Chalk Color


mike turner <yardcoolieyahoo@...>
 

Since most of the period photographs are B/W and the majority of the
chalk used in school was white, one might assume most chalk car markings
would be white. Reviewing a SOU color training film on rough handling
had nearly all chalk marks in blue. Not saying white was not used but
quite a few shots were not white.

Mike Turner
Simpsonville, SC


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jul 25, 2007, at 5:59 AM, mike turner wrote:

Since most of the period photographs are B/W and the majority of the
chalk used in school was white, one might assume most chalk car
markings
would be white. Reviewing a SOU color training film on rough handling
had nearly all chalk marks in blue. Not saying white was not used but
quite a few shots were not white.
Maybe the SRR got a bargain deal on blue chalk. Or maybe blue chalk
was a confederate states cultural phenomenon like mint juleps.
Seriously, though both light blue and yellow chalk were sometimes used,
there are plenty of color photos from the 1940s and '50s which show
that chalk markings were mostly white.

Richard Hendrickson


Greg Martin
 

Some RR chalk was also a pale yellow, which in B&W photo would appear white.



Greg Martin

-----Original Message-----
From: mike turner <yardcoolieyahoo@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 5:59 am
Subject: [STMFC] Chalk Color







Since most of the period photographs are B/W and the majority of the
chalk used in school was white, one might assume most chalk car markings
would be white. Reviewing a SOU color training film on rough handling
had nearly all chalk marks in blue. Not saying white was not used but
quite a few shots were not white.

Mike Turner
Simpsonville, SC





________________________________________________________________________
AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

mike turner wrote:
Since most of the period photographs are B/W and the majority of the chalk used in school was white, one might assume most chalk car markings would be white. Reviewing a SOU color training film on rough handling had nearly all chalk marks in blue. Not saying white was not used but quite a few shots were not white.
West Coast photos in color from the 1950s show mostly white, some yellow (Greg Martin is right that it might be hard to distinguish white from PALE yellow, even in color, on a sunlit car, but by "yellow" I mean a deep yellow). I have not been able to find a single instance of blue. It would sure have been a distinctive color to use!

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


Barry Roth
 

Maybe filched from the pool room? This brings up another question: what shape(s) were the chalks used on cars? Sticks like in classrooms (breakable), or cakes (like some surveyors' chalks)?

Barry Roth

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:
>[...]
West Coast photos in color from the 1950s show mostly white,
some yellow (Greg Martin is right that it might be hard to distinguish
white from PALE yellow, even in color, on a sunlit car, but by "yellow"
I mean a deep yellow). I have not been able to find a single instance
of blue. It would sure have been a distinctive color to use!



.





---------------------------------
Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.


mike turner <yardcoolieyahoo@...>
 

Next time the film gets run, I'll look for the shape. Right now the
projector bulb needs replacing. :(

The whole point of the original email was to point out that white was
not the only color used. Who knows why blue was used? Anyway, the color
was rather startling. At least to this stmfc newbie.

For a few of us SOU fans, at least one of the markings was somewhat
interesting. The mark was located next to the boxcar door and was

34
----
403

From the film's dialog, the top number was the car spot number. No clues
about the bottom number were obvious. Whether this style was anything
other than one depot's method on the particular day the film was made,
is another conundrum. It may have been conjured up just for making an
educational film.

Mike

Barry Roth wrote:

Maybe filched from the pool room? This brings up another question: what shape(s) were the chalks used on cars? Sticks like in classrooms (breakable), or cakes (like some surveyors' chalks)?

Barry Roth

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:
>[...]
West Coast photos in color from the 1950s show mostly white,
some yellow (Greg Martin is right that it might be hard to distinguish
white from PALE yellow, even in color, on a sunlit car, but by "yellow"
I mean a deep yellow). I have not been able to find a single instance
of blue. It would sure have been a distinctive color to use!


Mont Switzer <mhts_switzerm@...>
 

Barry,

The chalks that I recall seeing came from a large box clearly marked as and marketed as "railroad chalk." The pieces were about 1 inch in diameter and maybe 6 inches long. Each piece was flat on one end and rounded on the other. These were heavy pieces of chalk as you would expect for writing on RR cars and other industrial uses. All that I remember was white, but other colors were certainly a possibility.

