Date   

Errata Site? Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Gene Green <bierglaeser@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:
And who will correct the corrections?
Tim is exactly correct. I have written 4 books for Morning Sun. My experience with captions has been a bit different than the complaints here about "the growing problem of erroneous captions."

The following is intended simply to add information to the discussion. I feel no need to defend myself or any other author nor do I feel insulted or even criticized by any of the comments. I merely hope to give a different viewpoint for those few who might be interested.

I busted my butt on the first book (M&StL in Color) for Morning Sun. I kept pretty careful account of all my expenses, too, and when all was said and done my cost was 150% of my remuneration. I'm not faulting Bob but merely trying to indicate the effort to which I went.

Some of the photos used in the book were sequences taken at the scene of events. I had the good fortune to interview supervisory employees directly involved and had some pretty good stories (in my opinion) in those captions. I would often ask folks what they thought of what I wrote about one or another of those events. The response was always the same, "Oh, I never read the captions. I just look at the pictures." That response has been nearly universal about all 4 books. Granted, I haven't spoken with every reader but ... How important are captions if no one reads them. OK! OK! They still have to be correct.

So far as I know of only two people have ever read anything in M&StL in Color. These two persons - who I knew would attempt to find as much fault as they could - wrote letters pointing out errors which letters arrived before I ever saw a copy of the book myself. One pointed out one error; the other two. Of those two, he was wrong about one although I must admit that it was my awkward wording that caused him to misunderstand the caption and consider it an error.

I can state flatly, without fear on contradiction, that there are 3 errors in M&StL in Color. And I'll bet coffee and doughnuts on me at our next meeting that no one can find more than one. (Hint: The M&StL depot in Des Moines is actually the Des Moine Union depot. Mea culpa!) In spite of that, I recall walking into a hobby shop in the Midwest just in time to hear a fellow say, "Now you take Gene Green's books. They are full of errors." There's more to the story but suffice it to say that he ended up more embarrassed than I. And everyone else in the store had a good laugh.

My second book was the CGW Color Guide which I put together hastily when the original author quit abruptly near the publication deadline. I knew nothing about the CGW at the beginning although I surely know a lot now. I've never heard about an error in that book which is a great disappointment to me. I guess no one has read any of it.

The third book was also a "pull the fat out of the fire" job done in haste. One reader sent me about 20 typewritten pages of corrections or should I say "corrections" since he was right on some; wrong on others. He actually expected me to incorporate all his "corrections" into a revised volume which he expected the publisher would then print and distribute to original purchasers. As you might guess, he is in science, not business.

I think my points are as follows:
1. Each author does his best but his "best" might not be good enough and he himself defines best. That last is the worst part.
2. The pictures never contain errors, just the captions do, so half every book is error free.
3. Apparently very few have ever read any of my captions so why did I bother?
4. In every book there is more that is correct than in error. You spent your money so try to see the book in a positive light and maybe you won't feel so bad about the purchase.
5. Like the fellow in the Midwest hobby shop, many "critics" overstate their case. He was referring to one error in one book but what he said was, "Now you take Gene Green's books. They are full of errors."
6. Frankly, you guys are NOT the target audience for these picture books whether by Morning Sun or other publishers.
7. Most of what I have read this evening is reasonable and correct. Some captions are terrible; others better. Caution is advised.
8. Unfortunately it is incumbent upon the purchaser to know the author's reputation, attention to detail and propensity to make errors. In this group most of us can do that fairly easily. The more casual modelers and railfans can't do that very well and that is a real pity.

Gene Green


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

Did anyone graph the accuracy vs. beers consumed quotient? :-)

----- Original Message -----
From: water.kresse@...

Dave Hickcox (C&O Color Guide, Morning Sun) had the caption process down correct -- bring in the "experts" for beer and treats . . .


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

water.kresse@...
 

Guys,



Dave Hickcox (C&O Color Guide, Morning Sun) had the caption process down correct -- bring in the "experts" for beer and treats in a hotel room after a local train show and have them review the captions with the slides in front of them with him making the corrections/additions on 3 x5 cards for each slide.



