Re: Murphy ends with vertical ribs

soolinehistory <destorzek@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Frank Valoczy" <destron@...> wrote:


I have the PM book in my hand and look at the same company diagram, and
yes, it says "Murphy". But as Fritz said, "Murphy" was often used pretty
... only by modelers who haven't a clue. There have also been published references to corrugated ends that call them "Youngstown" ends, apparently because they look kind of like the doors. I think those of us who inhabit this list are trying to get beyond such mis-informed references.

When I was doing the research several years ago on the origin of the
Piedmont & Northern's 1100-series cars, I found reference to these
vertically-ribbed ends as "Vulcan" ends. I hope you'll forgive me but
after 4 or 5 years passed since I was doing that research, I can't
remember where it was that I saw that. But it is possible I'm in error
with regards to the nomenclature of the PM ends, and that the Vulcan
reference was about the vertically-ribbed ends on some WLE cars (which are
admittedly quite different from the ones on the PM cars).
I would suspect that the W&LE cars did have Vulcan ends, since one of the photos Chicago-Cleveland used to illustrate the Vulcan end in the 1922 Cyc. was of a W&LE car. But that doesn't mean that all ends with vertical ribs were Vulcan ends, especially in light of the "Murphy" notation on the PM drawings. Railroads seldom get this information wrong, because they don't use these names as generic terms for similar looking items as modelers do. Instead they tend to use generic trade names, but the actual part specifications would be found by going back into their files; unfortunately, much of that information is now lost.

If it were to turn out that Western Steel Car Corp. had a preference for
getting parts from Chicago-Cleveland, then I would think it fairly
reasonable to assume that the PM 85000-series cars had the
Chicago-Cleveland ends. Given that the otherwise almost identical
86000-series cars built by Pressed Steel had Hutchins ends, I don't think
the PM had a set-in-stone preference for what manufacturer supplied the
steel ends, so long as they were steel ends. But again, I'm just guessing
here - and a point against my case is that the diagram for the
86000-series cars indicates Hutchins ends by name.
And, the drawing for the 80000-80499, 80500-81999, and 85000-85999 series cars call out the Murphy ends by name? How is that any different? Sure, some are horizontal and other vertical ribs, but that would be determined by going into the drawing files. Equipment diagrams are kind of like an index; they just tell basic info about the cars, and the important thing here, to the railroad, is that if they need to order replacements, they need to talk to S.R.E.Co.

A couple other points. Carbuilder preferences didn't count for much, because in this era they didn't write the specifications; the railroads did. The car equipment manufacturers knew this, and weren't going to spend a lot of effort lobbying the builder, only to be overruled by customer preference. Customer preference was dictated by lots of factors: the mechanical department's intense like, or dislike for certain designs, or certain suppliers; the desire to support an on-line shipper, or conversely the need to spread the wealth, so to speak, around to several; and of course, which sales rep passed out the best booze, or bought the most dinners. Oh, yeah, price might come into play, but I suspect most these were commodity items that had long since had their price whittled down to the bare minimum.

Now, looking at the PM diagrams in the Million-Paton book, it appears that the first two series listed above came from the USRA, so the railroad had absolutely NO say in how they were equipped; that was the USRA's purchasing decisions. Other than that, the PM appeared to REALLY like to specify Hutchins products, using their roofs and ends on EVERYTHING, from several different builders, except this one other series of auto cars. The reason why is, I'm sure, lost to history.


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