Re: Photo: Pickle Car - further question

Tim O'Connor

Pickles were also shipped in wooden barrels in box cars - If I had to guess I would say
that most of the rail traffic in pickles was done that way. Eventually the rail traffic was in
glass jars in box cars or perhaps reefers on return trips, even in times beyond the STMFC era.

Richard - attached is a photo of CDLX 307. Notice the "GALS." capacity row. So it must
be internal tanks which may have carried wine or vinegar?

Tim O'Connor

On 6/26/2021 1:22 PM, Richard Townsend via wrote:
I went through the private car owners section of the January 1938 ORER looking for wooden tank cars (TW). These are the ones that specified the TW cars were pickle cars. There were many other TW cars that were not specified as pickle cars (though I know some were pickle cars) so I did not include them.

Fleischmann - 12 pickle cars
General American - possibly as many as 10 based on the numbering of the cars
H.J. Heinz - 28 pickle cars
E.J Balza - 2 pickle cars
Berger Foods - 1 pickle car
Bloch & Guggenheimer - 3 pickle cars
Budlong Pickle Co. - 8 pickle cars
California Conserving Co - 2 pickle cars
C.F. Clausen - 4 pickle cars
Cruikshank Bros - 2 pickle cars
Fleishman's Pickle - 1 pickle car (note different spelling from Fleischmann, above)
Glasser Crandell - 4 pickle cars
Libby, McNeill, Libby - 10 pickle cars
H.W Madison - 1 pickle car
Pepin Pickle Co - 2 pickle cars
Reid Murdoch - 6 pickle cars
Squire Dingee - 12 pickle cars

There were many TW cars called out as vinegar cars, including some that might have looked like the open sided pickle tub cars as they were specified as having four "tubs."

The California Dispatch Line had an unspecified number of TW cars in the number series CDLX 277-317 that were described as being "equipped with 6 wooden tanks." I associate CDLX cars with the wine industry and I wonder just what these cars looked like and how they were used. I immediately picture an extra-long tub car but can't imagine that would be right. Maybe the tanks were internal to a house car.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR

-----Original Message-----
From: Ray Breyer via <rtbsvrr69@...>
To: <>; <>
Sent: Sat, Jun 26, 2021 7:41 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Pickle Car - further question

>>It would seem odd, to me, for a Heinz or L&S pickle tank car to deliver product to Cruikshank. How did smaller operations >>receive their pickles?
>>Eric Hansmann
Hi Eric, 

Believe it or not, cucumbers were the most popular "vegetable" in the 19th Century, and were grown everywhere, especially in hothouses and greenhouses for winter consumption (Cleveland had something like 68 acres of cucumber greenhouses in the 1890s). Because of this, and because pickling companies were so local, most of the produce was trucked into the plants (and generally, trucked out since it was only needed for local deliveries).

Only a very few companies were large regional or national, with Heinz, Squier Dingee, and Libby being three of the largest. They'd need pickle cars, but 99% of all other pickle producers would not.

I can only find three direct references to "pickle tank cars" in the 1917 ORER. Were there more? Maybe: private companies at that time were VERY sketchy about their car information, so a listed "tank car" might have been a "pickle tank". We'll never know, unless we get lucky and spot something in an early photograph.

Oh: here's ALL of the pickle cars in the ACF lot list. There aren't many:
1904 - lot 3161 - Hyman Pickle Co (4 cars)
1904 - lot 3277 - Hyman (1 car)
1908 - lot 5308 - Keokuk Canning Co (1 car)
1909 - lot 5552 - Libbys (2 cars)
1910 - lot 6012 - Libbys (2 cars)
1919 - lot 8782 - Hyman (1 car)
1920 - lot 9064 - Hyman (1 car)
1921 - lot 9206 - Hirsch Brothers Pickle Co (2 cars)

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Join to automatically receive all group messages.