Re: Standard Steel Drawing List

Schleigh Mike

Thank you for this work, Bob!

And sharing your reality.  From my view of the world you have there, I find what you have presented very helpful.  Using this list, I have targeted another candidate for drawings and I readily found many of those you and Steve Hile recently extricated for me.  I can see how what you have done will help find sources quicker.  I also know from past experience that not everything is readily obvious as you dig deeper for details so some back-and-forth with the  customer will likely always be a part of the search process.

You have an incredible resource and I believe the list you have established will be helpful for future searches.

Now, if only Pressed Steel Car drawings were so accessible.

Regards from Grove City in western Penna.    Mike Schleigh

On Friday, January 24, 2020, 09:31:41 AM EST, Bob Webber <rgz17@...> wrote:

Oh man, when I show this to the crew on Wednesday, are we going to have some fun!  

I appreciate where you're coming from, and what you've done, but.  Simple answer.        NO!   or HELL NO if you prefer.

Look, 12 drawings - or 100 or 1000 does not an expert make.  The list shown is a very minute subset.  Your dozen drawings is an even smaller subset.  We have a very clear idea how SSC drawings are organized - and it's not as you describe.  They are most certainly arranged in a manner similar to Pullman (dep[ending on exactly WHICH drawing naming convention is in use).  The standard Pullman-Standard variant is Drawer-Size-Sequence.  (e.g. 501-E-21) (later the size indicated by the leading number, with a sequential number).  SSC drawings are organized by drawer (which includes size) and sequence.  Very similar.  IF you have the data on the tubes.  We do not.  They are simply labeled by drawing range, and if we are lucky, year.  NOT by size.  We have been entering drawer, so were that needed, we can locate it.  It is not in the caption information. 

Please note that the caption (which is that second column)  is only a part of the metadata captured.  We also put in a category, notes, author (which is drawer in this case), keywords and other data.  Why isn't that on the list?   Because that aspect of the database does not transport, and given the list - as is - took over 2 hours to create and clean up, I didn't put any of that in it.

Standardization.  Yes...a good idea, sort of.  The problem is, in your limited access to them, you have missed about 15 variants of "arrangement" and many of "general".  And, you are under the assumption, 1 person is entering the data, they are well versed on the subject, and that the SSC data block were standard.  They were not. 

This list is here because it is a VERY minor subset of the drawings scanned.  It represents less than 2% of drawings scanned.  We scanned over 300 drawings Wednesday.   Standard Motor Truck, Middleton Car, Pullman, Pullman-Standard.  All have VERY different data blocks and order info blocks.

What you ask is great - if it were even necessary.  It is not.  Just take Eric's database.  done.   Doesn't have enough information?  Ask Eric to provide you with a spreadsheet with all the information in it and, when you come to volunteer, add to it.   The reason we add the caption is not to find things the way you think we might, but we find drawings based on information supplied by the customer and/or Eric's list.  Combined, that's usually enough to find the drawing.  IF we have it. 

As I said - we work 1 6 hour shift (Nominally) per week.  That shift must include scanning, annotation, conserving, document processing, drawing processing, customer fulfillment, photo & negative processing, maintenance work, taking out the garbage (to the dumpster 2 miles away), preparing for the upcoming move of the 2 million drawings, the photos, negs, film, movies, slides, aperture cards, documents, reports, etc. want to look - on screen - as we process 300 + drawings - for all of the information you desire.  Why? 

Look...I am prepared to leave as curator within a few years.  We have an opening for a volunteer.  Just come out on every Wednesday (we don't accept excuses like storms delaying us - we come rain, sleet, snow, sun, etc. limo or no) from now till then, learn the collections, learn the processes,  help with the move, etc. - and then take over as curator.  It sounds as though you're qualified.   Come on in. prepared, it is, as the MASH doctors told Charles it's "meatball surgery".  Our job is to get drawings to customers, internally and externally.  And conserve what we can.  That may mean anything from moving 15 cabinets full of donated maps one day, or simply cleaning the Library on another.  Who knows what fun might happen!?!   But by all means, contribute and you might find that you can not add all that data.  You may want to.  But there is no reason to reinvent the wheel.  