Short and sweet for the reviewers.  Payment:  free book, good friendship and help/leads in the future.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: cinderandeight@...
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 6:19:34 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions








Guys,
I agree with so much of what you are all saying. Recently I was asked
"off handedly" if I could help with the captions of a new book. I agreed,
and the next day I received over 80 photos to caption, so I emailed back
asking for a timeframe for publication, and when he'd like the captions.
The answer was "the book is due out at the end of next month (six weeks
away), and I needed the captions two weeks ago."
I spent the next 7 days almost completely writing and rewriting
captions, farming out a small number and getting constant bombardments of emails
from the impatient editor.
The book was out on time, but given more time I certainly could have
done a lot better job. Errors might have crept into the process, but I
tried to keep the captions "within my base of knowledge". We all have a few
misconceptions from time to time, the learning process is ongoing for
everyone.
Payment for a weeks work? A free copy of the book, and the feeling
you helped record history. This is pretty typical. I wrote the freight car
section for a well known PRR book back in 1993 and got the same constant
harassment from its editor. In the end I cut off the effort at the forth
rewrite of the text. I have my free book, and the feeling I did as good a job
as I could while working 10 hours days, six days a week at a hard outside
job. (I can see Bruce Smith running to his book shelf to figure out which
book it was!)
Is possibly a rule of thumb that the more the captioner gets for his
work, the less likely it will be right? Most of us do this for the love of
it yet.
Rich Burg
**************Huge savings on HDTVs from Dell.com!
( http://pr.atwola.com/promoclk/100126575x1221836042x1201399880/aol?redir=http:%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.ne
t%2Fclk%3B215073686%3B37034322%3Bb)






[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Branchline Boxcar Kits

Armand Premo
 

Tim,Thank you.I have about given up on Ebay.Through STMFC I have been able to pick up a few cars including some Sunshine resin Kits.Thanks again Tim,A

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim O'Connor
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Branchline Boxcar Kits





Ebay?

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?sofocus=bs&sbrftog=1&fccl=0&fcl=3&catref=C6&frpp=50&from=R2&satitle=branchline+box*+-pullman+-berwick+-yardmaster&sacat=19128%26catref%3DC6&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D2&ftrt=1&ftrv=1&saprclo=&saprchi=&fsop=1%26fsoo%3D1&fgtp=

At 5/21/2009 04:21 PM Thursday, you wrote:
>If appropriate:Does anyone know of a hobbyshop with a good supply of Branchline Boxcar kits?If so,please contact me off list.I am attempting to fill in some voids .Armand Premo






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Re: Frameless tank car questions

earlyrail
 

Another design for the frameless tank car was by Bettendorf.
How many they built is unknown, but they did build one cutaway version to show a connecting "tube" for strength. (no quit an internal frame)

Howard Garner


Re: Branchline Boxcar Kits

SUVCWORR@...
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thu, 21 May 2009 3:51 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Branchline Boxcar Kits










Ebay?

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?sofocus=bs&sbrftog=1&fccl=0&fcl=3&catref=C6&frpp=50&from=R2&satitle=branchline+box*+-pullman+-berwick+-yardmaster&sacat=19128%26catref%3DC6&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D2&ftrt=1&ftrv=1&saprclo=&saprchi=&fsop=1%26fsoo%3D1&fgtp=

At 5/21/2009 04:21 PM Thursday, you wrote:
If appropriate:Does anyone know of a hobbyshop with a good supply of Branchline
Boxcar kits?If so,please contact me off list.I am attempting to fill in some
voids .Armand Premo



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


Re: Branchline Boxcar Kits

Mark
 

Hello, Armand.

You might want to call Tom at Model Railroad Scene at 419-529-5959. He has a few kits. Let him know I referred you, he might need help shipping them!

Sincerely,Mark Morgan

--- On Thu, 5/21/09, armprem1 <armprem2@...> wrote:

From: armprem1 <armprem2@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Branchline Boxcar Kits
To: STMFC@...
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2009, 4:21 PM

















If appropriate: Does anyone know of a hobbyshop with a good supply of Branchline Boxcar kits?If so,please contact me off list.I am attempting to fill in some voids .Armand Premo


Re: Errata Site?

Richard Brennan <brennan8@...>
 

At 02:12 PM 5/21/2009, Scott Pitzer wrote:
Some of the books have so many errors, that organization of the corrections/comments would be crucial... otherwise people would have to "wade through" a lot of stuff.
Maybe a separate Yahoo Group for each book? Or some other format where "threads" can be followed.
Perhap a Wiki ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki_software

Quite a few technology shops use these for tracking issues within product development teams...
Setting-up a thread for each publication could help organize the errata and comments.


