Ice Deck Crews


Bob C <thecitrusbelt@...>
 

I'm putting together a narrative on ice deck crews. I've developed the text below from several sources. I'm looking for suggestions for additions, clarifications, corrections.

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA
=======================

Six men working as a team could ice the empty bunkers of a refrigerator car in 90 seconds or less. Reicing would take about one minute. Three hundred pound blocks of ice would be moved along skids with a tool called a "pickerel" or "pickeroon" by a worker known as a "Passer" and moved to a worker known as "Splitter". The Splitter would quarter the block and move the quarter pieces to the "Car Man". This person, using a sharp pronged fork called a "bi-dent" broke the blocks into smaller pieces.

Another person sometimes assigned to the crew was the "broom man" who swept away loose ice to minimize slip hazards.

As a 12-year old in mid-1950s Charlie Schultz, whose father worked at the Santa Fe's Hobart Ice Plant, observed that hand icing at that time was accomplished by teams of two men. One man used the pickeroon to pull the ice block from the conveyor and lay it broad side down.

He would then break the ice into 4 or 6 pieces and pass them across a bridge from the dock to the roof of the car. The second man would direct the ice into one of the hatches of the ice bunker, and in doing so break the ice into still smaller pieces. Most often, the pieces of ice going into the ice bunker were no greater that 25 pounds in size.

As the level of ice approached the top of the ice bunker, greater effort was made to break the ice into smaller pieces and pack it in so the bunker was literally filled to capacity. Salt was added according to the instructions of the shipper or Refrigeration Department Inspector. Usually two two-man teams worked together, one team icing one end of a car and the other team icing the other end.

PFE crews were strictly forbidden to dump an entire 300 pound. ice block into a bunker, for obvious reasons. Only pieces 75 pounds or smaller were to be dropped into the ice bunker. Santa Fe specified 75 pounds or smaller with the 75 pound chunks usually reserved, along with smaller chunks, for pre-icing the car.


Thomas Makofski <tmak26@...>
 

Oh by gosh. . . I can hardly believe that timing. It just does not seem
possible!!

As a side note: I am putting the finishing touches on a Soo Ice House and am
looking for a crew to staff it. Am I blind or is there just no figures that
would be appropriate with icing????


Tom Makofski

newifree-mo
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/newifreemo/?yguid=353416413


water.kresse@...
 

Depending on the car temperature required, you might need a wheelbarrow or so of crushed and salted ice added.



Al kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob C" < thecitrusbelt @yahoo.com>
To: STMFC @ yahoogroups .com
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2010 12:24:56 PM
Subject: [ STMFC ] Ice Deck Crews

I'm putting together a narrative on ice deck crews.  I've developed the text below from several sources.  I'm looking for suggestions for additions, clarifications, corrections.

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro
Hemet , CA
=======================

Six men working as a team could ice the empty bunkers of a refrigerator car in 90 seconds or less. Reicing would take about one minute. Three hundred pound blocks of ice would be moved along skids with a tool called a "pickerel" or " pickeroon " by a worker known as a "Passer" and moved to a worker known as "Splitter". The Splitter would quarter the block and move the quarter pieces to the "Car Man". This person, using a sharp pronged fork called a "bi-dent" broke the blocks into smaller pieces.  

Another person sometimes assigned to the crew was the "broom man" who swept away loose ice to minimize slip hazards.

As a 12-year old in mid-1950s Charlie Schultz, whose father worked at the Santa Fe's Hobart Ice Plant, observed that hand icing at that time was accomplished by teams of two men.  One man used the pickeroon to pull the ice block from the conveyor and lay it broad side down.  

He would then break the ice into 4 or 6 pieces and pass them across a bridge from the dock to the roof of the car.  The second man would direct the ice into one of the hatches of the ice bunker, and in doing so break the ice into still smaller pieces. Most often, the pieces of ice going into the ice bunker were no greater that 25 pounds in size.  

As the level of ice approached the top of the ice bunker, greater effort was made to break the ice into smaller pieces and pack it in so the bunker was literally filled to capacity.  Salt was added according to the instructions of the shipper or Refrigeration Department Inspector. Usually two two-man teams worked together, one team icing one end of a car and the other team icing the other end.

PFE crews were strictly forbidden to dump an entire 300 pound. ice block into a bunker, for obvious reasons.  Only pieces 75 pounds or smaller were to be dropped into the ice bunker. Santa Fe specified 75 pounds or smaller with the 75 pound chunks usually reserved, along with smaller chunks, for pre-icing the car.