At 06:46 PM 1/23/2020, mark_landgraf via Groups.Io wrote:

Congrats on getting this far with the SSC drawings.  I can sympathize with the effort involved.  I'm currently scanning 30,000 8x10 builders photos negatives.  It takes time.

Based on the dozen SSC drawings in my collection, they do contain a bunch more data then you are showing.  The upper right corner typically identifies the quantity of cars ordered and by what RR, and sometimes the road numbers.

The title block has a date, please enter at least the year in one column and the whole date in another. This allows for a date range search, where as the whole dates search is very problematic. However the whole date is often helpful in gathering up the drawings for a specific car, since often all the drawings have the same date.

I understand that the naming convention is not always equal, but in order to help finding things, there needs to be some standardization.

In the spreadsheet I saw a lot of General Drawing.  The generic car construction term is General Arrangement drawing, often abbreviated as GA.
Underframe Arrangement is UF
Brake Arrangement is BA
The others, like End Arrangement, Side Arrangement, Top Arrangement, etc, are usually spelled out.

If you know the weight or gallons capacity, please place that in another column
If you know the road numbers please include them in another column

From my limited knowledge of SSC drawings, the required drawings are usually clustered together, rather than in families, like PS, BLW, Alco.
If there is a prior drawing that is referred to, please include that number in it's own column.
Consider a column for Materials, ie, Wood, Composite or Steel
Inside length would be helpful if known.

When more columns are used, the Data Filter function can be used, and it saves a lot of time. It can also be used to find spelling errors and other irregularities. Like MoPac vs MP.

No, I won't be at the bar CCB. My limo, with the big bag of cash, is stuck in a mid-west snow storm.

Being able to find a 6500 gallon Tank car built between 1917 and 1919 for UTLX is a lot easier with the extra columns.

I had to do this for a 50,000 unit locomotive roster.  Believe me, now when I'm looking for a 0-6-0, meter gage that went to a Cuban sugar plantation in the 1920's, I only get a few hits.

Keep up the good work.

Mark Landgraf

On Thursday, January 23, 2020, 4:20:57 PM EST, Bob Webber <rgz17@...> wrote:

I have an updated Standard Steel drawing list.  This list is both freight (from SS-0 - SS-99999) and Passenger (SS-100000 and above).

It can be found here:

  • Yes, there are a lot of inconsistencies - so's your old that's us, sometimes the original.  When this started over 20 years ago, there was no style sheet.  Come to think of it, there is none now.  
  • Yes, there are likely a lot of misspellings, incorrect abbreviations, and uncapitalized names.   Yep.  Yep.  I caught a lot of misspellings, but there are more lurking
  • The Metadata engine has no spell check, no mass replacement, and it can't figure out what the hell a Pries roof is.  Neither can I
  • This is ONLY Standard Steel.  Only 4500 or so drawings that have been scanned.   Yes I plan on doing Pullman Freight & Passenger, Osgood Bradley, Budd, Haskell & Barker and maybe Boeing, Ford and Airbus.  Not today
  • Don't see something that is referenced in a drawing - send me a private message.  Don't see something you want?  Ditto.  Don't see ACF?  Call St. Louis
  • You want full resolution tifs available for downloading free?  Meet me at the bar in the Cocoa Beach Hilton tonight - it may take me a while to get there, but we can talk about it then.
  • You want to order something but don't know how or how much? See and and
  • Want WHAT WHEN?????????   Meet me in the bar at the Cocoa Beach Hilton in 5 minutes...bring lots of unmarked bills...big denomination bills...i.e. CASH....I'll be there ASAP...Mike? When is the RPM next year?

All this is done by volunteers.  Multiple volunteers.  That means their input style is different, as is their spelling, abbreviations, etc.  No kidding tho - the originals are rife with the same thing.  Remember all this is supposed to happen with the work done in 1 6 hour day a week.  

We've added over 1000 Standard Steel drawings in the past 6 months.  We have other work happening all the time, including preparing for the big move.  

And remember, just like that good old cook on the AT&SF - be careful what you criticize, you will be given the job!

Bob Webber

Bob Webber

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