Re: cotton seed oil (was Tank Cars to Transport Molasses)

switchengines <jrs060@...>

Tim, let me add something to this reposted messages. Richard has forgot
the largest of the cotton oil tank car owners, Sco Tank Line (Southern Cotton
Oil Company) of New Orleans, Louisiana, SCOX. They rostered 386 tank cars
in cotton oil service in the January 1945 ORER.

Happiness, Jerry Stewart

It's Autumn in Woodstock, Illinois

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

I assume this would also apply to the transportion of cotton seed oil
from cotton presses. I am modeling a facility in Texas that shipped
cotton seed oil. One of their customers was a paint manufacturer in
Louisiana. Would this typically be a UTLX, GATX, (whatever) tanker,
reserved for other than petroleum use? Photos????
Charles Etheredge
Austin, Texas

I think (hope) that Richard Hendrickson will forgive me for reposting
this old message (from 1998) to the old Freightcars mailing list. I hope
it answers your question.

Tim O'Connor


Shawn, cottonseed oil was one of the major commodities shipped in tank
cars. Those cars were usually equipped with heater coils, as cottonseed oil
tends to congeal when cold; heater pipes were optional on TM/ICC-103 class
cars, as there was no special AAR or ICC designation or class suffix for
cars that were so equipped. The best brief account for your purposes is
contained in the book "General American Tank Car Journeys," published by
GATC in 1931, which I have excerpted below:

"Cottonseed oil....ranges from pale yellow to a red-black mixture,
depending on the nature and conditions of the seed and the method of
extraction and refinement.... When the seeds are crushed the oil, which is
dark in color, is refined by heating with a solution of caustic soda, and
clarified by filtration. In this refining, the residue containing some of
the caustic sold to the soap industry, while the clarified oil,
stearin and palmitin are extracted by chilling and pressing. This solid
fat, known as stearno, is used in making oleomargarine. Enormous
quantities of cottonseed oil move in tank cars to be used as soap stocks,
lubricants, salad oils, cooking oils, water-proofing compositions, packing
sardines and as a base for cosmetic creams. The press cake from cottonseed
oil, called cottonseed meal, is used in large quantities as the organic
nitrogen constituent of fertilizers and also as a cattle feed."

FWIW, the weight of cottonseed oil is given as 7.75 lbs. per gallon.

In a quick scan of my 8/47 ORER, I find several other tank car owners whose
cars were used largely or partly for cotton oil shipments, including The
Best Foods, Inc. (BFX, 92 cars), Colgate-Palmolive-Peet (TPCX, 52 cars),
Cuero Cotton Oil & Mfg. Co. (CUMX, 4 cars), Durkee Div. of the Glidden Co.
(DFFX, 11 cars), Fels & Co. (FELX, 6 cars), and Texas Vegetable Oil Co.
(TVOX, 3 cars). No doubt there were others; "oil" and "refining" companies
weren't always in the petroleum business, but it may not be evident from
their ORER entries that what they transported was, in fact, cottonseed oil.
These private owner cars are only the tip of the iceberg, however, as car
leasing companies like General American, Union Tank Line, Shippers Car
Line, and John H. Grace assigned many cars to cottonseed oil service. As
you model the Cotton Belt, you are safe in assuming that there was
substantial tank car traffic in cottonseed oil on that RR.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

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