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Al kresset wrote:
Depending on the car temperature required, you might need a wheelbarrow or so of crushed and salted ice added.
Can't speak for all icing facilities, but PFE decks would have added the ice directly from sacks. Certainly for PFE and SFRD, there was NO crushed ice as we civilians think of it. Ice pieces were considerably bigger. And I've never seen a photo of a PFE, SFRD, or FGE deck with a wheelbarrow on it. Doesn't mean it never happened, but I've never seen a photo of it.

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


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Bob Chaparro wrote:
I'm putting together a narrative on ice deck crews. I've developed
the text below from several sources. I'm looking for suggestions
for additions, clarifications, corrections.
Looks good to me, Bob. I might suggest you add something about
icing sizes. I don't know if this was universal but here are the PFE
standards--and the same LANGUAGE (possibly not the same definitions)
is in the icing tariffs. There were 3 sizes:

Chunk – pieces not to exceed 75 pounds (one-fourth of a PFE-standard
300-pound block--other companies may have had less)
Coarse – 10- to 20-pound pieces (watermelon size)
Crushed – pieces the size of a man’s fist (not what we homeowners call
"crushed" ice)

Other point is that it was common to "pole" the ice as it began
to fill the bunker, i.e. thrust a long steel pole into the bunker
repeatedly to settle and compact the ice, permitting the maximum to be
put in and also minimizing voids or cavities.

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


Rupert & Maureen <gamlenz@...>
 

There are two photos of barrows being used for crushed ice at Lincoln in 1948 at the CB&Q Daily Life Collection at Newberry Library.

Rupert Gamlen
Auckland NZ

http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/nby_rrlife&CISOPTR=126&CISOBOX=1&REC=5

http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/nby_rrlife&CISOPTR=515&CISOBOX=1&REC=6

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2010 5:30 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Ice Deck Crews


Al kresset wrote:
Depending on the car temperature required, you might need a wheelbarrow or so of crushed and salted ice added.
Can't speak for all icing facilities, but PFE decks would have added the ice directly from sacks. Certainly for PFE and SFRD, there was NO crushed ice as we civilians think of it. Ice pieces were considerably bigger. And I've never seen a photo of a PFE, SFRD, or FGE deck with a wheelbarrow on it. Doesn't mean it never happened, but I've never seen a photo of it.
Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Rupert Gamlen wrote:
There are two photos of barrows being used for crushed ice at Lincoln in 1948 at the CB&Q Daily Life Collection at Newberry Library.
Thanks for the links, Rupert. Two comments: these aren't ordinary "garden wheelbarrows," and this is BREX territory, not necessarily following FGE practice (even if the reefers were operationally part of the FGE fleet).

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


Rupert & Maureen <gamlenz@...>
 

Tony

Sorry, I was intending to contradict your words nor the FGE practice - I just using the latest message that related to icing reefers by Ice Deck Crews to provide the photo references to the Group. It was your reference to "wheelbarrows" that jogged my memory.

Rupert Gamlen
Auckland NZ

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2010 7:37 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Ice Deck Crews


Rupert Gamlen wrote:
There are two photos of barrows being used for crushed ice at
Lincoln in 1948 at the CB&Q Daily Life Collection at Newberry Library.
Thanks for the links, Rupert. Two comments: these aren't ordinary
"garden wheelbarrows," and this is BREX territory, not necessarily
following FGE practice (even if the reefers were operationally part of
the FGE fleet).

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



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water.kresse@...
 

Sorry,



A two wheel cart with handles behind it.  Clifton Forge FGE deck had a dozen or more plus an Ice Crusher with an elevator to bring crushed ice up to the deck level.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2010 1:40:57 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Ice Deck Crews

Bob Chaparro wrote:
I'm putting together a narrative on ice deck crews.  I've developed  
the text below from several sources.  I'm looking for suggestions  
for additions, clarifications, corrections.
     Looks good to me, Bob. I might suggest you add something about  
icing sizes. I don't know if this was universal but here are the PFE  
standards--and the same LANGUAGE (possibly not the same definitions)  
is in the icing tariffs. There were 3 sizes:

Chunk – pieces not to exceed 75 pounds (one-fourth of a PFE-standard  
300-pound block--other companies may have had less)
Coarse – 10- to 20-pound pieces (watermelon size)
Crushed – pieces the size of a man’s fist (not what we homeowners call  
"crushed" ice)

      Other point is that it was common to "pole" the ice as it began  
to fill the bunker, i.e. thrust a long steel pole into the bunker  
repeatedly to settle and compact the ice, permitting the maximum to be  
put in and also minimizing voids or cavities.

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



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Al Kresse wrote:
A two wheel cart with handles behind it. Clifton Forge FGE deck had a dozen or more plus an Ice Crusher with an elevator to bring crushed ice up to the deck level.
Thanks, Al, good to know. But I still haven't seen a photo. Can you direct me to one?

