Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
This Red Ball Western Electric flat car kit K-51 with cable reels is listed by Howell Day as being "1920" which may explain to some degree its absence from the usual ORERs.
Hauling cable reels or telephone poles would not be ordinary activities expected of wholly-owned equipment manufacturer Western Electric, while it might well be expected of parent AT&T.
However, as pointed out, Western Electric was already in the railroad business with its well established Manufacturer's Junction Railway in Cicero/Chicago.
Could it be that for internal simplicity and convenience, AT&T would simply assign all of its own cars to Western Electric reporting marks so that all were under a single roof?
Note that although Richard Brennan's kit has the usual and expected typical Red Ball mixture of cast metal and wood parts, Howell Day's undated #10 catalog describes the same flat car as being "plastic"!
M. Dale Newton apparently was a pretty reliable supplier of accurately-researched and lettered models, and I have no knowledge that worthy Red Ball successor Howell Day was any different. I have never read about, nor learned otherwise how Newton actually did his research.
Denny S. Anspach, MD