On Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 10:55 PM, Dennis Storzek
It seems just when we started to talk about preserved drawings, the discussion up and died, and while it raised some questions I had, I've not had time to pursue it until now.
This Christmas a long time acquaintance lent me an interesting antique book titled, "American Railway Association, Mechanical Division, Supplement to Manual, Drawings for Cars and Trucks Adopted as Recommended Practice." It is dated June, 1926. Totaling 136 pages, it reproduces 53 plates (drawings) pertaining to the ARA "standard" trucks, three different trucks, in three different journal capacities each, and 256 plates that pertain to the XM1 single sheathed, and XM2 double sheathed "standard" boxcar. This is the complete set of drawings for these two Recommended Practice boxcars, each available in two weight capacities. These drawings detail the cars down to the smallest bolt, pin, and bracket.
Twenty years ago I would have killed for this set of drawings, but now I'm not so sure of their value. In a multitude of places "alternatives permissible" is noted, without detailing what the alternatives are, as they are all vendor supplied parts. From photos it is clear that the actual cars used a plethora of vendor supplied alternative parts, to the point that I suspect that no car was ever built that followed these drawings exactly. Twenty years ago I'd likely have followed these drawings, adapting them to the vendor supplied ends, doors, and roofs that show in the photos, fudging it in the best pioneer model railroading spirit. But today, with the large number of drawings of CARS THAT WERE ACTUALLY BUILT available from a number of archives, it seems that that would be the better source, leaving this book as just a curiosity; a collection of drawings that define the generic "standard" car that was never actually built.
It makes me wonder if they are worth scanning at all, especially since I have yet to figure out how to release the ring binder, which may well be rusted in place. The pages are too brittle to simply bend over double. And, while the cover size is only 10 x 14, a number of the plates are larger, done as fold-outs. Even if I had an 11 X 17 scanner, which I don't, I'm not sure even that would be large enough.
I'm seriously considering that the owner simply donate the book to a suitable library, such as the Pullman Library at IRM, where it could be available to anyone seriously researching the development of the ARA cars.
What say you?