Re: German-American Car Co. [Was "Help With Wabash Tank Car ID"]


Garth, Steve, Jim, Tony, Tim,
many thanks for your explanations and links. Since about two decades I see many tank cars with GATX written in very large letters here in Germany, now I know more about the origin of the company.
Modeling the early post-war years up to about 1953
Gesendet: Dienstag, 19. März 2019 um 01:37 Uhr
Von: "Garth Groff" <sarahsan@...>
Betreff: [RealSTMFC] German-American Car Co. [Was "Help With Wabash Tank Car ID"]

Atlantic Seaboard Dispatch was formed in 1898 by a German immigrant named Max Epstein to lease freight cars to shippers. Initially they offered refrigerator cars. The firm was reorganized as the German-American Car Company. in 1902. When the company went public with its stock in 1916, the name was changed to General American Tank Car Company. This better reflected the most common type of car they were offering for lease at that time. The commonly repeated story is that name was changed to make the stock more attractive to investors because of anti-German feeling in the U.S. over the war in Europe, though this is not mentioned in the story linked below.

You can read a brief history of the company at: .

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 3/18/19 5:49 PM, vapeurchapelon wrote:

Hello Tony,

being a German, I would be interested what exactly was german in that company. "Just" a German immigrant as a (co-)founder?

Many thanks

Modeling the early post-war years up to about 1953

Gesendet: Montag, 18. März 2019 um 16:28 Uhr
Von: "Tony Thompson" <tony@...>
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.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


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