This chalk was nothing like what you would find in a classroom. Each "stick" reminded me of the end of a small broom handle. They fit well in a gloved hand.

They had many uses in the transportation business.

Mont Switzer


Barry Roth <barry_roth@...> wrote:
Maybe filched from the pool room? This brings up another question: what shape(s) were the chalks used on cars? Sticks like in classrooms (breakable), or cakes (like some surveyors' chalks)?

Barry Roth

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:
[...]
West Coast photos in color from the 1950s show mostly white,
some yellow (Greg Martin is right that it might be hard to distinguish
white from PALE yellow, even in color, on a sunlit car, but by "yellow"
I mean a deep yellow). I have not been able to find a single instance
of blue. It would sure have been a distinctive color to use!

.

---------------------------------
Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.








---------------------------------
Take the Internet to Go: Yahoo!Go puts the Internet in your pocket: mail, news, photos & more.


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Barry Roth wrote:
Maybe filched from the pool room? This brings up another question: what shape(s) were the chalks used on cars? Sticks like in classrooms (breakable), or cakes (like some surveyors' chalks)?
You can still buy "railroad chalk" and it's a stick, about an inch in diameter. Photos of clerks chalking cars show that this is what was used--for example in the PFE book, page 297.

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


Greg Martin
 

I've seem blue as well, in more recent useage, but I can't remember seeing it on a car in our era. It was pale as well and I would suspect even in color photos it might be mistaken for white as well.

In the early 70's the local SP agent would buy it from our local Home center/Hardware store by the box of 100 pcs IIRC and take it back to the Anaheim yard office along with 1x4 and?1x6?Clear DF boards (man was this guy?picky)?for crossing gate repair.

Greg Martin

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 10:34 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Chalk Color






mike turner wrote:
Since most of the period photographs are B/W and the majority of the
chalk used in school was white, one might assume most chalk car
markings would be white. Reviewing a SOU color training film on rough
handling had nearly all chalk marks in blue. Not saying white was not
used but quite a few shots were not white.
West Coast photos in color from the 1950s show mostly white,
some yellow (Greg Martin is right that it might be hard to distinguish
white from PALE yellow, even in color, on a sunlit car, but by "yellow"
I mean a deep yellow). I have not been able to find a single instance
of blue. It would sure have been a distinctive color to use!

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





________________________________________________________________________
AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.


John F. Cizmar
 

Many years ago I worked in a hardware store that still had some RR chalk. It was white and at least an inch in diameter ~ 3" long.
John F. Cizmar

Barry Roth <barry_roth@...> wrote:
Maybe filched from the pool room? This brings up another question: what shape(s) were the chalks used on cars? Sticks like in classrooms (breakable), or cakes (like some surveyors' chalks)?

Barry Roth

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:
[...]
West Coast photos in color from the 1950s show mostly white,
some yellow (Greg Martin is right that it might be hard to distinguish
white from PALE yellow, even in color, on a sunlit car, but by "yellow"
I mean a deep yellow). I have not been able to find a single instance
of blue. It would sure have been a distinctive color to use!

.

---------------------------------
Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.








---------------------------------
Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
Check out fitting gifts for grads at Yahoo! Search.


amato@...
 

Sounds like the sidewalk chalk that my kids use on the driveway. I bet
their "artwork" would look good on a boxcar!

Frank Amato


<SNIP>

You can still buy "railroad chalk" and it's a stick, about an
inch in diameter. Photos of clerks chalking cars show that this is what
was used--for example in the PFE book, page 297.

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


toddsyr <toddsyr@...>
 

Many colors still available from:

http://www.google.com/products?q=railroad+chalk&hl=en


Todd K. Stearns


John F. Cizmar
 

I'm sure it would be better received by the RRs than the spray paint some kids use.
John Cizmar

amato@... wrote:
Sounds like the sidewalk chalk that my kids use on the driveway. I bet
their "artwork" would look good on a boxcar!

Frank Amato

<SNIP>
You can still buy "railroad chalk" and it's a stick, about an
inch in diameter. Photos of clerks chalking cars show that this is what
was used--for example in the PFE book, page 297.

