania might be available.

It would also be interesting to see what meat consumption was during the great depression - I think it might have dropped significantly on a per capita basis - my parents recall a very different food situation during the 30's. The dust bowl also occurred during the 30's, although I am not sure how much impact it had on ranchers.

As for STMFC carloads, I had not researched this before, but after finding that the PRR only handled 1.3 livestock carloads for every meat reefer carload, I suspect my WWII mainline traffic fleet ratio of stock cars to meat reefers is WAY off. Looks like I need more meat reefers and fewer stock cars....

If only we could find more wheel reports....

Dave Evans

---In STMFC@..., <rtbsvrr69@...> wrote :

Hi Dave,

The ICC may have only been looking at rail shipments, while the USDA was looking at all animals and how they were shipped. I'll have to dig through my piles of PDFs to find the specific source for my material (and a link back to Google Books). More later!
Regardless, the ICC traffic statistics DO show a general decrease in overall animal tonnage, to the point that it took WWII to bring it back up to a level last seen in 1920. The country's population was still growing and meat consumption really didn't decrease during the 1930s; with those two data points as a given the animals had to be moving to market somehow.

(as a point of reference, that Drover's Journal I mentioned earlier states that in 1901, 3906 hogs came into the Chicago yards by truck/wagon/foot, but by 1911 the numbers had increased to 353,845 hogs into the yards "other than by rail". That's sort of an important jump)

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

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