Re: Another slice

Schuyler Larrabee



Your steamy shower method has professional endorsement.


The Smithsonian has been doing the same thing for years with old drawings.  The man responsible for this had a memorable name, which (of course) I can’t remember right now – I am pretty sure his last name was Loony, or something like that.  But he used a bathroom in the Smithsonian building to get rolled prints and drawings to begin to flatten out.  He hung the drawings using clips and then ran the shower in the room for an hour or so.  The next day he’d look at them.  Some ready to take down, others needing another blast of the shower’s humidity.  I remember him saying that some rolls only expanded a few inches so he was hanging a roll of drawings still about 6” in diameter.


He was interviewed in either Railway & Locomotive Historical Society’s newsletter or possibly in the publication of the Industrial Archaeology Society.


Given his age when I read this, I suspect Mr. Loony is no longer with us . . . at the very least, he’s got to be retired.




From: <> On Behalf Of mark_landgraf via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 8:40 AM
To: Bob Webber <rgz17@...>;; STMFC <>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Another slice




It's so much fun to work with 100 year old paper. 


I've found that high humidity helps temporarily get rid of the brittleness in old paper prints. 


Steamtown uses a large steam box that they have. I have used a galvanized steel trash can with a few bricks in the bottom and about an inch of water in the bottom. Loosen up the rolled drawings, set them on the bricks, and place the cover on the can for a few days. Then unroll the damp drawings and place on a tabletop. In couple of hour they are ready for scanning. 


At home, I've been known to hang them in the bathroom. After a couple of steamy showers, they are a lot easier to work with. 




On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 8:48 PM, Bob Webber

<rgz17@...> wrote:

I scanned a few more tubes - these are a tad earlier - 1904 - 1919 (retracings after 1916).

I bring this up for a number of reasons.

The thread related to cars of 100,000 lbs capacity - of course, isn't germane in the sense that these are steel UF cars, but interesting for all that given the myriad cars of that or greater Cap.
The brake drawings are really interesting, and unlike some later ones, show the out line of cars
A lot of manufacturer & contractor cars
early ish examples of refrigerator & tanks
Several threads of photos & models vonerge in some of these drawings
(Perhaps not surprisingly) several orders for steel UF only

Interesting how "modern" these cars look, even with the very deep sills.  That they are steel (or steel UF) helps but still interesting.

VERY raw, haven't checked for typos
The data is, again, just what's on the drawings' Data Block & Order Info
RR marks are kept as is in most cases
Some of these drawings were kept in tubes in Montreal when a pipe burst, they have the consistency of a 50 yo dollar bill that's been through the wash every day since it was printed
(Will not have time in the next few days to clean up - when I do, it will be added to the web site version of the spread sheet)

Bob Webber

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