PFE 12, R-30-2-13 / hooks on side sill


Roger J Miener <Roger.Miener@...>
 

This question is aimed at Tony Thompson but anyone else may certainly
chime in.

For those who have a copy of either edition of the PFE book by
Thompson, Church and Jones, you will find the basis for my question in
the photo of the above referenced car, that photo appearing on page 77
therein - yep, same page in either the first or second edition. The
caption of the photo says that PFE 12 was rebuilt to class R-30-2-13
in February 1928. The caption goes on to say that the superstructure
of the rebuilt car (except for the board roof) is characteristic of
the R-30-13 class.

OK, now that you are looking at the photo, please notice the hooks
mounted to the bottom of the side sill. For those of you who have no
book to look at - (1) shame on you - (2) the hooks look for all in the
world like really *really* big cup hooks mounted with the open side of
the hook facing out. The hooks are mounted in groups of three, two
groups to a side. Within each group of three hooks, two of them are
located close to the body bolster and symmetrical about the centerline
of said bolster whereas the third hook, although appearing to have
almost the same horizontal spacing as the others in the group, is
located closer toward the center door of the car.

Taking my cue from the photo caption, I boogied on over to page 87
(again, same pg. in both eds) and there I found a photo of PFE 27080
which *is* an R-30-13, and though it is a little more difficult to
see - sure enough - there are those hooks, right where we found them
on PFE 12. As a matter of fact, it now looks that we have four hooks
per group with the fourth one located between the bolster pair of
hooks and the end of the car. Hop - skip - and jump to page 94
(again, same pg. in both eds) and a close up photo of "The famous
'T-section' truck" an...nd, there's those hook again.

My question? Obvious. What the heck were the hooks for? They are
too flimsy to serve in lieu of a towing staple - besides there are
three - or four - of them at each end on each side of the car. I
can't find similar hooks on any of the other PFE cars in the book. I
have never seen such hooks on any other freight car. Indeed, and
judging from other photos in the PFE book, at least some R-30-13's
didn't have the hooks when they were built. And it appears that the
later "reconditioned" R-30-13's, i.e., PFE 36171 reworked in July,
1937, no longer sported hooks (pg. 97) - if indeed it ever had them.
But then, just when I thought it was safe to say that the hooks had
become passe', up pops a photo (pg 127) of PFE R30-13-9 98126
photographed in 1940 shortly after its "reconditioning" and - it has
the hooks! So do PFE R-30-12-9 91022 (pg.131) and PFE R-30-12-9 97680
(pg.133).

These hooks had to have a function -- What was it?

Roger Miener
at Tacoma WA

PS to Mike Brock - Mike, note the "little bugger" visible just to the
left of the left-hand door hinge line in the photo of PFE 12. First
it was "little buggers", and now it is really *really* big cup hooks.
Details ... details ... details.


Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Roger, I think they are used to latch the doors open. I have
seen hooks on other reefers, on the car sides. The doors were
heavy and had a tendency to swing shut if the car was not
perfectly level -- like your kitchen refrigerator.

Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
Sterling, Massachusetts


Guy Wilber
 

In a message dated 2/25/02 10:33:08 PM Pacific Standard Time,
Roger.Miener@... writes:

<< These hooks had to have a function -- What was it? >>

The hooks were available to hold the journal box lids open for service and/or
a "hotbox". A cord, rope or wire was strung between the lid and the sill
hook.

The hooks are still present on the R. H. McFarland photo of 36171 (ca. 1937).

Regards,

Guy Wilber
Sparks, Nevada


Guy Wilber
 

In a message dated 2/26/02 8:06:14 AM Pacific Standard Time,
ljack70117@... writes:

<< I have never seen a friction journal box lid that would no stay open. >>

Larry, you are just not quite old enough...

You would have if you had worked on early Andrews, Arch Bars or Bettendorf
"T" sections with original covers still intact.

Regards,

Guy Wilber
Sparks, Nevada


ljack70117@...
 

I have never seen a friction journal box lid that would no stay open.
Thank you
Larry Jackman

guycwilber@... wrote:


In a message dated 2/25/02 10:33:08 PM Pacific Standard Time,
Roger.Miener@... writes:


Roger J Miener <Roger.Miener@...>
 

Guy Wilber responds ...

The hooks were available to hold the journal box lids open for
service and/or
a "hotbox". A cord, rope or wire was strung between the lid and the
sill
hook.
Well I'll be darned. I, like Larry Jackman, have never seen a journal
box lid that wasn't sprung to stay open when that was desired. I now
wonder if other freightcars of that vintage might have been fitted
with these hooks and that I have just never noticed. I also wonder
who the bright bulb was who came up with the idea of the over-center
spring arrangement that kept journal box lids snapped firmly closed or
open - as the case may be.

