Re: Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar

Todd Sullivan

Hi Jeff,

I'm going to offer some hunches, and I'll probably be corrected in due course! 

The boxcar interior first.  When I was at the NPTCo in the early 1960s, that car would have been classified by the car inspectors as being suitable for rough freight.  The interior lining is incomplete, and the lining (boards) that do exist are in rough shape.  Barrels are rough freight, in that they don't need a smooth lining to protect the product/lading, so the car's condition and the load are matched.  That doesn't explain why the lining boards seem to be missing at the bottom and near the top of the sides, but maybe that's the way the car's owner equipped the car.  That's not common for boxcars, BTW.  Looking at the blocking (dunnage) to keep the barrels in place, it occurred to me that perhaps the car is in dedicated service, as the lining boards are at the correct height to nail the blocking.

The 5 rings or hooks on both sides of the car by the doors could have been used to hang tarps or other primitive load-restraining devices (ropes?) to keep the lading from shifting toward the door openings.  They are probably not hooks for the workers' coats!

The device on the car end with the chain attached could be a vent, but it really doesn't look like that.  So, that's a puzzle beyond my knowledge.

Todd Sullivan

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