I worked for Bill Gould for about 8 years. During those years Bill's business had three people: Bill, his wife Geri and me. Business activities included lots of industrial model making, making some patterns for PFM and Chooch, tooling for Dimi-Trains' line of N-scale plastic kits, an HOn3 D&RGW stock car for E&B Valley and Bill's own line of HO freight car kits (later sold to Tichy). I was laid off shortly after starting the PFE reefer tooling.
While having lunch and morning and afternoon breaks we all sat in the same office, eating and almost always talking about something. During the USRA tank car project, Bill never mentioned any phone conversation with Richard Hendrickson or any one else about tank cars, and I'm sure he would have asked for my opinion if anyone had. It wasn't until after Richard's review of our kit that Bill asked, and I answered, who Richard Hendrickson was and why he was so respected.
And I don't recall there being any secret about what car we were doing. I certainly had loose lips.
Due to our limited experience of mold making and the lack of some important machinery, everything had to be flat kits, so a four coarse tank was a must. USRA drawings from a Train Shed reprint were used, but we first learned of the USRA tank car from drawings in Model Railroader magazine. In that MR issue, they stated that thousands of these car were built. Neither Bill nor I had any reason to doubt the MR staff. Now please, please remember this was about 37 years ago!
It wasn't until I mentioned to Robert Grandt, one of Cliff's sons, that we were almost finished with tooling and I still hadn't come across a prototype photo, and Robert almost fell on the floor laughing, that I had a clue we might be in trouble.
So I guess my point is I don't agree with what Mr. Hendrickson wrote about Mr. Gould. And I was there.
Tahoe Model Works
Carson City, NV