anyone tell me when the Hooker Chemical Co. began
painting their tank cars Orange?
I can verify with ACF paint specifications that
ï¿½orangeï¿½ was used on HOKX tank cars dating back to at
least July 1933 (ACF lot no. 1291), except that the paint
color was specified as "U.T.L. Redï¿½ or ï¿½Pliolite Red.ï¿½ Iï¿½m
not sure what U.T.L. stood for, but ï¿½Plioliteï¿½ was a paint
formulation name. "U.T.L. Red" was applied on two orders
for 3 tank cars built in 1933-1934. HOKX tank cars built
by ACF from 1936 through 1941 used Pliolite Red. Despite
the ï¿½Redï¿½ paint color, Iï¿½m reasonably sure it was actually
orange, but if anyone can prove otherwise Iï¿½m glad to
recant this assumption.
Even earlier than 1933, several ACF builder photos show
the likelihood of orange and black 3,000 gal. chlorine
tank cars built in 1926-1927 and one order of 6,000 gal.
chlorine tank cars built in 1928, however, these cars
predate the ACF paint specifications that start in 1931.
Some of these photos can be seen on the Barriger National
Railroad Library web site via flikr at:
This site was originally posted by Mark Hemphill on
Jan. 8, 2016, and the number of photos has grown since
then. Photos of these 1920s Hooker tank cars can be found
under lot numbers 9, 19, 60, 66, 366, and 638. ACF built
40 additional 3,000 A.R.A. Class V tank cars (HOKX
301-340) in 1923-1924, however, I have not seen photos of
them. Perhaps they are in the Barriger Library Collection.
Some of these 1920s photos can easily be misinterpreted
regarding how the cars were painted, which occurred with
the original BLI catalogue. This may have been because of
the type of film used in which the ï¿½orangeï¿½ and black
tended to show little contrast between the two colors.
Close inspection reveals the center band was black with
the balance of the top portion of the jacket likely being
orange (i.e., U.T.L. Red). Lots 9, 19, and 368 show the
top portion of the heads painted orange and the bottom
portion black. For lots 60, 66, and 366 itï¿½s difficult to
tell due to the color contrast.
For the later HOKX cars built starting in 1933, except
for the black center band, the orange was used on the top
portion of the tank (or jacket, if insulated) and the
heads. The balance of the tank or jacket was black as well
as the underframe & trucks.ï¿½
Four orders totaling 13 cars built in 1934-1936 (615,
618-619, 626-629, 638-643), 6,000 gal., ICC-105A, chlorine
tank cars received aluminum stencils while ICC-103B/103BW
acid tank cars built from 1937 through 1941 all in the
216-226 series had white stencils. An ACF builder photo of
HOKX 219 built 12-39 is shown on the first page of the
Other Hooker Tank cars built by ACF were similarly
painted in 1950 and later based on photographs, however,
ACF paint specs for these cars are not available.