Richard Hendrickson

On Apr 27, 2011, at 10:54 AM, Hunter, James R. wrote:

Very interesting and long story, JP. My research has led me to
that the Hunter Packing plant was located in East St. Louis, just as
Richard told me. I have a copy of that B/W photo from Bob's Photos
dated 1942; perhaps it should be dated later. However, I remain
skeptical about the aluminum-painted ends. They would be extremely
unusual for a steam-era reefer, so I'd like to see an end photo. I
don't want to take a kit maker's word for it that the ends and roof
were aluminum.
Jim, there is photographic evidence that Mather painted at least some
refrigerator car roofs aluminum briefly in the late 1930s, as did
several other reefer operators (e.g., Fruit Growers Express).
However, that practice was dropped during World War II and never
revived. Mather apparently found, as others did, that once the
aluminum roofs got dirty - which they did very rapidly in those days
- their heat reflectivity was so reduced that it wasn't worth the
cost of the aluminum paint. From the early '40s on, Mather reefers
had mineral red roofs. As for the ends, there is zero photographic
evidence that Mather ever painted them aluminum; it appears that they
were always mineral red. One other note on color; J.P. describes the
Megow sides as orange, but in fact. on the prototype cars, they were
what model RR paint manufacturers term reefer yellow, a rich yellow
with perhaps some slight overtones of orange, but definitely yellow,
not orange (and definitely more yellow than the orangey color used on
PFE and SFRD cars). Lettering was black on all Mather cars and AFAIK
the only cars that got color logos were the Rath cars in the 1950s.
Hunter, Hy-Grade, Morrell, Agar, and other reefers leased from Mather
did not have logos, only the lessee's name in black.

With regard to decals, there may be a Mather reefer decal set in the
works. If it materializes, I'm sure it will be announced on this
list, so watch this space. As for modeling the 42' Mather reefers,
Sunshine issued resin kits early in its history for those cars with
both composite and steel ends and lettering for several different
owners. They were in the #15 series. They may turn up from time on
time on the second hand market.

Richard Hendrickson

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