URTX / Soo Line Reefer 1882 preserved at Whippany Railroad Museum


rrhistorian
 

Hello all,

I thought this would be of interest as this seems to be a rather
intact reefer:

http://www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.org/eq_reefer.htm

Best regards,
Tom Cornillie


Dennis Storzek <dstorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "rrhistorian" <rrhistorian@...> wrote:

Hello all,

I thought this would be of interest as this seems to be a rather
intact reefer:

http://www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.org/eq_reefer.htm

Best regards,
Tom Cornillie
Is everybody involved with railway preservation an amateur, or does it
only look that way? Read this quote from their web site:

"The Museum's car was one of many under lease to the Minneapolis,
Saint Paul & Sault Saint Marie Railway. Originally painted bright
yellow with red-oxide ends and roof, the car carried the famous herald
of the Soo Line throughout it's more than 4-decades of active service.
After a late-1940's rebuilding which featured new, steel ends that
replaced the original wooden ends, the car was painted orange with
black roof and ends. Once restored by the Museum, the car will feature
the earlier yellow paint scheme."

Here they have a complete reefer as it existed at the end of service,
when it was painted orange. But, they want it yellow. Somehow I
seriously doubt that they will remove the steel ends and roof before
they repaint it. I bring it up only as a reminder of how worthless
railway museums are for doing prototype research.

Dennis


Frank Greene <fgreen01@...>
 

To really appreciate your thesis, you need to sit in on a museum preservation
meeting and hear the "educated" discussions that go on over what color to paint
a piece of equipment. And, after it's botched, hear the explanations.

You are exactly right. Don't start your research with a museum's exhibits.

Frank Greene
Memphis, TN
fgreen01@...

----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis Storzek
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2006 9:45 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: URTX / Soo Line Reefer 1882 preserved at Whippany
Railroad Museum


Is everybody involved with railway preservation an amateur, or does it only
look that way? Read this quote from their web site:

"The Museum's car was one of many under lease to the Minneapolis, Saint Paul &
Sault Saint Marie Railway. Originally painted bright yellow with red-oxide ends
and roof, the car carried the famous herald of the Soo Line throughout it's more
than 4-decades of active service. After a late-1940's rebuilding which featured
new, steel ends that replaced the original wooden ends, the car was painted
orange with black roof and ends. Once restored by the Museum, the car will
feature the earlier yellow paint scheme."

Here they have a complete reefer as it existed at the end of service, when it
was painted orange. But, they want it yellow. Somehow I seriously doubt that
they will remove the steel ends and roof before they repaint it. I bring it up
only as a reminder of how worthless railway museums are for doing prototype
research.

Dennis


Dennis Storzek <dstorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Frank Greene" <fgreen01@...> wrote:

To really appreciate your thesis, you need to sit in on a museum
preservation
meeting and hear the "educated" discussions that go on over what
color to paint
a piece of equipment. And, after it's botched, hear the explanations.
Been there, done that. It's the "model railroader" syndrome. Because
we as modelers might prefer one paint scheme to another, all we have
to do is buy some Evergreen scribed styrene and Tichy K brake
equipment, and we can do whatever we want. In fact we can do whatever
we want without buying any additional materials, so long as we don't
mention it on this list.

It would be one thing if they were a tourist railroad; a private
concern that just sells a ride. But a MUSEUM should hold itself to a
higher standard than someone's personal model railroad. Here is their
mission statement, from their web page:

"The Whippany Railway Museum is dedicated to Preserving the Heritage
and History of the Railroads of New Jersey through the Restoration,
Preservation, Interpretation and Operation of Historic Railroad
Equipment and Artifacts from New Jersey and the immediate vicinity."

I guess if it's not from New Jersey or the immediate vicinity it
doesn't have to be correct.

Dennis


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

Dennis Storzek opines-

I bring it up only as a reminder of how worthless
railway museums are for doing prototype research.
Dennis, I am almost completely sure that you really meant to write "...how worthless [SOME] railway museums..." :-) .

Having been centrally involved in many full size locomotive and car restoration decisions over half my lifetime, I can assure you that your fears in this regard do not in any fashion embrace everyone. Some thirty years ago, I was a central protagonist in a basic policy argument supporting meticulous prototype research that curiously had to reach the highest levels of California government before being eventually settled in favor of scholarly honesty.

That said, once in a very great while , i.e. on extremely rare occasions, although meticulous scholarly prototype research may point to many other restoration solutions (and are so recorded in a systematic fashion), a curatorial decision may be made to do completely otherwise simply because the artifact is required as a tool to tell a broader and more important story than any inherent to the car itself. Although generally to be deplored, one has to ultimately agree that in the final analysis paint is only several microns in thickness, and is easily removed.

Denny



--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento


rrhistorian
 

A great discussion,

I would add that what is even more important in getting the
restoration 'right' is to throughly record the object before
restoration work begins and to continue the recording as the the
restoration work progresses.