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




---------------------------------
Building a website is a piece of cake.
Yahoo! Small Business gives you all the tools to get online.


mike turner <yardcoolieyahoo@...>
 

The blue chalk marks in the film were definitely blue and darker than
robin's egg blue. Nothing like a pale blue. Striking. It stood out
nicely on the SOU boxcars.

Mike Turner
Simpsonville, SC

tgregmrtn@... wrote:

I've seem blue as well, in more recent useage, but I can't remember seeing it on a car in our era. It was pale as well and I would suspect even in color photos it might be mistaken for white as well.

In the early 70's the local SP agent would buy it from our local Home center/Hardware store by the box of 100 pcs IIRC and take it back to the Anaheim yard office along with 1x4 and?1x6?Clear DF boards (man was this guy?picky)?for crossing gate repair.

Greg Martin


Chet French <cfrench@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Mont Switzer <mhts_switzerm@...> wrote:

Barry,

The chalks that I recall seeing came from a large box clearly
marked as and marketed as "railroad chalk." The pieces were about 1
inch in diameter and maybe 6 inches long. Each piece was flat on one
end and rounded on the other. These were heavy pieces of chalk as
you would expect for writing on RR cars and other industrial uses.
All that I remember was white, but other colors were certainly a
possibility.

This chalk was nothing like what you would find in a classroom.
Each "stick" reminded me of the end of a small broom handle. They
fit well in a gloved hand.

They had many uses in the transportation business.

Mont,

You described it perfectly. That is exactly what we used on the IC.

Chet French
Dixon, IL


cj riley <cjriley42@...>
 

I have spent 50 years in the construction business and have much experience
with various "chalks" (sometimes called "keel") and have always suspected, but
have not verified, that RR car markings were done in a similar material. It is
slightly "greasier" than classrom chalk, therefore making a very clear and
bright mark. It came in white, yellow and blue and since blue does not
photograph well in old b&w film, some of the white markings may well be blue.
Mont's description fits this material perfectly.

CJ Riley


--- Mont Switzer <mhts_switzerm@...> wrote:

Barry,

The chalks that I recall seeing came from a large box clearly marked as and
marketed as "railroad chalk." The pieces were about 1 inch in diameter and
maybe 6 inches long. Each piece was flat on one end and rounded on the
other. These were heavy pieces of chalk as you would expect for writing on
RR cars and other industrial uses. All that I remember was white, but other
colors were certainly a possibility.

This chalk was nothing like what you would find in a classroom. Each
"stick" reminded me of the end of a small broom handle. They fit well in a
gloved hand.

They had many uses in the transportation business.

Mont Switzer


Barry Roth <barry_roth@...> wrote:
Maybe filched from the pool room? This brings up another question:
what shape(s) were the chalks used on cars? Sticks like in classrooms
(breakable), or cakes (like some surveyors' chalks)?

Barry Roth

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:
[...]
West Coast photos in color from the 1950s show mostly white,
some yellow (Greg Martin is right that it might be hard to distinguish
white from PALE yellow, even in color, on a sunlit car, but by "yellow"
I mean a deep yellow). I have not been able to find a single instance
of blue. It would sure have been a distinctive color to use!

.

---------------------------------
Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see what's on,
when.








---------------------------------
Take the Internet to Go: Yahoo!Go puts the Internet in your pocket: mail,
news, photos & more.





____________________________________________________________________________________
Shape Yahoo! in your own image. Join our Network Research Panel today! http://surveylink.yahoo.com/gmrs/yahoo_panel_invite.asp?a=7


Chet French <cfrench@...>
 

In my experience, the switchmen and carmen seemed to use the bigger
softer chalk, while the clerks often used the greasier chalks which
were somewhat smaller in diameter. Clerks often marked which
industries the cars were to go to, often with the date the car
arrived at the location where they were marked.

Chet French
Dixon, IL

--- In STMFC@..., cj riley <cjriley42@...> wrote:

I have spent 50 years in the construction business and have much
experience
with various "chalks" (sometimes called "keel") and have always
suspected, but
have not verified, that RR car markings were done in a similar
material. It is
slightly "greasier" than classrom chalk, therefore making a very
clear and
bright mark. It came in white, yellow and blue and since blue does
not
photograph well in old b&w film, some of the white markings may
well be blue.
Mont's description fits this material perfectly.

