Re: Single-sheathed box cars

Douglas Harding

Owen, hides can indeed be heavy. Sometime in the 50s packing plants switched from salting dry hides to soaking hides in a brine solution and shipping them wet. Wet hides are indeed much heavier than dry hides.


As to interchange. Hides came from slaughter houses, ie packing plants. Most of which were located in the Mid-West, ie Chicago, Omaha, Kansas City, St Paul, Sioux City, etc. And you will find that many tanneries were located out east, New England, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, etc. A IC hide car would most likely be in captive service. It could be loaded with hides online in Chicago, Dubuque, Waterloo, Fort Dodge, Omaha, Sioux City and other locations. But the raw hides would be headed east, interchanged most likely at Chicago to any of many eastern roads.


Doug Harding


From: <> On Behalf Of Owen Thorne
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2021 3:34 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Single-sheathed box cars


Thank you, Jeff,

I can almost smell that hide car through my screen! 

Interesting that car IC 34861 in your photo does not match the diagram you sent for the earlier group of 50' s/s IC hide cars, 34990-99, embedded in the diagram for 40000-40089, which indicates "no metal panel," that the left door "closed" but not indicated, noted or shown as having been removed, and a "stemwinder" Universal brake wheel retained at that late date (1954?) As this new photo is of a power-brake equipped, wooden but steel reinforced door car in a new number series for me, I looked it up in ORER 1959 and found 34890-99 the closest series (ten cars) but not a match. So this conversion may have been either after our STMFC period or "off the books."

The CU FT 4303 of the hide car listings matches that of the three IC non-end-door equipped 50' composite autocar groups. Curious is the increase in CAPY from 75000 to 100000 lbs. Is this likely just a truck/bearing upgrade? The earlier discussed 34990-99 matching your diagram also showed this CAPY increase when they appeared in the 1955 ORER. Were hides so heavy?

In the 1959 ORER there is also a group of 74 (up from 68 in 1955) 40' 40t composite 6' door, small boxcars in 34900-34989 series so, IC guys, are all the 34xxx-series cars in the late-steam era hide cars?

Finally, how likely would IC hide cars be interchanged to deliver to a leather works in, say, Wilmington, DE, or Philadelphia, PA?

Thank you,
Owen Thorne 
owen at udel dot edu

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