As many of us are aware, railroad lettering styles were both railroad
specific and varied depending on where and when the car was repainted
- and as such they are easily or accurately replicated except through
careful tracing and repainting. Once the paint is removed, the
information contained with it is lost forever.

Likewise, there is often evidence of repairs within the cars
themselves which can provide a wealth of information on how repair
methods changed over time.

As others have remarked here - what is the point then of restoring an
object when its history will be obscured or obilterated in the
process? While pursuing an incorrect restoration may sastisfy the
desires of the 'higher ups' a given museum - it also sacrifices the
stated mission of preserving and teaching history.

Tom Cornillie

(I will be leading a research group on this topic in the fall at the
University of Illinois)


walter kierzkowski <cathyk@...>
 

The United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey who has a collection of pieces from all over is going to divest itself of some of this equiptment a list can be found at its web site URHS.Org plans for a museum has fallen through again and cost of storing and maintaing the equiptment is rising.. WJK

----- Original Message -----
From: Frank Greene
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2006 11:41 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: URTX / Soo Line Reefer 1882 preserved at Whippany Railroad Museum


To really appreciate your thesis, you need to sit in on a museum preservation
meeting and hear the "educated" discussions that go on over what color to paint
a piece of equipment. And, after it's botched, hear the explanations.

You are exactly right. Don't start your research with a museum's exhibits.

Frank Greene
Memphis, TN
fgreen01@...


----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis Storzek
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2006 9:45 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: URTX / Soo Line Reefer 1882 preserved at Whippany
Railroad Museum


Is everybody involved with railway preservation an amateur, or does it only
look that way? Read this quote from their web site:

"The Museum's car was one of many under lease to the Minneapolis, Saint Paul &
Sault Saint Marie Railway. Originally painted bright yellow with red-oxide ends
and roof, the car carried the famous herald of the Soo Line throughout it's more
than 4-decades of active service. After a late-1940's rebuilding which featured
new, steel ends that replaced the original wooden ends, the car was painted
orange with black roof and ends. Once restored by the Museum, the car will
feature the earlier yellow paint scheme."

Here they have a complete reefer as it existed at the end of service, when it
was painted orange. But, they want it yellow. Somehow I seriously doubt that
they will remove the steel ends and roof before they repaint it. I bring it up
only as a reminder of how worthless railway museums are for doing prototype
research.

Dennis






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JohnB
 

You are exactly right. Don't start your research with a museum's
exhibits.

Frank Greene

Here they have a complete reefer as it existed at the end of
service, when it was painted orange. But, they want it yellow.
Somehow >I seriously doubt that they will remove the steel ends and
roof before >they repaint it. I bring it up only as a reminder of how
worthless >railway museums are for doing prototype research.

Dennis Storzek
Although modelers purposes can be anything, museums are supposed
to preserve EXISTING artifacts. Even the California State Railroad
Museum has done horrible damage in backdating machines. Dr. Denny
[the Godfather of the CSRM] undoubtedly did much to civilize the
extremes of their practice. Many, but not all, of the restored
objects at Sacramento have a restoration file.

I would agree with the above complainants that considering a
given museum restoration accurate would be a mistake. Unless a
detailed restoration file was produced and was available. Too bad the
(largely amateur) "restoration" community is so unreliable.


Richard Hendrickson
 

On May 21, 2006, at 8:58 AM, Denny Anspach wrote:

Dennis Storzek opines-

I bring it up only as a reminder of how worthless
railway museums are for doing prototype research.
Dennis, I am almost completely sure that you really meant to write
"...how worthless [SOME] railway museums..." :-) .

Having been centrally involved in many full size locomotive and car
restoration decisions over half my lifetime, I can assure you that
your fears in this regard do not in any fashion embrace everyone.
Some thirty years ago, I was a central protagonist in a basic policy
argument supporting meticulous prototype research that curiously had
to reach the highest levels of California government before being
eventually settled in favor of scholarly honesty.
All true, and no one has better credentials than my good friend Denny when it comes to taking a stand for historical authenticity.

That said, once in a very great while , i.e. on extremely rare
occasions, although meticulous scholarly prototype research may
point to many other restoration solutions (and are so recorded in a
systematic fashion), a curatorial decision may be made to do
completely otherwise simply because the artifact is required as a
tool to tell a broader and more important story than any inherent to
the car itself. Although generally to be deplored, one has to
ultimately agree that in the final analysis paint is only several
microns in thickness, and is easily removed.
Here Denny and I are in radical disagreement. Bogus is bogus, and to say that a museum display has been rendered bogus "because the artifact is required as a tool to tell a broader and more important story" yadayadayada is, to be blunt, a shabby rationalization. Any place with the nerve to call itself a museum has a primary obligation to preserve historical accuracy. Otherwise what we're talking about isn't a museum, it's an amusement park. None of this should be construed as critiicism of the California State RR Museum, which IS a museum and not an amusement park, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of Denny and other RR historians.

