Re: Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar


Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 02:33 AM, Paul Woods wrote:
And a general question to the group: Presumably these loads would have required a decent sort of lock on the doors to prevent loss en-route....were they just a run-of-the-mill padlock type of affair or was there some standardisation, and were they applied by the railroad Agent or by the shipper?
Car seals. A padlock can be picked, then snapped shut again after the pilferage is done, leaving the RR liable for the shortage. A car seal needs to be cut, leaving evidence of the deed. Security of shipments relied more on vigilant policing (which is why railroads had police departments) than strong locks. Subterfuge helped also; once sealed that carload of beer didn't look any different than a carload of anvils. Which is one of the reasons that all the gaudy brewery paint schemes disappeared from brewery owned cars early. Any value of advertising was more than offset by the increased pilferage that came with making the cars marked targets.

Dennis Storzek

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