"Ajax" railroads-- Unlikely by Collective Bargaining Agreement


gary laakso
 

I doubt any collective bargaining agreements specified any type of hand brakes. That would be more then a smoking gun to any anti trust types and for most of this time period the stocks of railroads were the main component of the stock market, so subject to intense scrutiny.

gary laakso
south of Mike Brock
vasa0vasa@...

----- Original Message -----
From: Gene Green
To: STMFC@...
Sent: 7/24/2008 10:28:17 AM
Subject: [STMFC] "Ajax" railroads


I asked this question on this forum once before but am now able to
better define what I think I want to know so here goes.

What railroads were "Ajax" [hand brake] roads? Has anyone identified
a pattern of specifying only or mostly Ajax hand brakes for their
favorite railroad? Maybe tank cars, flat cars and drop-end gondolas
should be excluded although we are all aware of the occasional
example of an Ajax hand brake on a tank car, flat car or drop-end
gondola..

Apparently, between approximately 1926 and 1950, Ajax was able to
convince railroads to buy only Ajax hand brakes or persuade labor
unions to specify in their contracts with railroads that only Ajax
hand brakes were acceptable. I have been able to document that
during part of the above mentioned time period Ajax enjoyed 90% of
the hand brake market. This 90% may have been only 90% of the market
for which Ajax's only product was suitable.

Some anecdotes suggest that the Ajax company sometimes behaved in a
less-than-ethical manner. Now I have confirmation of such behavior
in the form of law suits, court records, contracts and
correspondence. Unfortunately none of these documents actually
specify any particular railroad. That said, I have heard that the
ATSF, N&W and PRR might have been Ajax roads. Can anyone confirm or
refute?

Some of the Ajax tactics included patenting practices that were
already widely in use and then threatening lawsuits, misusing a
friendship between an Ajax principle and an ICC official, stealing
the designs of another hand brake company. I am deliberately being
vague here because I want to save the juicy details for the book I am
working on.

Gene Green
Out in the west Texas town of El Paso


Gene Green <bierglaeser@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "gary laakso" <vasa0vasa@...> wrote:

I doubt any collective bargaining agreements specified any type of
hand brakes. That would be more then a smoking gun to any anti trust
types and for most of this time period the stocks of railroads were the
main component of the stock market, so subject to intense scrutiny.

gary laakso
Gary,
I do not have proof of any such collective bargaining agreement but I
do have correspondence that proves that labor unions were deeply
involved in persuading certain railroads to buy Ajax hand brakes.
Gene