Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
John Riddell wrote:
"Here is an ad for THE FOWLER CAR printed in the 1916 issue of Car Builder’s Dictionary and Cyclopedia" and included a
photocopy of the ad.
That's all well and good but that doesn't mean that any cars using the patent which was for slots in the framing rather than holes for the bolts that held the sheathing. This assumed, and we all k ow what happens when somone assumes, that the siding would shrink and thus have to have the bolts backed off a bit so the sheathing could be pushed back tightly together again and the bolts then tightened back up. Were this needed the slots would have allowed this to be done without removing the bots entirely and having to drill new holes in the framing for them in their new position having been moved a bit when the boards for the sheathing were tightend up. It was found that the lumber used was dry enough, as it would seem someone shooud have figured out beforehand, that the sheathing did nt open up as feared which would have made the cars unsuitable for carrying grain as they were built for. BUT everything I've found on thse cars in both the US & Canada has ndicated that not more than 10,000 such cars had been constructed and put into service before it was realized that the expected shrinkage of the sheathing doid not occur, making the expensive to manufacture slotted framing unnecessary. With constuction of such cars having been begun in 1909, IIRC, it is doubtful that any cars using the Fowler Patent were still being constructed by 1916 so all we really have is an advertisement seeking business.
I have climbed on and around a number of these cars from both the CPR, its subsidiary Quebec Central (a cattle car in this instance) and both CNR and Grand Trunk cars of the Dominion Car type hoping to find an existing prototype that was constructed
using the Fowler Patent but hae yet to find a surviving example. If someone knows of one I'd like to learn of it.
Cordially, Don Valentine