Topics

Lettering requirements


Steve SANDIFER
 

When did the lettering requirements on the sides of cars change? In the 1880s the primary info seemed to be the ID and car #. Later other dimensions and weight were added and at different locations or in different configurations. I assume this was a federal requirement. Enlighten me please.

 

 

J. Stephen Sandifer

 


Tom Vanwormer
 

Steve,
Back in the 1880s & 90s it was dictated by the Master Car Builders Association.
Tom VanWormer
Monument CO

'Steve Sandifer' steve.sandifer@... [STMFC] wrote:

 

When did the lettering requirements on the sides of cars change? In the 1880s the primary info seemed to be the ID and car #. Later other dimensions and weight were added and at different locations or in different configurations. I assume this was a federal requirement. Enlighten me please.

 

 

J. Stephen Sandifer

 


Earl Tuson
 

Stephen Sandifer asked:

When did the lettering requirements on the sides of cars change? In the
1880s the primary info seemed to be the ID and car #. Later other dimensions
and weight were added and at different locations or in different
configurations. I assume this was a federal requirement. Enlighten me
please.
The Master Car Builder's Association, a voluntary trade group, issued Recommended Practices and Standards for various
aspects of lettering, marking, and stenciling beginning as early as 1893. Early on, new practices were added and
revisions made in a near continuous fashion: 1896, 1901, 1902, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1913... but more significant
changes were introduced in 1920 and 1926.

I have been working up a detailed account of these changes, which I anticipate adding as an appendix to complement a
similarly detailed account of B&M lettering practices during the 1900-1930 period.

Earl Tuson


Earl Tuson
 

Allow me to add:

Eric Hansmann posted excerpts from the 1920 and 1926 revisions here:


The 1909 revision can be emphasized as well, as that introduced the Lettering-Number-Capacity-Light Weight grouping, typically applied at the left.

Earl Tuson


Charlie Vlk
 

Speaking of lettering, does anyone have ARA standard lettering drawings?   
Some CB&Q L&P drawings reference them instead of CB&Q alpha and numeric drawings.
Thanks
Charlie Vlk


Eric Hansmann
 

Charlie,

 

The link Earl referenced is my file that was created to illustrate the lettering changes in the 1920s. I scanned pages from ORERs and combined the images into the two page PDF.

http://hansmanns.org/ARA_lettering_guidelines_1920_+_1927.pdf

 

Those are the ARA recommended lettering guidelines. There were slight changes to the 1927 guidelines later but I do not have those details. As you compare builder images of cars built in the late 1930s and into the 1940s, the lettering mostly follows the 1927 guidelines.

 

Eric

 

 

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2018 8:41 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Lettering requirements

 




Speaking of lettering, does anyone have ARA standard lettering drawings?   

Some CB&Q L&P drawings reference them instead of CB&Q alpha and numeric drawings.

Thanks

Charlie Vlk



Tony Thompson
 

Steve Sandifer wrote:

 
When did the lettering requirements on the sides of cars change? In the 1880s the primary info seemed to be the ID and car #. Later other dimensions and weight were added and at different locations or in different configurations. I assume this was a federal requirement. Enlighten me please. 

         Two points, Steve. First, I don't think much if any lettering was a "federal" requirement, though in years subsequent to this list there were certain federally required items. Second, the various railroad associations (MCB, ARA, AAR) put together a variety of "industry consensus" standards and recommendations from time to time. MANY items of lettering that modelers tend to think of as required were actually only recommended, thus you can find exceptions among railroads.
          That said, most railroads did follow recommendations as they were issued.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history






Steve SANDIFER
 

I’d really like a copy of that material. Being a resin builder, getting decals right is an issue.

 

 

J. Stephen Sandifer

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2018 7:30 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Lettering requirements

 

 

Stephen Sandifer asked:

> When did the lettering requirements on the sides of cars change? In the
> 1880s the primary info seemed to be the ID and car #. Later other dimensions
> and weight were added and at different locations or in different
> configurations. I assume this was a federal requirement. Enlighten me
> please.

The Master Car Builder's Association, a voluntary trade group, issued Recommended Practices and Standards for various
aspects of lettering, marking, and stenciling beginning as early as 1893. Early on, new practices were added and
revisions made in a near continuous fashion: 1896, 1901, 1902, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1913... but more significant
changes were introduced in 1920 and 1926.

