Photo: Loading Treated Water Pipe (1935)


Bob Chaparro
 

Photo: Loading Treated Water Pipe (1935)

A photo from the University of Washington Libraries:

https://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/digital/collection/imlsrailway/id/84/rec/521

This photo can be enlarged.

Description:

"Workers at the Pacific Creosoting Company plant on Bainbridge Island are loading creosoted wood water pipe on a Great Northern Railway wood flatcar. Wooden pipe allowed economical distribution of water in cities and towns around King County. Similar products were produced at the West Coast Wood Preserving Company plant in West Seattle."

Not a railroad question but does anyone know when wooden pipe fell out of favor?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


mopacfirst
 

If anyone on this list is a member of AWWA (American Water Works Association) or can find the AWWA Journal in a library, there might be a history of water distribution.  AWWA was founded in 1881 so they were around for this.  I'm not sure there ever was an AWWA standard for wooden stave pipe, at least I can't come up with one.

I suspect it was a regional thing.  In the east, home to the NEWWA (Northeastern Water Works Association), cast iron pipe would have been favored, while the west and northwest would have leaned toward the wooden stave pipe, while the areas in between could have leaned toward one or the other on the basis of transportation costs by way of railroad flatcar.

There were probably essentially no new installations of stave pipe after World War II.

Ron Merrick, piping engineer


Kenneth Montero
 

A Google search finds that wood pipe was used in East Coast cities when municipal water was initially installed. In Philadelphia, it was done from 1899 to 1832, even though cast iron pipe started to be installed in 1819. Richmond, Virginia had wood pipe in its Church Hill neighborhood and probably followed the Philadelphia practice.
 
A better question is whether wood pipe was replaced with wood pipe during the time span of interest to this group - and, if so, where - to justify a carload of such pipes.
 
Ken Montero

On 12/23/2020 8:43 PM mopacfirst <ron.merrick@...> wrote:
 
 
If anyone on this list is a member of AWWA (American Water Works Association) or can find the AWWA Journal in a library, there might be a history of water distribution.  AWWA was founded in 1881 so they were around for this.  I'm not sure there ever was an AWWA standard for wooden stave pipe, at least I can't come up with one.

I suspect it was a regional thing.  In the east, home to the NEWWA (Northeastern Water Works Association), cast iron pipe would have been favored, while the west and northwest would have leaned toward the wooden stave pipe, while the areas in between could have leaned toward one or the other on the basis of transportation costs by way of railroad flatcar.

There were probably essentially no new installations of stave pipe after World War II.

Ron Merrick, piping engineer


Andy Carlson
 

Less than 10 years ago, the city of Fort Bragg California (Home to the "Skunk" California Western RR) replaced their last community redwood water pipes. These were rifle drilled logs with an iron wire wrap. My understanding was that wood water pipes were at one time quite common.
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

On Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 5:43:21 PM PST, mopacfirst <ron.merrick@...> wrote:


If anyone on this list is a member of AWWA (American Water Works Association) or can find the AWWA Journal in a library, there might be a history of water distribution.  AWWA was founded in 1881 so they were around for this.  I'm not sure there ever was an AWWA standard for wooden stave pipe, at least I can't come up with one.

I suspect it was a regional thing.  In the east, home to the NEWWA (Northeastern Water Works Association), cast iron pipe would have been favored, while the west and northwest would have leaned toward the wooden stave pipe, while the areas in between could have leaned toward one or the other on the basis of transportation costs by way of railroad flatcar.

There were probably essentially no new installations of stave pipe after World War II.

Ron Merrick, piping engineer
_._,_._,_


Bill Parks
 

I do consulting work with utility companies, and even though my main area is with meters, I have picked up a lot of useless information about the electric, gas and water industries.  My understanding is WW1 is roughly the end of wooden pipes (as far as new installations).  And truthfully, after around 1900, it was a rarity to install them as part of a new system.

That being said, the picture is from 1935, so somebody somewhere was still buying then.  What we don't know is what the pipes in the picture were used for.  I doubt they were going for a new installation (but I could be wrong).  My guess is they were going for repair/replacement of existing wooden pipes where the water company wasn't ready yet for a wholesale replacement of their system.  Truthfully, I was surprised to see a picture of them this late, and I doubt any wooden pipes were built after WW2.

