sweeteners and tank cars


ron christensen
 

Don’t know much about sugar or soda pop, one is sweet and the other is good.

In the 1950s the Milwaukee served the Penick & Ford Plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with boxcars of corn in, starch and sweeteners out.

The plant ran 24x7. Every shift the switcher made a trip to the yard with cars going out and incoming cars. The tank car tracks were always full.

Maybe someone knows who used this sweetener and the type of tank cars used.

Ron Christensen



Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Ron and friends,

The made "Brer Rabbit" brand syrup and molasses. Here is a postcard of their Cedar Rapids plant, now long gone: https://www.cardcow.com/199161/penick-ford-startch-works-cedar-rapids-iowa/ .

At http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/cdm/ref/collection/LWP/id/5573 is a summary about their New Orleans operation.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 7/3/17 1:47 PM, rxensen@... [STMFC] wrote:
 

Don’t know much about sugar or soda pop, one is sweet and the other is good.

In the 1950s the Milwaukee served the Penick & Ford Plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with boxcars of corn in, starch and sweeteners out.

The plant ran 24x7. Every shift the switcher made a trip to the yard with cars going out and incoming cars. The tank car tracks were always full.

Maybe someone knows who used this sweetener and the type of tank cars used.

Ron Christensen



ron christensen
 

The name is now Penford. The factory is in operation. They had a set back as they were flooded out by the great Cedar Rapids flood a few years ago. This took out the bridge also.
Was the sweetener used in molasses? I would think the cars may have been insulated cars.
Ron Christensen


George LaPray
 

Reference to the Pennick & Ford plant in Cedar Rapids brings back a memory from the early 70's.  The P&F plant used an unusual machine to unload boxcars, it was a car rocker, but nothing like the car shakers we associate with unloading open top hoppers.  The boxcar was placed on the rocker platform, the side doors opened and the grain doors cut (if paper) or removed (if wood) after the doorway area drained the rocker would be activated and the platform on which the car rested would start rocking back and forth, it wasn't a huge movement maybe 3 or 4 inches on each end, but the back and forth up and down movement caused the grain in the ends of the cars to move to the center of the car and drain into the unloading pit.  It wasn't real fast taking maybe 15 to 20 minutes to empty the car.  

One day I witnessed a Rock Island stockcar that had been converted to grain service by lining it with plywood being unloaded on this contraption and after a while as the rocking cycle got going the roof of the car was moving in one direction as the floor was going in other directions, parts were dropping off in all directions I actually stepped back about 50 ft as I was concerned the car would disintegrate right before my eyes.  I am sure that was the last revenue move that car ever made.

I think the car rockers were made by Straight Engineering of Iowa who also made car dumpers, the rocker was really a poor mans version of the car dumper as they were a lot cheaper than installing a full car dumper.  They were expensive to maintain for the plants as just as they shook the cars apart they tended to shake themselves apart.  Railroads eventually banned them by refusing to serve any plant that used them  I only ever saw one other one at a soybean processing plant in Indiana an d it had not been used in many years.  

So much for old memories, I want to see the first operating model of one of these contraptions.

George


ron christensen
 

My Uncle and his son were Milwaukee engineers at the plant.About 1953 I road the switcher with my uncle.
They also used a board with handles at the back side what a man used to guide the board and move corn out of the ends of the boxcar, this was pulled by a winch. Maybe before the shaker. They never had a tipping platform like Quacker Oats had on the other side of town. The Rock had track in the plant by the river with a connection to the Milwaukee.
Ron Christensen