Re: Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar (Cement)

Douglas Harding

There is a photo of a cement barrel on this site:


What does a barrel of cement weight? There are approximately 4 bags of regular cement to a barrel or, the weight of 376 lbs.


Cement was shipped in covered hoppers beginning in the 50's. Prior to the use of covered hoppers, cement was shipped in boxcars, in barrels, bags, or even loose. Can you image shoveling out a boxcar of loose cement? Andrews Concrete Products of Mason City, received bulk cement via rail, ie boxcars and later covered hoppers from the Lehigh and Northwestern States plants, which were less than four miles away. Andrews sits just north of the M&StL Engine House/Turntable area in Mason City. The floor in the engine house was poured with "leftovers" from the Redi-mix trucks returning to Andrews for refills.


Here is a page from a government study. It mentions cement shipped in steel drums and wood barrels, as well as bulk and bags.



Doug  Harding


From: [] On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 7:15 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar (Cement)



My guess is most barrels for cement were a size known as a tierce, which is about 42 gallons. This is the size of a barrel of petroleum or salt. A 42-gallon barrel of salt would weigh about 400 pounds.


Tight cooperage was used for liquids and was made from straight, knotless white oak. Beer barrels had the most demanding standards. They had to hold both pressure and liquid, so they were lined with pitch and made of thicker and choicer wood.


Slack cooperage used less choice wood and held dry items such as fruit and cement.


I am still searching for a photo of a barrel of cement.


Bob Chaparro


Hemet, CA


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