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


Douglas Harding
 

RE: the subject of ice deck (dock?) crews and wheelbarrows, it appears these facilities varied by company and railroad. There were
single deck and double deck designs. Some moved large 300lb blocks into place and then chopped said blocks into smaller pieces at
the reefer. Others used large two wheeled carts to deliver a form of crushed ice into a chute leading into the reefer's ice
bunker, either from the upper second deck or from the single deck. A photo of one of these ice carts is on the cover of Gene
Green's Refrigerator Car Color Guide book, as well as numerous photos on pages 6-11 taken in Columbus OH of a single deck. The
photos show the conveyor used to bring up the large blocks from below the deck, then into a crusher, which then dumps into the
carts for delivery to the waiting reefers.

Wheelbarrows are typically the single wheel variety (my wife hates our's) and while not common on an ice deck, there were seen. Pg
175 of Billboard Reefers shows both a two wheeled ice cart and a single wheel wheelbarrow on a single level deck faculty. I
suspect the wheelbarrow was used for moving salt while the cart was used for ice. Salt was commonly delivered via bag, bucket and
scoop shovel. The IC ice dock in Waterloo IA, a double deck, has salt bunkers attached to the posts holding the upper deck, at the
bottom of each bunker is an opening for sticking in your shovel for a scoop of salt. Made it handy for salting the ice delivered
from carts on the upper deck.

There is a photo of P&LE ice house in Pittsburg with wheelbarrows on the deck leaned up against the building.

The amount of salt added was controlled, as was the amount of ice. Usually ordered by the shipper's agent.

Doug Harding
www.iowacentralrr.org


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Doug Harding wrote:
RE: the subject of ice deck (dock?) crews and wheelbarrows, it appears these facilities varied by company and railroad.
Yep. I didn't say I'd never seen a wheelbarrow on an ice deck, just that I've never seen a photo of one on a PFE or SFRD deck. My knowledge of FGE is far skimpier, but TO DATE I've never seen a photo of one there, either. But yes, the oft-published photo of the Erie deck at Hornell, NY shows wheelbarrow-like tools. Among many published photos of FGE facilities is the Spartanburg, S.C. deck shown on p. 105 of _The Great Yellow Fleet_ book, with ice blocks and sacked salt on the deck, no wheelbarrows. I don't know enough about FGE to know how uniform their ice decks or icing practices were.
And yes, PFE employees I interviewed UNIVERSALLY used the term "deck" for icing platforms, so I've formed the habit of using the same word. Naturally YMMV.

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


water.kresse@...
 

Tony,



Becuase belong to the C&HS, I will send them off line.  They are published in two  C&O History magazine issues on FGE operations on the C&O: part 1 @ Clifton Forge and part 2 @ Russell.  From the few images I have, I suspect the Steven Yard in Kentucky was similarly equipped.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2010 8:06:42 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Ice Deck Crews

Doug Harding wrote:
RE: the subject of ice deck (dock?) crews and wheelbarrows, it  
appears these facilities varied by company and railroad.
    Yep. I didn't say I'd never seen a wheelbarrow on an ice deck,  
just that I've never seen a photo of one on a PFE or SFRD deck. My  
knowledge of FGE is far skimpier, but TO DATE I've never seen a photo  
of one there, either. But yes, the oft-published photo of the Erie  
deck at Hornell, NY shows wheelbarrow-like tools. Among many published  
photos of FGE facilities is the Spartanburg, S.C. deck shown on p. 105  
of _The Great Yellow Fleet_ book, with ice blocks and sacked salt on  
the deck, no wheelbarrows. I don't know enough about FGE to know how  
uniform their ice decks or icing practices were.
       And yes, PFE employees I interviewed UNIVERSALLY used the term  
"deck" for icing platforms, so I've formed the habit of using the same  
word. Naturally YMMV.

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



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


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Al Kresse wrote:
Becuase belong to the C&HS, I will send them off line. They are published in two C&O History magazine issues on FGE operations on the C&O: part 1 @ Clifton Forge and part 2 @ Russell. From the few images I have, I suspect the Steven Yard in Kentucky was similarly equipped.
Thank you. I appreciate it.

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


water.kresse@...
 

Thanks to the financial folks the C&O and FGE accountants had a battle over how much the Clifton Forge re-icing facility should have been valued at and took a great set of photos.  Those are posted in Thumbnail size on the C&O HS Website and can found in the photo search via "FGE" I believe.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2010 6:03:02 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Ice Deck Crews

Al Kresse wrote:
A two wheel cart with handles behind it.  Clifton Forge FGE deck had  
a dozen or more plus an Ice Crusher with an elevator to bring  
crushed ice up to the deck level.
   Thanks, Al, good to know. But I still haven't seen a photo. Can you  
direct me to one?

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