Re: Swift paint scheme

Benjamin Hom

Dennis Storzek wrote:
"How to explain the apparent white lettering on the side? It is possible that glossier black paint is reflecting sunlight. This brings to mind a question; was Swift using glass beads in their lettering? The technique was relatively popular during the thirties and forties, to give a surface that would reflect auto headlights at grade crossings, sort of a precursor to Scotchlite.  The beads were typically applied to fresh stencil paste because it stayed sticky long enough to grab them and bond them to the car. Car Builder's Cycs of the era have ads for the glass beads, the trade name escapes me at the moment."

"Prismo" was one of the trade names.  There are two photos in Brady McGuire's PRR Boxcar Paint and Lettering article in Vol. 21, No. 2 (Summer 1988) of The Keystone of a Class X29 boxcar in MS2 (Merchandise Service large Circle Keystone scheme without aluminum bands or Toluidine Red accents) in Prismo paint, one in regular lighting, the other in reduced lighting showing the reflective properties of the paint.

Ben Hom

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