Re: Boxcar identification help requested

David Soderblom

Calcium carbide is indeed used to generate acetylene. Most common use is/was in miners’ helmets. It releases C2H2 when mixed with water, so a small reservoir would drip onto the carbide. I very much doubt that calcium carbide output would be used for welding: just too slow, difficult to regulate, and you buy tanks of gas for that.

Was PRR engaged in a tunneling project at the time? That would explain the need for the material for the workers.

David Soderblom
Baltimore MD

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