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Max Epstein found a freight car leasing company in 1898 and in 1902, changed the name to German American. During WWI, the name changed, again, to General American, at least partly due to anti-German sentiment at that time. See http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/2681.html
for some more details. There was a 50 year history book published in 1948 that shows up from time to time on eBay or other used book sites.
From: vapeurchapelon <email@example.com>
Sent: Mar 18, 2019 4:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Help With Wabash Tank Car ID
being a German, I would be interested what exactly was german in that company. "Just" a German immigrant as a (co-)founder?
Modeling the early post-war years up to about 1953
Gesendet: Montag, 18. März 2019 um 16:28 Uhr
Von: "Tony Thompson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Betreff: Re: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Help With Wabash Tank Car ID
Elden Gatwood wrote:
I did some more looking, and am pretty convinced: the letters and numbers cast into the bolster looks like GATC predecessor German-American Car Company (hence, GATC, not "General American", as is commonly thought, even though that is the modern version); name changed during WW2 because of "German" as a then dirty word. Actually that would be World War 1, not 2. Elden probably mistyped, but I wouldn't want wrong info to slide out there.
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