Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors

Jeffrey Gray <bigsix@...>

Attached photo, Iron Workers 1960 (no tie off BUT hard hats?). The "red iron" and I agree it is pretty much orange!

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Philip Dove <philipdove22@...>
Date: 7/4/21 1:12 PM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors

Just in case people don't know, red lead at least in a school laboratory grade was actually orange, not even orangey red. Genuine Red lead priming paint was also orange when l sold it in the 1970s and 1980s. White lead was white as a paint but not the brilliant white of paint pigmented with titanium oxide. 
I got the impression that while artist had a pallete of bright colours, for use on structure or as a protective coating paints were before the 1940s usually duller colours. Blue was not popular because it faded quickly in daylight. 

-------- Original message --------
From: "Ralph W. Brown" <rbrown51@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2021, 16:52
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
Hi Chuck,
The use of “white lead” and “red lead” was not limited to railroads.  White lead was a major paint component.  Oil, typically boiled linseed oil, pigments, driers, and solvents, typically mineral spirits or turpentine, were added to white lead to make now largely banned “lead paint.” 
“Red lead” was a lead based paint commonly used as a primer, especially, but not exclusively, over steel as it has rust inhibiting qualities.  We used a lot of it in the Navy and Coast Guard.  It has since largely been replaced by other non-lead red colored primers that some still called “red lead.” 
While assigned to the Skipjack in the ‘60s, we used a vinyl paint system that started with zinc chromate primer on bare HY80 steel, sometimes followed by a vinyl “red lead” primer, and then the black vinyl color coat.  MEK was the solvent used for these primers and paints.  I guess my point is that in some circles at least “red lead” became a generic name for any red primer regardless of whether it contained lead.
Ralph Brown
Portland, Maine
PRRT&HS No. 3966
NMRA No. L2532

From: Charles Peck
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 9:39 AM
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
Out of not knowing, I am wondering about the uses of lead oxides.  Grandfather, an L&N RR
boilermaker, had mason jars of red lead and white lead that he had brought home from the shops.
I seem to recall the red lead being used as a primer coat. Were these common in RR shops?
What other uses would these have had?
Chuck Peck
On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 9:15 AM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Red pigments are one of the earliest color pigments that human used. Red pigments occur naturally in the form of iron oxides, hence the name "oxide red" as a common paint color for that boxcar red sort of color. Of course, these colors have brown and orange overtones, so they are not the "pure" reds that one associates with the color "caboose red". One of the first uses that I am aware of for a "red" is the PRR's red background for keystones on passenger engines and signs. This color was called "toluidine red" and its use began in the late 1920. The paint was expensive and therefore unlikely to be used for the exterior of cars. Widespread use of truly red car paint seems to coincide with the introduction of synthetic paints and pigments following WWII.
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: <> on behalf of Ray Hutchison <rayhutchison2@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 6:35 AM
To: <>
Subject: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
I know that the answer for individual railroads will differ, but I am wondering when the "caboose red" started to be used?  Color photographs (there are not many) of older cabeese show a boxcar red or similar color, but at some point rialroads began to paint their cars in colors that carried through to modern period.  My particular interest is Great Northern, contemporary models (including brass) show the early wood boxcars in caboose red... but before this, what color would they have been painted?

Ray Hutchison
Green Bay WI

Join to automatically receive all group messages.