CJ Riley


--- Mont Switzer <mhts_switzerm@...> wrote:

Barry,

The chalks that I recall seeing came from a large box clearly
marked as and
marketed as "railroad chalk." The pieces were about 1 inch in
diameter and
maybe 6 inches long. Each piece was flat on one end and rounded
on the
other. These were heavy pieces of chalk as you would expect for
writing on
RR cars and other industrial uses. All that I remember was
white, but other
colors were certainly a possibility.

This chalk was nothing like what you would find in a
classroom. Each
"stick" reminded me of the end of a small broom handle. They fit
well in a
gloved hand.

They had many uses in the transportation business.

Mont Switzer


Barry Roth <barry_roth@...> wrote:
Maybe filched from the pool room? This brings up
another question:
what shape(s) were the chalks used on cars? Sticks like in
classrooms
(breakable), or cakes (like some surveyors' chalks)?

Barry Roth

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:
[...]
West Coast photos in color from the 1950s show mostly white,
some yellow (Greg Martin is right that it might be hard to
distinguish
white from PALE yellow, even in color, on a sunlit car, but
by "yellow"
I mean a deep yellow). I have not been able to find a single
instance
of blue. It would sure have been a distinctive color to use!

.

---------------------------------
Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see
what's on,
when.

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






---------------------------------
Take the Internet to Go: Yahoo!Go puts the Internet in your
pocket: mail,
news, photos & more.





______________________________________________________________________
______________
Shape Yahoo! in your own image. Join our Network Research Panel
today! http://surveylink.yahoo.com/gmrs/yahoo_panel_invite.asp?a=7


Malcolm H. Houck
 

I'm a bit surprised to see so many references to chalk and none to
soapstone. I've seen any number of references in historic railroad rule books, special
instructions or ETTs about making markings with soapstone. It's still easily
obtainable today, in thin stick form, and with retractable holders similar
to utility knives.........from any welding supply shop.

Soapstone will mark on just about any surface (which's why it's referred
marker for welders) and will render all marks in white. Also it's considerably
more durable than most chalks..........but yet marks with the same ease as
chalk.

Mal Houck



************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


Edward Dabler
 

In a message dated 7/25/2007 2:57:41 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
cjriley42@... writes:




I have spent 50 years in the construction business and have much experience
with various "chalks" (sometimes called "keel") and have always suspected,
but
have not verified, that RR car markings were done in a similar material. It
is
slightly "greasier" than classrom chalk, therefore making a very clear and
bright mark. It came in white, yellow and blue and since blue does not
photograph well in old b&w film, some of the white markings may well be blue.
Mont's description fits this material perfectly.

CJ Riley






I have never thought of Keel" as being chalk. I spent a number of years in
the engineering department of several railroads. We used keel for making
marks on rail or writing on survey markers when surveying for construction of
maintenance of way projects. Keel is also commonly used by engineering
surveyors on construction projects and in the making of land surveys not involving
anything railroad.

Ed Dabler



************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


Edward Dabler
 

In a message dated 7/25/2007 2:57:41 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
cjriley42@... writes:




I have spent 50 years in the construction business and have much experience
with various "chalks" (sometimes called "keel") and have always suspected,
but
have not verified, that RR car markings were done in a similar material. It
is
slightly "greasier" than classrom chalk, therefore making a very clear and
bright mark. It came in white, yellow and blue and since blue does not
photograph well in old b&w film, some of the white markings may well be blue.
Mont's description fits this material perfectly.

CJ Riley






I have never thought of Keel" as being chalk. I've always thought of it as
being lumber crayon and as I recall it's labeled "lumber crayon" on the paper
wrapper around the crayon. It's much harder than chalk and can be obtained
in a number of different colors, i. e. yellow, blue, green and red. I spent
a number of years in the engineering department of several railroads. We
used keel for making marks on rail or writing on survey markers when surveying
for construction of maintenance of way projects. Keel is also commonly used
by engineering surveyors on construction projects and in the making of land
surveys not involving anything railroad.

Ed Dabler







************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour