I think there are two underlying fallacies in the current "hypotheses" about
early Erie covered hoppers:
1. That the cement hauled came from the "cement region" of Pennsylvania near
Allentown. (There were also cement mills in central PA near Bellefonte)
Cement was widely produced all over the country. There was a mill at Hoe's Cave on
the D&H noth of Oneonta....a far more palusible source of cemnet hauled on the
Erie. There well may have been cement mills on the western part of the Erie.
2. That the cars were intended to haul cement. Another liklet commodity
would have been glass sand carried to the Corning glass works. The early Genreal
Electirc cars were used to haul sand for glass making and Corning to this day
gets the sand in covered hoppers.