Much the same point may be made in support of Ben Hom's sermon about model railroad clubs and societies that claim to be "historical" in nature while taking all sorts of liberties with history, geography, etc. If the primary purpose of model railroading is amusement (not to say self-indulgence), then anything goes. But a model railroad, whether personal or club-operated, that claims to be historical should make every effort to be historically accurate. "Sort of historical" just doesn't cut it.

The La Mesa club's Tehachapi Pass layout in San Diego immediately comes to mind as a notable example of a historically authentic model railroad. Ironically, some of the most historically accurate model railroads represent fictional RRs but are so well researched that they do so with admirable plausibility (e.g., Bill Darnaby's Maumee Route and the Rensselaer club's New England, Berkshire, & Western). This is an especially sensitive issue where freight cars are concerned (see, Mike and Jeff, if you're patient I'll get there) because so many modelers will go to great lengths to accurately replicate motive power, structures and such and then run an unprototypical and inaccurate mix of freight cars with little or no regard to era, traffic, or any of the other variables that should determine which cars could have been found in trains and yards on the prototype railroad being modeled.

Richard Hendrickson


Dennis Storzek <dstorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Denny Anspach <danspach@...> wrote:

Dennis Storzek opines-

I bring it up only as a reminder of how worthless
railway museums are for doing prototype research.
Dennis, I am almost completely sure that you really meant to write
"...how worthless [SOME] railway museums..." :-) .
Sorry, Doc, perhaps I should have not used such a broad brush. But,
the fact remains that between the changes made to accommodate current
day safety regulations, modern day replacements for obsolete
components and materials, and the whims of the museum staff, I'll
stand by my flat statement that NO "restored" artifact in a museum can
be trusted to represent its appearance in service without some
serious, and time consuming, research in the restoration file, if it
even exists.

...That said, once in a very great while , i.e. on extremely rare
occasions, although meticulous scholarly prototype research may
point to many other restoration solutions (and are so recorded in a
systematic fashion), a curatorial decision may be made to do
completely otherwise simply because the artifact is required as a
tool to tell a broader and more important story than any inherent to
the car itself.
This would be a valid argument, if the museum in question was trying
to depict refer operations in the NYC area and decided that they
wanted this artifact to represent an identical car for, say, the Erie.
But, this does not appear to be the case. It appears that someone just
likes the fancier lettering better, and is willing to make the
artifact a hermaphrodite to have it.

Although generally to be deplored, one has to
ultimately agree that in the final analysis paint is only several
microns in thickness, and is easily removed.

Denny
But, the mistaken impressions formed by the innocent viewing of the
bogus artifact can last a lifetime, and are not easily rectified.
While perhaps the paint scheme of this reefer is of little direct
importance, refusing, say, to restore a "Jim Crow" coach to its proper
configuration because it may offend somebody ultimately destroys the
evidence that such a practice ever existed. Arbitrarily putting the
improper paint scheme on this reefer is just the first step down that
slippery slope.

Dennis


Thomas M. Olsen <tmolsen@...>
 

Dennis,

It is not just a museum in New Jersey, but many museums are the same way, not all, but many! An example of this is that there is an PRR H30 Covered Hopper in the Pennsylvania State Railroad Museum at Strasburg Pa. that has a paint date that shows it was painted before it was built!

I was there one cold January day to go out into the yard at the back of the Museum to photograph the PRR observation car "Tower View" for a fellow in Switzerland (a PRRT&HS member) who needed photos to scratch build the car. When finished, I stopped in to thank the, then Museum Director, Bob Emerson, for his assistance in letting me out into the yard which at that time was restricted to Museum employees. In passing, I mentioned the discrepancy on the H30 to him. He went out onto the museum floor to look for himself and came back shaking his head. The car had been repainted only a few months before and he said that the problem would not be corrected until some time in the future when they had an opportunity to revisit the car, but I could tell that he was not very happy that the error had been made. As far as I know, the error remains today!

Tom Olsen
7 Boundary Road, West Branch
Newark, Delaware, 19711-7479
(302) 738-4292
tmolsen@...


Dennis Storzek wrote:

Been there, done that. It's the "model railroader" syndrome. Because
we as modelers might prefer one paint scheme to another, all we have
to do is buy some Evergreen scribed styrene and Tichy K brake
equipment, and we can do whatever we want. In fact we can do whatever
we want without buying any additional materials, so long as we don't
mention it on this list.

It would be one thing if they were a tourist railroad; a private
concern that just sells a ride. But a MUSEUM should hold itself to a
higher standard than someone's personal model railroad. Here is their
mission statement, from their web page:
"The Whippany Railway Museum is dedicated to Preserving the Heritage
and History of the Railroads of New Jersey through the Restoration,
Preservation, Interpretation and Operation of Historic Railroad
Equipment and Artifacts from New Jersey and the immediate vicinity."
I guess if it's not from New Jersey or the immediate vicinity it
doesn't have to be correct.

Dennis









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