Chris Barkan wrote:
"I have some other questions about the car's design features. It appears that the right-most stringer on the right side of the car (the side shown) is curved upward between two of the cross-ties near the door. Does anyone know the explanation for this?"
I believe that the stringer has been bent upwards due to some sort of collision and is the emphasis for the photo.
"Also, I assume that the four square external "pockets" on either side of the doors are related to the automobile securement chains inside the car but would welcome any additional or alternative explanation."
The cast "pockets" added into the car side allowed beams to be fitted across the width of the car, thus allowing a second floor to be added for "decking" automobiles. This was an early experiment for expediting the "decking" process. The pockets had nothing to do with securement chains. The automobiles would have been secured to the floors with wood blocking along with wire, rope or any number of patented metal clips.
There is a Railway Age article regarding the design of the car including the facilities for "decking". I'll look it up and pass along the link.
Reno, Nevada .