Reefer Yellow/Orange


asychis@...
 

Just a curiosity question. Does anyone have an idea why yellow and orange
predominated as colors for reefers? Was it to make them stand out from
the sea of "boxcar red" cars, or was there some other reason.

Jerry Michels
**************A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
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Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Jerry,

Maybe several reasons. Light colors reflect heat, though I don't know if this had any real effect on cars with all that thick insulation. Most roofs remained in dark colors anyway. Possibly a more likely reason what that light colors were a better background for the elaborate graphics used on most reefers until that practice was banned.

Of course, the PFE chose orange to echo the citrus crops their cars so often carried.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

asychis@... wrote:

Just a curiosity question. Does anyone have an idea why yellow and orange predominated as colors for reefers? Was it to make them stand out from the sea of "boxcar red" cars, or was there some other reason.
Jerry Michels


water.kresse@...
 

Roofs got covered with soot in large yards while being re-iced anyway.  Mechanical refrig, diesels, and "aluminized paint" reflective roofs came later.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "Garth G. Groff" <ggg9y@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 9:12:28 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Reefer Yellow/Orange

Jerry,

Maybe several reasons. Light colors reflect heat, though I don't know if
this had any real effect on cars with all that thick insulation. Most
roofs remained in dark colors anyway. Possibly a more likely reason what
that light colors were a better background for the elaborate graphics
used on most reefers until that practice was banned.

Of course, the PFE chose orange to echo the citrus crops their cars so
often carried.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

asychis@... wrote:
Just a curiosity question.  Does anyone have an idea why yellow and  orange
predominated as colors for reefers?  Was it to make them stand out  from
the sea of "boxcar red" cars, or was there some other reason.
 
Jerry Michels


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


Tim O'Connor
 

A wild guess -- because the main citrus crop was oranges?

Tim O

At 4/21/2009 09:01 AM Tuesday, you wrote:
Just a curiosity question. Does anyone have an idea why yellow and orange
predominated as colors for reefers? Was it to make them stand out from
the sea of "boxcar red" cars, or was there some other reason.
Jerry Michels


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Garth G. Groff wrote:
Of course, the PFE chose orange to echo the citrus crops their cars so often carried.
Maybe. The cars were yellow from 1906 until 1929. I strongly doubt there was a concern about reflecting heat, but there may have been a feeling that food shipments deserved a special appearance.

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


lnnrr <lnnrr@...>
 

Just my personal guess, but I think your visibility idea would be
the prime reason. Freight cars have been known to get lost for days and weeks, even years. Not long ago, in STMFC years, there was an
electric calculating machine built called UNIVAC. If I were a dreamer, I might think that someday some such machine might keep
track of freight cars. In the meantime, yard clerks trudge through heat and cold, day and night, rain and snow, making lists of cars in the yards. Mistakes happen.
For a few extra dollars, a bright paint job could remind yard clerks
and train crews that this is perishable freight, needs to be iced and
moved.
Chuck Peck

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

Just a curiosity question. Does anyone have an idea why yellow and orange
predominated as colors for reefers? Was it to make them stand out from
the sea of "boxcar red" cars, or was there some other reason.

Jerry Michels
**************A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
steps!
(http://pr.atwola.com/promoclk/100126575x1221621490x1201450102/aol?redir=http:%2F%2Fwww.freecreditreport.com%2Fpm%2Fdefault.aspx%3Fsc%3D668072%26
hmpgID%3D62%26bcd%3DAprilfooter421NO62)


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


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Apr 21, 2009, at 6:01 AM, asychis@... wrote:

Just a curiosity question. Does anyone have an idea why yellow and
orange
predominated as colors for reefers? Was it to make them stand out from


the sea of "boxcar red" cars, or was there some other reason.
Jerry, the practice of painting the sides of refrigerator cars a
light color so that they would be more visible in a yard full of
black and mineral red box cars dates all the way back to the mid-
nineteenth century, as is evident from the illustrations in John H.
White, Jr.'s "The American Railroad Freight Car." Reefers going
astray and then having their perishable contents spoil apparently was
all too common even when the bodies, or at least the sides, were
painted a distinctive color. Early reefers were often painted white,
though yellow was also a common color. MDT reefers had white sides
from the 1890s until World War II, when yellow-orange replaced white
on most (but not all) MDT-owned cars. So far as I have been able to
determine, the Santa Fe refrigerator department pioneered the of use
yellow-orange, a color which reflected the fact that most SFRD
traffic was citrus fruit from Southern California and Arizona. PFE
cars, as Tony Thompson has pointed out, had yellow sides until the
1930s, when a color similar to that used by SFRD was adopted. The
cars owned by Fruit Growers Express and its WFEX, BREX, and NX
subsidiaries had yellow sides, as did those of American Refrigerator
Transit Lines and most leasing companies - Union Refrigerator
Transit, North American, General American, Mather, etc. Most
privately owned meat reefers also had yellow or yellow-orange sides.
However, C&NW's Northwestern Refrigerator Line and its GB&W affiliate
Western Refrigerator Lines painted the sides of their reefers light
gray until the mid-1950s, and there was a brief period after WW II
when some WRX cars had light green sides. The Canadian railroads'
reefers were painted entirely in mineral red until after WW II, when
CN painted some of its steel reefers light gray, but the reefers of
CN subsidiary Grand Trunk Western had yellow-orange sides. Though
beyond the scope of this list, it's worth pointing out that in the
1960s ART and some private owners changed from yellow to true orange,
a darker color than PFE and SFRD yellow-orange. And most dry-ice
refrigerator cars were painted aluminum.

Richard Hendrickson


randyhees <hees@...>
 

I strongly suspect it goes back before general interchange of cars, when "Line Cars" generally owned by a pool of railroads, allowed freight to move across railroad networks. Line cars were generally painted a bright color, vermillion, blue or white all come to mind, and the lines were identified with the color (hence Blue Line cars, Red Line cars etc…)

Yellow and Orange have the advantage of being stable relatively inexpensive paint colors, based on Chrome Yellow and Chrome Yellow D.O. (Deep Orange) which are based on a chromium of lead (hence "chrome") and play well with the while lead paint base.

19th century railroad paint catalogs frequently lump refrigerator and line car colors as a single group.

Randy Hees


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Randy Hees wrote:
Yellow and Orange have the advantage of being stable relatively inexpensive paint colors, based on Chrome Yellow and Chrome Yellow D.O. (Deep Orange) which are based on a chromium of lead (hence "chrome") and play well with the while lead paint base.
"Chromium of lead?" Randy knows his paint in most cases, but this is gibberish. The form of chromium used in pigments is normally an oxide or oxygen compound; the yellow is lead chromate, which has the formula PbCrO4. But authenitic chrome yellow has an unfortunate tendency to darken in sunlight. Many yellow paints over the last century are NOT chromium-containing.

Anthony Thompson
Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering
University of California, Berkeley
thompsonmarytony@...


asychis@...
 

Thanks to all who responded about reefer yellow/orange/gray/white. I
definitely had my questions answered!

Jerry Michels
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