--------------------
Richard Brennan - San Leandro CA
--------------------


Errata Site? Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Scott Pitzer
 

Some of the books have so many errors, that organization of the corrections/comments would be crucial... otherwise people would have to "wade through" a lot of stuff.
Maybe a separate Yahoo Group for each book? Or some other format where "threads" can be followed.
Scott Pitzer


Re: Errata Site? Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

Rob,
 
        Members of this list have been reat about pointing out errors, or omissions in text and photo captions. Your idea sounds workable so long as we do not allow attacks on writers, proof readers, etc. After all, any one of us can punch up typo and not catch it. The worst we can do is try, so I'm for it.
 
Fred Freitas
Bennington, VT

--- On Thu, 5/21/09, yahoo@... <yahoo@...> wrote:


From: yahoo@... <yahoo@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Errata Site? Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions
To: STMFC@...
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2009, 4:35 PM








I have been considering starting a web site for railroad book errata. Obviously, the $50/60/70 slides shows from Morning Sun would lead the parade, but they would have plenty of company.

What I am thinking is a blog format, where each "article" states the book, publisher, author, etc... and then we post "comments" that correct specific errors.

Interested in participating in such a beast?

Rob Davis


Re: Smithsonian Institution and Freight Car Photos

Adrian Hundhausen
 

Gentlemen, three further notes on the Smithsonian photo collection:

1) On Monday of this week I received, by mail, 4 prints that I had ordered from them by email 17 days previous. In February I received another order from them about 2 weeks after placing it. All of these prints were from negatives in their Pullman collection. Michael Barnes, who is now in charge of their photo services, seems to have things well in hand.

2) Their freight car photo catalogs are very old (early 1980s?) and not complete. One of the prints I just received was a Pullman builder's photo which is NOT listed in their catalog of Pullman freight car photos. A friend found the negative number along with the records for this particular lot of cars in the Pullman lot list in the Newberry Library, and I added it to my order on the off chance that it might have escaped the catalogers. It had.

3) The $25 they charge for an 8x10 print is not out of line with what is being charged by other institutions around the country. I have recently ordered a print from a state historical society out west and it cost $20. If you factor in not only the cost of physically making the print from the negative, but also the cost of the staff which does it (with health insurance, let us hope) and the cost of storing the negatives in conditions where they will survive (and this in DC where cost of living and therefore salaries may be higher than some other parts of the country) then $25 may not be so ridiculous after all. I think their digital images start at $50, which may not be as reasonable.

Regards,
Adrian Hundhausen

--- In STMFC@..., "lnbill" <bwelch@> wrote:
I am going into the SI on Friday
Unless something has changed drasticly you will get "sticker shock" when you see the cost of their prints.


Re: Errata Site? Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Tim O'Connor
 

And who will correct the corrections?

At 5/21/2009 04:35 PM Thursday, you wrote:
I have been considering starting a web site for railroad book errata. Obviously, the $50/60/70 slides shows from Morning Sun would lead the parade, but they would have plenty of company.

What I am thinking is a blog format, where each "article" states the book, publisher, author, etc... and then we post "comments" that correct specific errors.

Interested in participating in such a beast?

Rob Davis


Re: Branchline Boxcar Kits

Tim O'Connor
 

At 5/21/2009 04:21 PM Thursday, you wrote:
If appropriate:Does anyone know of a hobbyshop with a good supply of Branchline Boxcar kits?If so,please contact me off list.I am attempting to fill in some voids .Armand Premo


Re: Frameless tank car questions

Richard Hendrickson
 

On May 21, 2009, at 9:30 AM, Doug Rhodes wrote:

Richard Hendrickson had an article in the December 1995 Railroad
Model Craftsman that you might find helpful.

In that article it says that "...about two thousand were delivered
to UTL between 1903 and 1912."






I will add that, according to the January, 1952 UTL live list, 75 of
those cars were still active as standard gauge cars, apart from the
cars that had been converted to narrow gauge for service on the D&RG
NG lines in Colorado and New Mexico (some of which lasted for years
after the ARR mandated AB brakes on cars in interchange, since the NG
cars didn't operate in interchange). The numbers of the standard
gauge cars still in service at that date were: 15499, 55226, 55284,
55240, 55241, 55265, 55336, and 58332-58399. I infer from the data
in the live list that the cars with the 55xxx numbers were ex-narrow
gauge cars which had been converted back to standard gauge. Perhaps
I should emphasize that NO V class (or, for that matter, X class)
UTLX cars were built new as narrow gauge cars; all were converted
from standard gauge cars in the 1920s and '30s. I make a point of
this because a narrow gauge foamer once said to me, after the article
cited above appeared, that he thought all of the class V cars were
originally narrow gauge and had assumed the standard gauge Class Vs
were converted from NG cars.