I have been working up a detailed account of these changes, which I anticipate adding as an appendix to complement a
similarly detailed account of B&M lettering practices during the 1900-1930 period.

Earl Tuson


Charlie Vlk
 

Eric-

I am looking for the actual set of lettering alphabet / punctuation / numbers not placement on cars.  Normally they are dimensioned differently for small to large lettering.

I’ve got sets for UP, ATSF, SP and other roads and a long time ago using Budd drawings made up the “Zephyr Font” that was the basis for Micro-Scale and other renditions of that style lettering.  

What I am looking for is the ARA Standard Railroad Roman type lettering that apparently the CB&Q used as the basis for their hand lettered and stenciled lettering on freight cars as no reference to a CB&Q drawing has turned up so far.

Charlie Vlk

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2018 8:41 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Lettering requirements

 





Speaking of lettering, does anyone have ARA standard lettering drawings?   

Some CB&Q L&P drawings reference them instead of CB&Q alpha and numeric drawings.

Thanks

Charlie Vlk

 


John Hagen <sprinthag@...>
 

Charlie,

Good luck on that one. So far I have two different commercial RR Roman fonts plus two more fonts that I drew up in order to be able match various different prototype fonts.

So now I can just type in whichever font I need and I still often end up modifying certain letters to match the prototype.

If you have prototype photos showing the font you want, I’ll develop a font to match can be installed on your computer.

John Hagen

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2018 5:44 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Lettering requirements

 

 

Eric-

I am looking for the actual set of lettering alphabet / punctuation / numbers not placement on cars.  Normally they are dimensioned differently for small to large lettering.

I’ve got sets for UP, ATSF, SP and other roads and a long time ago using Budd drawings made up the “Zephyr Font” that was the basis for Micro-Scale and other renditions of that style lettering.  

What I am looking for is the ARA Standard Railroad Roman type lettering that apparently the CB&Q used as the basis for their hand lettered and stenciled lettering on freight cars as no reference to a CB&Q drawing has turned up so far.

Charlie Vlk

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2018 8:41 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Lettering requirements

 






Speaking of lettering, does anyone have ARA standard lettering drawings?   

Some CB&Q L&P drawings reference them instead of CB&Q alpha and numeric drawings.

Thanks

Charlie Vlk

 


Earl Tuson
 

Being a resin builder, getting decals right is an issue.
The MCB/ARA/AAR Standards and Recommended Practices by themselves do little to assist with accurate freight car
lettering; interchange <requirements> are something different. However, I am finding they are crucial to gaining a better
understanding of the prototype's (the B&M's, in my study,) changes over time. Photos are the still the guide we should
most rely on.

Earl Tuson


Tony Thompson
 

Charlie Vlk wrote:

What I am looking for is the ARA Standard Railroad Roman type lettering that apparently the CB&Q used as the basis for their hand lettered and stenciled lettering on freight cars as no reference to a CB&Q drawing has turned up so far.

       Way back when, the Master Car Builders designed a sample typeface of "standard Roman letters" which was reproduced for years thereafter in sample form in Cycs and in the ARA and AAR Manuals of the day. But this was never required (indeed, quite a few railroads used sans-serif letters instead of Roman). There was never any such thing in railroad usage as "Railroad Roman," by that name, only in the imagination of sellers of decals. I have by no means examined the lettering of every railroad, but have scrutinized a fair number, and so far have never yet found a single case where the MCB lettering was used without revision. I suppose any roomful of draftsmen could not resist the opportunity to tinker .
        Should it turn out that CB&Q did use the MCB lettering characters, I would be surprised, and as I said, it would the first one I know of.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history






Tony Thompson
 

     A longtime inhabitant of this list reminded me that once upon a time, I supplied on my blog, an extremely brief commentary on typography as it might relate to model railroading. That's quite true. If you're interested, that blog post is at this link:


Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history






Charlie Vlk
 

John and Tony and all…

 

I understand the varieties of “Railroad Roman” as I’ve modified/created many such versions (hate making “&” characters…they’re the most difficult!!) for different road paint jobs.

 

Even if I had a drawing of the ARA lettering there would likely be variations between different cars as sign painters or different shops cutting stencils changed things around slightly.

I came across a number of L&P drawings at the Newberry Library and they referenced Standard ARA Lettering where usually a CB&Q drawing is called out.  

 

Thanks,
Charlie Vlk

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