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Deliveries of Plaster and its Ingredients in the Steam Era
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While this question grew from a discussion at work about how a 1923
university dormitory was constructed, I realized this group probably
had a good knowledge set to answer it and an interest in the answer. I
am curious how things like plaster and its binding ingredients such as
asbestos and horse hair were transported in the steam era. I assume
they were transported in boxcars in bags but am not sure. I also wonder
about whether the binders (horse hair or asbestos fibers) were
transported separately or were part of the mix that arrived on the
construction site. It has been supposed by current building designers
that the materials were shipped separately and combined on site. Has
anyone ever seen a shipment of horse hair? Maybe it was a local product
and supplemented by asbestos shipped in bags? Any thoughts appreciated.
An interesting aside is that when the Duke family (tobacco
manufacturer) decided to move Trinity College from Trinity, NC to
Durham and change the name to Duke University they set up rail lines
into the future campus to bring the stone to the building sites for the
dormitories and other buildings. The results are very impressive.
Bruce D. Griffin
I am curious how things like plaster and its binding ingredients such asI have 7 records of bundles of hair being delivered via waycar to the Gossville General store, along the Suncook Valley Railroad in Epsom NH, between 1901 and 1908. Typically, the shipment would also include a number of casks of lime, the two being used for horsehair plastering of interior walls. However, since lime has so many other uses, there are 36 recorded shipments of lime, including the ones previously mentioned, all in casks. I can provide more specifics as to quanities or car used if so desired.
From the 1929-30 B&M Wheel Report, I can give reference to 1 carload of asbestos fiber- 27 tons in R 8263 (most asbestos came from Mt. Belvidere in northern VT,) and 3 carloads (30 tons each) of asbestos waste in Canadian cars from VT to Nashua, NH. I have no records of hair or lime from that book, nor any idea how much may have been included in LCL shipments. The latter may have been a primary mode of conveyance of hair, due to widespread use of small amounts. But that is only speculation.
I've been told the plaster out of Ft Dodge IA went in box cars.
Sometimes plaster board was stacked in one end of the car and bagged
plaster loaded in the oposite end.
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