Re: OK, What Kind of Truck is This?

Malcolm H. Houck

I doubt the AAR ever gave this design its blessing for interchange
service. I'm rather surprised it even made it past the drawing stage,
but some inventors are stubborn.


Not only did DeForrest "Pat" Diver live on Linden Avenue in
Middletown, New York, and not only was he an accomplished
photographer, but he ran a commercial photography business after
his retirement from the "right side" ca. 1940.

The photos of this "experimental" truck appear to have taken at
the doors of the NYO&W shops, off Wisner Ave., in Middletown.
I might hazard a guess that these images were part of a commission
undertaken on behalf of the inventor or builder.

As the O&W descended into the abyss of Bankruptcy every means and
effort was employed to corner some revenue. One income stream that was
tried was contract work for other rail lines or other rail related

The immense and well equipped shops provided heavy "Class" repairs for
locally housed Erie engines, and then for the NYS&W after it became
independent from the Erie. Short line Middletown & Uionville regularly
sent its
engines to the nearby Middletown Shops of the O&W for heavy repair work
and heavy Class overhauls. For its own purposes the O&W undertook heavy
repairs and major rebuilds to reboiler 55 or more of its ca. 1900 - 1910
engines for superheated operation.

The NYO&W worked with the firm of Motor Terminals Inc. to develop
COFC containers and hardware ca. 1937 for loading both demountable
merchandise and insulated fluid milk containers (the latter being
employed by Muller Dairies).

With a complete foundry, heat treating plant and fully equipped heavy
machine shop I would hazard a further guess that this experimental truck
was produced at the O&W shops as a part of a contract with the original

It is not a coincidence that Pat Diver photo images have shown up on the
University site inasmuch as DeForrest "Pat" Diver's grandson is affiliated
with the
Cornell library system, and Cornell was a repository of first instance for
many, many
historic images produced by the elder Mr. Diver.

Mal Houck

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