Loading Coal in Box Cars at western Great Lake Terminals

cripete <pjboylanboylan@...>

A while back (thread # 55767, Jul. 19,2006), I
said I would return in a couple of days with
details on best sources of usable material on
the mechanized loading of coal from eastern points,
into back hauling grain box cars at Lake Superior
Clearly, this is somewhat late. Lots of other
things interfered with the matter, and also
much material is both, not readily accessible
to most folks, and lacks broad coverage. That is
because trade brochures were not written from a
historic point of view, and are limited in subject
to the immediate products made by their
originating firms.
With apologies for the delay, I believe
that there is a single widely available article.
This is in the TRANSACTIONS of the American
Society of Mechanical Engineers, which are held by
all major urban Public Library reference branch(es),
as well as most College and University libraries.
Certainly, all having engineering schools and most
offering graduate degrees in the sciences, will have
it archived, but State Historic Societies, as well
as major municipal societies have holdings.
It also means that even if no local source is
available, you can use interlibary loan services
to obtain a copy from a holder.

G.H.HUTCHINSON ,"The Handling of Coal at the Head of
the Great Lakes"; TRANSACTIONS,Volume 36, 1914;pps.
283-339 inc.
(from St.Paul-Minneapolis and New York Meeting<s>)
American Society of Mechanical Engineers;
New York,1915.
Hutchinson was the Chief Engineer of the North
Western Fuel Company. This was a stevedoring
operation owning terminals to handle the coal coming
through Duluth set up by Coal merchants in Minneapolis
- St. Paul, and latterly, elsewhere. It expanded
to serve other ports, and was competitive with:
the branded anthracite company terminals; the
coal operations undertaken by grain operators
( e.g.Cargill, etc.),ore companies owned by iron
and steel firms, and agricultural co-operatives,
among others.

It has clear photos of the machinery and terminals
being discussed, and the plans shown ,while small,
are readable and capable of enlargement. It has an
excellent historical summary, and is the source of
the material from the Central Mining Institute of
Western Pennsylvania detailing the development of
portable box car coal loaders, that I quoted in my
original post .

I don't wish to discourage anyone from pursuing
McMyler, Brown Hoist, Carey, Link Belt, et al,-
These companies produced some excellent brochures
on their products which is very good when they are
using steel engravings with shading to render their
machinery. Like letterpress, or rubber stamps
(that were sometimes substituted for engravings)
they give solid lines.
Unfortunately, and frustratingly for those interested
in rail cars, they used coarse screens for the offset
lithography used in photographs of portside
installations. History wasn't their thing, and the
newly available high speed commercial lithographic
presses were allowing them to knock out these
picture filled, state of the art sales materials.
McGraw-Hill for one, was a major producer of these
commercial materials, acting as a job shop printer.
It allowed them to afford their own state of the art
printing plants and include photographs in the
numerous technical periodicals that they authored.
It is grim to consider that they alone, undoubtedly
handled a couple of hundred thousand transport
related photos that are gone.

The catalogs are still worth looking at, but this
will require visits to those places that have
collected them, because the ones in the hands of
book dealers have become priced above what most
hobbyists can afford. The INTERNET ARCHIVE , which
has been blessed by CAL-Berkeley's library placing
so many central, early, railroad engineering works
online; has not found any one to do the same for
industrial catalogs. These are held diversely
at present. In the main, they are not at technical
institutions. For example: Bay City, Michigan's ,
and Staten Island, New York's local historical
societies hold major collections from equipment makers
that were located in their precincts.

Regardless, the ASME article will serve as either
a starting point for those wanting to pursue the
subject in depth, and is of itself,
an excellent and informative work on the large
volume handling of coal for box car (or other
house car style)loading at the western Great Lake
ports. With apologies for the delay -
Good-Luck, Peter Boylan

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