The hooks are still present on the R. H. McFarland photo of 36171
(ca. 1937).

Prodded by your comment and aided by a bright light, I took another
look and, sure enough, the hooks are there.

Unless Tony Thompson has more to add on this subject, I suppose that
Guy's response has taken Tony off the hook.

Roger Miener
at Tacoma WA


Guy Wilber
 

In a message dated 2/27/02 7:30:45 AM Pacific Standard Time, wbkelly@...
writes:

<< These hooks were called "Hot Box Cooler Hooks". They were on SP's cars
built from about 1912 till around 1942 or so. They were also on UP's cars
and probably other Harriman influenced cars. They are called by this name
when shown on car drawings. The cooler was a small water tank and hose.
These coolers were nicknamed "keelies" maybe for someone named Keely >>

Bill,

Weren't keelies used for adding lubricants to the journal box? Or, were they
strictly used with water for cooling? Did the water run over the box or what?

Thanks for the clarification and I apologize for my mis-leading information
regarding the use of the hooks. I have heard many talk about the hooks as I
describe, and am discovering (more and more) those opinions to be a lousy
source.

Kindest Regards,

Guy Wilber
Sparks, Nevada

PS The only photos that I have seen with the cans in place are those of SP
cabooses. Most are upon cabooses still equipped with arch bar trucks.


Bill Kelly
 

These hooks were called "Hot Box Cooler Hooks". They were on SP's cars
built from about 1912 till around 1942 or so. They were also on UP's cars
and probably other Harriman influenced cars. They are called by this name
when shown on car drawings. The cooler was a small water tank and hose.
These coolers were nicknamed "keelies" maybe for someone named Keely, the
inventor? For an example of one in use see _Railroad Model Craftsman_
March 1995, page 14. The photo is of SP caboose number 5 with a keely on
the hooks above the front truck. There's no doubt that people found many
other uses for these hooks but the hot box cooler was the intended use.

Later,
Bill Kelly


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webercanyon <webercanyon@...>
 

In the book "Three Barrels of Steam" there is a photo of a UP 5090 4-
10-2, and the author makes a reference to "keelies" being used to
cool
the journals of the tender truck bearings when they ran hot.


thompson@...
 

I was out of town when this interesting thread erupted. Bill Kelly's
answer sounds good to me. But the contention that early cars did not have
spring-loaded journal box lids is, I think, not supportable. The 1906 Car
Builders' Dictionary shows several brands of such lids. Of course not all
railroads may have installed same; but they certainly did exist.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


Bill Kelly
 

Guy,
The can hanging on SP 5 is way to clean to be used for oil.
I got the name from a retired D&RGW engineer. Later the name was
confirmed by Fred Picker in his book _Railroading in Texas_. He
says:"...A device sometimes seen was the Keeley can, a water container to
be wired in dripping position over a hot axle bearing." he went on to say
" I remember the Keeley can because my father was said to have enrolled
for a course at the Keeley Institute in Indiana, a place well-known for
the 'water cure'." The can used the same idea as the small valves and
hoses over each journal on Vanderbuilt tenders. I have never seen
anything "official" about the use of water but I would think that the
water was just for cooling because the crew carried oil and tools for
repacking bearings.

Later,
Bill
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Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Guy and Bill,

This is probably getting way off-topic, but the Keeley Institute (source of the Keeley Cure Bill
mentioned) was a well known sanitarium around the turn of the century. It was (IIRC) located in Denver,
though apparently there were others from Bill's reference to Indiana. The ad mentioned the Denver place
being the finest Keeley Institute in the country, or some such puffery. They specialized in curing
various addictions. The ad I saw some years ago mentions tobacco, alcohol and drugs (probably opiates and
cocaine). I don't exactly know what their "cure" involved, but various water treatments were still
popular at that time. I doubt that their success rate was very high, but that would probably have been
blamed hereditary moral degeneracy.

I saw the ad in some railroad publication, maybe the book on Denver streetcars years ago. (Mandatory
train content).

Now back to freight cars.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

Bill Kelly wrote:


The can hanging on SP 5 is way to clean to be used for oil.
I got the name from a retired D&RGW engineer. Later the name was
confirmed by Fred Picker in his book _Railroading in Texas_. He
says:"...A device sometimes seen was the Keeley can, a water container to
be wired in dripping position over a hot axle bearing." he went on to say
" I remember the Keeley can because my father was said to have enrolled
for a course at the Keeley Institute in Indiana, a place well-known for
the 'water cure'...."