Wartime reefers on Cajon

John Barry

In one of the few instances where I would point you at Shorpy rather than the original at the Library of Congress is a retouched version of Jack Delano's color photo of a UP Challenger at Alray with a string of reefers, hatches open for ventilation.  https://www.shorpy.com/files/images/1a34754u2.jpg

The original scan at LOC has a crack/tear that runs diagonally across most of the photo https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsac/1a34000/1a34700/1a34754v.jpg.  You can see where it has been repaired in the Shorpy with a slight distortion of the corner adjacent to the NP Monad on the second car.  

In both versions, the color balance seems "right" to me based on the shed and station sign.  That said, I'm surprised by how "yellow" the 2nd PFE car appears, I would have expected a more orange hue.  Perhaps it faded through exposure and washings.  It must be on it's first trip after a pass through the wash line as it has no weathering.  Contrast the ART behind it with the heavy coat of grime and wear around the grabs.  Also of note in the 1943 image, is that both of the visible PFE's have the UP Overland Herald, even though the "plain" color Herald became the standard in 42.  Further evidence that the clean car was recently washed and not repainted.  The other interesting observation is that only 40% of the visible cars are PFE in what looks like a GFX block originating with the UP in SoCal:  PFE, NP, PFE, ART, BREX.  It looks as if the order "pooling" the refrigerator car fleet has been fully implemented here.

John Barry
ATSF North Bay Lines 
Golden Gates & Fast Freights 
Lovettsville, VA


PO Box 44736 
Washington, DC 20026-4736

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