Vulcan ends and the 1922 Car Builder's Cyc

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>

--- In STMFC@..., destron@... wrote:

In one of the issues of the P&N's in-house magazine Semaphore I received
the other day was a picture of boxcar #1108 immediately after its
refurbishment, at a sharp enough angle to give a very good view of the
end. Somewhere I had read that 1108 carried a Vulcan end, and that 1102,
1112 and 1118 carried Hutchins ends. I had already had an idea of what a
Hutchins end looks like, since I had a picture of 1112.

Not having a clue what a Vulcan end looks like...

The end "that looks like a Murphy end but turned sideways" with the
corrugations oriented vertically you mentioned a while back is the
elusive and short lived Vulcan end. It's illustrated in the 1922 Car
Builder's Cyclopedia. It's inferior to any design where the
corrugations run horizontally, as the corrugations are meant to
stiffen the end and transmit the forces to its attachment, but nothing
is provided to further carry the load across the end of the roof. I've
always suspected it was designed to avoid someone's patent, or
potential patent. It didn't stay on the market long, but some were
applied to cars built for a few roads.

I think it was you who asked for a reference on ends, doors, roofs,
etc. The standard reference in the industry, and thus a "primary
source" reference for modelers, is the Car Builder's Cyclopedia series
(originally Car Builder's Dictionary, more recently Car and Locomotive
Cyclopedia) published periodically from the 1870 until the latest
edition in 1997. While the photos and drawings presented were only
intended to be a representative sample, the materials were provided
directly by the manufacturers of the parts. Think of the CBC as the
Thomas Register of car building.

The main problem with trying to use the CBC for research is
availability, very few exist in engineering school libraries,
especially the earlier editions. Originals can bring anywhere from one
to several hundred dollars, and older editions can be fragile. This
has been mitigated somewhat by several reprints of selected editions.
Kalmbach (publisher of Model Railroader magazine) reprinted the 1940
CBC with permission, and Newton K. Gregg did some of the earlier ones.
Doc Denny just offered the Gregg reprint of the 1906 edition for $75.

Gregg also reprinted portions of the late steam era CBC's during the
late sixties as the "Train Shed Cyclopedia" series, taking selected
material from various editions up to 1943, which were, at the time,
public domain due to their Copyrights having expired. A change in the
copyright law, extending the terms of all Copyrights, put an end to
that project.

Recently, a new venture has started making CBC's with newly expired
Copyrights available on CD at a very reasonable price. See:

I've purchased the 1922 Car Builder's Cyclopedia and am very pleased.
The CD is very well organized, it runs in the web browser of your
choice with a custom written "front end" to access the pages.
Basically, both the table of contents and index have had the page
numbers replaced with hyperlinks that take you to the first listed
page. You can also specify a page number and be taken right there,
then scroll using the "page forward" and "page back" buttons. Each
page is a relatively low resolution .jpg, for fast loading. Clicking
on an image brings up the higher resolution version of that image,
along with a pan and zoom toolbar. There is also a utility included to
print images to scale.

"1922 is kinda early for me", you say? Not really. Most of the odd
pre-standard trucks, ends, and roofs we find on older equipment in the
late steam era were introduced in the period right around WWI, and got
the best coverage when they were recent innovations. This CD is one of
the better references I've found for roofs, showing more different
types, and only lacking the later rigid panel roof that have much
information published elsewhere.

I think for $30 plus shipping, you'll find the answers to a lot of
your questions about the P&N freightcars.