Re: What kind of Steam Era Freight Car is used to ship...

Mont Switzer



Let me qualify this response.  I lived near Akron for over 10 years and was involved in handling outbound rubber products from all "tire shops," where tires were "built."  This was in the 1970's.


Outbound tires by the carload probably went to vehicle manufacturers and distribution warehouses.  Shipments of tires, cartons of tubes, and other boxed accessories were handled as LCL in boxcars and LTL in trucks.    


Inbound bales of raw rubber would have been received in boxcars from Akron, most likely from roads that served Akron (AC&Y, B&O, ERIE, PRR).  The AC&Y connected with the NYC, NKP and DT&I among others.  All loading was done by hand as tire handling had yet to be automated.


You are right about carbon black being handled in covered hoppers, but in your era some carbon black was still shipped in bags loaded in boxcars.  It depends on the process using the carbon black at the time.


In Akron a lot of coal was received for the plant boilers. 


There were always lots of chemical tank cars around.  Although I'm sure how many of them served the chemical industry that was developed by the rubber companies, the shops probably consumed some chemicals in converting raw rubber to tires and other rubber products.


Akron always smelled like rubber, but nowadays no tires are being built in Akron and therefore no distinctive rubber smell.


Mont Switzer 

From: [] on behalf of Aley, Jeff A [Jeff.A.Aley@...]
Sent: Saturday, July 04, 2020 1:22 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] What kind of Steam Era Freight Car is used to ship...

Hi Folks,


               The Goodyear tire plant in Topeka, KS (and other tire factories) needed to receive raw materials.  For some, the method of transport is obvious to me (bales of rubber arrived in box cars; carbon black granules arrived in covered hoppers).  For others, I am not so sure.


They used kaolin (for Al2O3).  Would this be handled as a slurry in tank cars or was it in bags or drums in box cars?  I’m guessing the latter, but… ?


They used steel wire for the “bead” of the tire.  Would this be in box cars, or giant spools on flat cars / gons?  As you can tell, I’m pretty ignorant about this.


               FWIW, the factory produced about 10 boxcars of tires per day in the steam era.









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