Re: The Atlas model of Cudahy meat reefers

S hed <shed999@...>

As a FYI to the group, Bethlehem Car Works offers a MDT 40' Reefer with the 8-hinges for sale. Here is the web link:

It is supposed to be a car based on the MDT Co's blue prints and from the 1919 Car Builder's Encyclopedia. And it is supposed to represent the NYC series 155000 to 156999 and MC series 16000 to 16249 built between 1913 and 1917.

The good news about the kit is that it is a one-piece body but I am not sure if it is a resin kit or not. I model 1926 and the kit in the picture is car #145831 which fits in with the 145000 to 145999 car series (978 cars in 1926). And comparing the car series dimensions with the other MDT car series, it is an exact match for the 155000 to 155999 series (971 cars in 1926) but a close match to the 144000 to 144513 series (509 cars in 1926) and the 156000 to 156299 series (291 cars in 1926). Whether any of these car series have the 8 hinges or not needs to be confirmed by photographs. Or even if the kit is an accurate NYC/MC/MDT car.

I have both the Billboard Reefer book (thanks to Mr Hendrickson and Mr Kaminski for making an outstanding book) and the Reefer Car Color Guide (thanks to Mr Green). In the Billboard Reefer book, on pages 171 to 173, are examples of this car that was operated by Dairy Shippers Dispatch, which was a small car leasing company out of Chicago. This car kit appears to match these cars down to the end strapping but the DSDX cars are 36' and 37'.

If the kit matches the prototype than I think I will need to order one.

- Steve Hedlund
Everett, WA

To: STMFC@yahoogroups.comFrom: rhendrickson@opendoor.comDate: Sat, 6 Dec 2008 15:56:00 -0800Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: The Atlas model of Cudahy meat reefers

On Dec 6, 2008, at 5:39 AM, Donald B. Valentine wrote:> Cudahy was also represented in the Boston area at least up> through WW II AFAIK. With that in mind I've had interest in the Atlas> 36 ft. meat reefer. It is my understanding, and I'm looking for> correction on this, that the Atlas car was modeled after a Cudahy> prototype, particularly with the odd use of only four hinges for the> two halves of each door. Is this or is it not correct? Also, are> photos available for such cars in other than the "billboard" paint> offered by Atlas and, if so, are decals available. If what I'm> questioning is correct it is a shame that Atlas has offered that> model painted for just about every packing company that ever existed> but, apparently, few that any of us can use and be prototypically> correct as it is also my understanding that Cudahy was about the only> packer that used these oddball prototyes. I'd just like to have a> couple in a later Cudahy paint that is prototyically correct....>I'm always surprised (though perhaps I shouldn't be, by now) when a lot of speculation and mis-information is posted on a subject which is well documented. The responses to Don's query are a notable example. 36" meat reefers with four hinges on each door were not at all exclusive to Cudahy; large numbers of them were built in the 1920s (as well as 40' cars with the same door hinge arrangement) by the Pressed Steel Car Co.'s Hegewich, IL plant. North American Despatch owned many such cars and applied a variety of billboard P/L schemes to them, and smaller numbers were owned by other leasing companies (e.g., MDT). There are many photos of these cars in the Billboard Refrigerator Car book by myself and Ed Kaminski that was recently published by Signature Press. For the Cudahy cars, see pp. 39-40 and 180; for the NADX cars, see pp. 50-59. Other examples are scattered elsewhere in the book. That's not to say that some of the Atlas models aren't bogus - a bunch of them are - but some are correct (except for the model's unfortunate shortcomings) and the book shows many other examples that Atlas hasn't yet produced, but could. This is yet another instance where what you want to know may not be on the internet but is readily available elsewhere. The book has been widely advertised and reviewed, and if you don't want to buy it, then any library should be able to get a copy via interlibrary loan. The day when every piece of information known to man can be googled may be coming, but it ain't here yet.Richard Hendrickson

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