Richard Hendrickson


Errata Site? Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Robert John Davis
 

I have been considering starting a web site for railroad book errata. Obviously, the $50/60/70 slides shows from Morning Sun would lead the parade, but they would have plenty of company.

What I am thinking is a blog format, where each "article" states the book, publisher, author, etc... and then we post "comments" that correct specific errors.

Interested in participating in such a beast?

Rob Davis


Branchline Boxcar Kits

Armand Premo
 

If appropriate:Does anyone know of a hobbyshop with a good supply of Branchline Boxcar kits?If so,please contact me off list.I am attempting to fill in some voids .Armand Premo


Re: Frameless tank car questions

Dave Nelson
 

By the way, the 1906 "Car Builder's Dictionary" includes a drawing of
a 10,000-gallon Van Dyke tank car. There's no photograph, however, so
I wouldn't assume that such a car was actually built.
No use looking at an early ORER... I glanced at a 1924 volume and there was
just a single line w/ 33,055 cars.

Thanks Andy, for mentioning the 1906 CBD... I'll look up the dwg. To all, a
drawing of the X-3 design can be found in the 1919 CBD.

Dave Nelson


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

cinderandeight@...
 

Guys,
I agree with so much of what you are all saying. Recently I was asked
"off handedly" if I could help with the captions of a new book. I agreed,
and the next day I received over 80 photos to caption, so I emailed back
asking for a timeframe for publication, and when he'd like the captions.
The answer was "the book is due out at the end of next month (six weeks
away), and I needed the captions two weeks ago."
I spent the next 7 days almost completely writing and rewriting
captions, farming out a small number and getting constant bombardments of emails
from the impatient editor.
The book was out on time, but given more time I certainly could have
done a lot better job. Errors might have crept into the process, but I
tried to keep the captions "within my base of knowledge". We all have a few
misconceptions from time to time, the learning process is ongoing for
everyone.
Payment for a weeks work? A free copy of the book, and the feeling
you helped record history. This is pretty typical. I wrote the freight car
section for a well known PRR book back in 1993 and got the same constant
harassment from its editor. In the end I cut off the effort at the forth
rewrite of the text. I have my free book, and the feeling I did as good a job
as I could while working 10 hours days, six days a week at a hard outside
job. (I can see Bruce Smith running to his book shelf to figure out which
book it was!)
Is possibly a rule of thumb that the more the captioner gets for his
work, the less likely it will be right? Most of us do this for the love of
it yet.
Rich Burg
**************Huge savings on HDTVs from Dell.com!
(http://pr.atwola.com/promoclk/100126575x1221836042x1201399880/aol?redir=http:%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.ne
t%2Fclk%3B215073686%3B37034322%3Bb)


Re: Frameless tank car questions

Jack Burgess <jack@...>
 

Garth wrote:
Does this mean that these little 4K tanks were still classed as X by
UTLX? Did they have a special number (X-1, for example)?
You are getting out of the limit of my knowledge (let alone expertise) but
they were 6,000 gallon tanks AFAIK and the X-3s came after the X class which
introduced the center sill design. I have a special interest in the V tank
cars since a YV brakeman told me that tank cars in the upper area of the
railroad in the Merced River Canyon were typically Van Dyke tank cars...

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


Re: Frameless tank car questions

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jack Burgess wrote:
They were built that way. Union Tank Car Company initially built the frameless Type V but, according to Culotto's Steam Era Freight Cars Reference Manual, Vol 2, "...the industry was wary of a car that did not have center sills. Union Tank Car acquiesced to industry pressure and moved on to the Type X design."
This is correct, and it's interesting to note that at the time, _Railway Age_ magazine editorialized against the conservatism of the various mechanical officers on this subject, stating that there had been proven NO deficiencies in the Type V car either by experience or by calculation of stresses. BTW, I've always assumed that the "V" in Type V came from the name of Mr. Van Dyke.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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