Photo: Milwaukee Road Silk Train


Bob Chaparro
 

Photo: Milwaukee Road Silk Train

A 1921 Photo from the University of Washington:

https://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/digital/collection/imlsmohai/id/5538/rec/215

Caption: "By the end of the 1920s, the single most valuable import coming through Seattle was Japanese silk. This luxury material came to Seattle on fast steamships and was sent by express train to eastern markets. Because it was both expensive and perishable, silk needed to be handled very carefully. One train carried a cargo of silk valued at $5 million."

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Andy Miller
 

Fascinating cars!   They look like, or are,  baggage cars with the doors at the ends of the side.  Was this typical for the Milwaukee or are they unique to the silk business? And why?

 

Regards,

 

Andy Miler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 2:00 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Milwaukee Road Silk Train

 

Photo: Milwaukee Road Silk Train

A 1921 Photo from the University of Washington:

https://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/digital/collection/imlsmohai/id/5538/rec/215

Caption: "By the end of the 1920s, the single most valuable import coming through Seattle was Japanese silk. This luxury material came to Seattle on fast steamships and was sent by express train to eastern markets. Because it was both expensive and perishable, silk needed to be handled very carefully. One train carried a cargo of silk valued at $5 million."

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Ted Schnepf
 

Hi Andy,

Milw baggage cars generally had doors toward the car ends, above the trucks. A spotting feature for those cars.

Did any other railroad put the doors close to the car ends?

Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet,
Elgin, Ill. 60120


847=697-5353

On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 03:04:03 PM CDT, Andy Miller <aslmmiller@...> wrote:


Fascinating cars!   They look like, or are,  baggage cars with the doors at the ends of the side.  Was this typical for the Milwaukee or are they unique to the silk business? And why?

 

Regards,

 

Andy Miler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 2:00 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Milwaukee Road Silk Train

 

Photo: Milwaukee Road Silk Train

A 1921 Photo from the University of Washington:

https://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/digital/collection/imlsmohai/id/5538/rec/215

Caption: "By the end of the 1920s, the single most valuable import coming through Seattle was Japanese silk. This luxury material came to Seattle on fast steamships and was sent by express train to eastern markets. Because it was both expensive and perishable, silk needed to be handled very carefully. One train carried a cargo of silk valued at $5 million."

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Charles Happel
 

Chicago and Northwestern RPO's had the baggage doors close to the ends. Apologies for being off topic.

Chuck Happel


Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

Mark Twain


On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 04:13:09 PM EDT, Ted Schnepf <railsunl@...> wrote:


Hi Andy,

Milw baggage cars generally had doors toward the car ends, above the trucks. A spotting feature for those cars.

Did any other railroad put the doors close to the car ends?

Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet,
Elgin, Ill. 60120


847=697-5353

On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 03:04:03 PM CDT, Andy Miller <aslmmiller@...> wrote:


Fascinating cars!   They look like, or are,  baggage cars with the doors at the ends of the side.  Was this typical for the Milwaukee or are they unique to the silk business? And why?

 

Regards,

 

Andy Miler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 2:00 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Milwaukee Road Silk Train

 

Photo: Milwaukee Road Silk Train

A 1921 Photo from the University of Washington:

https://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/digital/collection/imlsmohai/id/5538/rec/215

Caption: "By the end of the 1920s, the single most valuable import coming through Seattle was Japanese silk. This luxury material came to Seattle on fast steamships and was sent by express train to eastern markets. Because it was both expensive and perishable, silk needed to be handled very carefully. One train carried a cargo of silk valued at $5 million."

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

   Did not Beaver Creek or some small importer bring in a run of silk cars around 1987? Was not 
something like that on display at the NMRA National at Eugene,OR that August. Cannot recall
what prototype but seem to recall something like that, Perhaps So Pac?

Cordially, Don Valentine


Joseph Melhorn
 

Hi Don,

Yes, Beaver Creek was the importer, Samhongsa was the builder and 1986 was the first year imported. Southern Pacific was the road, I have #6965 and I believe it is from the 1994 Run.

 

Joe Melhorn

Sahuarita, AZ

 


maynard stowe
 

Don,
Yes Beaver Creek brought in Southern Pacific Silk and Tea cars. Nicely  painted and lettered. I have one for sale never been out of the box.  If anyone is interested contact me off list at: ctsper1947@... 
Maynard Stowe

On Apr 14, 2020, at 7:52 PM, Donald B. Valentine via groups.io <riverman_vt@...> wrote:

   Did not Beaver Creek or some small importer bring in a run of silk cars around 1987? Was not 
something like that on display at the NMRA National at Eugene,OR that August. Cannot recall
what prototype but seem to recall something like that, Perhaps So Pac?

Cordially, Don Valentine


mel perry
 

there was also a construction article
in the 2/65 issue of MR, by gib kennedy
of the espee car
mel perry


Richard Townsend
 

MR had plans and an article of scratchbuilding such a car way back, probably in the 60s.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR


-----Original Message-----
From: Joseph Melhorn <toyman@...>
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Apr 14, 2020 5:31 pm
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Milwaukee Road Silk Train

Hi Don,
Yes, Beaver Creek was the importer, Samhongsa was the builder and 1986 was the first year imported. Southern Pacific was the road, I have #6965 and I believe it is from the 1994 Run.
 
Joe Melhorn
Sahuarita, AZ
 


Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...>
 

Don Valentine inquires whether or not HO brass importer Beaver Creek produced a silk car.  Yes, they produced a very nice model of a quite distinct and handsome SP car, a boxed one of which resides on my off-stage “For Sale” shelf as we speak.  The California State Railroad museum has the  body of one (the only?) stored at the SRR historic site in Jamestown, CA  (it played a completely unheralded part and a turning point in the successful across-the-table negotiations with the SP that underpinned the founding of the CSRM- a story for another time). If my memory is correct, these cars were also used for high value tea shipments.  

The Milwaukee photo -I believe- is probably another of several Milwaukee silk trains recorded on photographs by Asahel Curtis, a Seattle photographer who was often engaged by the Milwaukee at the time.   The photo currently depicted looks to me like it has been altered  for effect, showing an endless length of identical baggage cars longer than what other Bipolar-led silk train photos show might be more likely.

Other of Curtis’s photos show that the more common Milwaukee silk cars (added to the baggage cars were drawn from two series of low slung wood ice express reefers from the Milwaukee Shops in 1912 (and 13?), specifically built and so lettered for “Fish Service” These very possibly were among the very first true “express reefers” , and they constituted and remained the Milwaukee’s only  express reefers -aside from a few rib sided one-offs in later years- until their final demise as milk cars post WWII. I do not believe that they ever went off line, and they were rarely photographed.  Al Kalmbach loved these cars, Walthers made decals, and elevation plans were published in the earliest of MRs (1934?), and then subsequently in serial volumes of the MR Cyclopedia. They never made it to a kit, or to brass (in the pipeline at Shoreham Shops when they closed down). 

It would be a matter of semantics to argue one way or another whether silk trains were freight or passenger. The cars used  were built and designed to be used in passenger-like service, and the trains operated on passenger train schedules.  Of course, the lading was…freight!

Denny


 
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento, CA 95864