Re: Tank car photo [Was: 1928 Photo of Reefers . . .] (UNCLASSIFIED)

Gatwood, Elden J SAD

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Yes, that IS odd.

There was, at one time, a discussion on why tank cars lettered with certain
words were "tapped" by hungry/thirsty hoboes/out-of-work/etc depression-era
people, and the RRs and owners efforts to dissuade that sort of (sometimes
dangerous) behavior (maybe they thought "tallow" meant "rye whisky"?? the two
sound the same...). One was to repaint with different wording or minimal
lettering. One might have been simply to write "inedible" on the end...maybe
a skull and crossbones would have been more effective

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2011 1:15 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Tank car photo [Was: 1928 Photo of Reefers . . .]

Just a guess about "inedible" and the location. Probably a car of tallow for
soap or such.
Chuck Hladik

In a message dated 3/11/2011 12:55:47 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
thompson@... <> writes:

Ron Merrickt wrote:
That guy is 'poling' the car, or 'gauging' it, to check the level of
liquid. He would have opened the valve some time previously, via
the handwheel. See Kaminski's tank car book, p. 220,221, 223 etc.

A likely explanation is that the unloading procedure called for the
second man to watch the liquid level during unloading to see that it
was actually going down, and it gave the crew the opportunity to
figure out when they'd be done. He's undoubtedly supposed to close
the valve when the car is empty, before the man on the ground
disconnects the hose.
That's how I read the photo also, Ron. Another possibility
might be that the man on top is "gauging" the car so they can remove a
certain number of gallons, but that would be tricky. The word
"inedible" hand lettered on the end seems odd.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, _thompson@...
<> _
(mailto:thompson@... <> )
Publishers of books on railroad history

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