--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida


earlyrail
 

Description:

"Workers at the Pacific Creosoting Company plant on Bainbridge Island are loading creosoted wood water pipe on a Great Northern Railway wood flatcar. Wooden pipe allowed economical distribution of water in cities and towns around King County. Similar products were produced at the West Coast Wood Preserving Company plant in West Seattle."


Caption is not correct.
Bainbridge Island never had rail service.

Howard Garner


Charles Peck
 

Maybe the pipes might not have been intended for municipal  system .  Perhap there 
was some industrial use for brine or something else reactive to iron pipe. 
Chuck Peck

On Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 11:07 PM Bill Parks via groups.io <BPARKS_43=YAHOO.COM@groups.io> wrote:
I do consulting work with utility companies, and even though my main area is with meters, I have picked up a lot of useless information about the electric, gas and water industries.  My understanding is WW1 is roughly the end of wooden pipes (as far as new installations).  And truthfully, after around 1900, it was a rarity to install them as part of a new system.

That being said, the picture is from 1935, so somebody somewhere was still buying then.  What we don't know is what the pipes in the picture were used for.  I doubt they were going for a new installation (but I could be wrong).  My guess is they were going for repair/replacement of existing wooden pipes where the water company wasn't ready yet for a wholesale replacement of their system.  Truthfully, I was surprised to see a picture of them this late, and I doubt any wooden pipes were built after WW2.

--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida


Bruce Smith
 

Bill,

Wood pipes were clearly sold through WWII (I have the advertisements!) and those were not specified as replacement only. I'm sure that they were used wherever appropriate, for example for potable water. Here's an image of a load of Armco wood pipe in a NYC gondola. After all, steel was being rationed!

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Parks via groups.io <BPARKS_43@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 10:07 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Treated Water Pipe (1935)
 
I do consulting work with utility companies, and even though my main area is with meters, I have picked up a lot of useless information about the electric, gas and water industries.  My understanding is WW1 is roughly the end of wooden pipes (as far as new installations).  And truthfully, after around 1900, it was a rarity to install them as part of a new system.

That being said, the picture is from 1935, so somebody somewhere was still buying then.  What we don't know is what the pipes in the picture were used for.  I doubt they were going for a new installation (but I could be wrong).  My guess is they were going for repair/replacement of existing wooden pipes where the water company wasn't ready yet for a wholesale replacement of their system.  Truthfully, I was surprised to see a picture of them this late, and I doubt any wooden pipes were built after WW2.

--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida


Douglas Harding
 

I completely agree with the generally accepted practice that wood water pipes were common through WWII, particularly out west (here in the mid-west lead pipes were the standard). But creosote? I cannot imagine drinking water that came from creosoted pipes. Why you can even drink out of an ordinary garden hose these days, it must be a white hose designated for potable water. Could these creosoted wood pipes be destined for sewar or storm water drainage?

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 10:28 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Treated Water Pipe (1935)

 

Bill,

 

Wood pipes were clearly sold through WWII (I have the advertisements!) and those were not specified as replacement only. I'm sure that they were used wherever appropriate, for example for potable water. Here's an image of a load of Armco wood pipe in a NYC gondola. After all, steel was being rationed!

 

Regards,

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Parks via groups.io <BPARKS_43@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 10:07 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Treated Water Pipe (1935)

 

I do consulting work with utility companies, and even though my main area is with meters, I have picked up a lot of useless information about the electric, gas and water industries.  My understanding is WW1 is roughly the end of wooden pipes (as far as new installations).  And truthfully, after around 1900, it was a rarity to install them as part of a new system.

That being said, the picture is from 1935, so somebody somewhere was still buying then.  What we don't know is what the pipes in the picture were used for.  I doubt they were going for a new installation (but I could be wrong).  My guess is they were going for repair/replacement of existing wooden pipes where the water company wasn't ready yet for a wholesale replacement of their system.  Truthfully, I was surprised to see a picture of them this late, and I doubt any wooden pipes were built after WW2.

--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida


Dave Parker
 

Maybe TMI, but I found it interesting:

http://www.sewerhistory.org/photosgraphics/pipes-wood/

Two obvious possibilities:  1) creosoted pipe not intended for potable water, (2) creosote only applied to the outside.  If the the latter, it may have been more to protect the iron banding against corrosion.

And Bruce's photo is there, with a bit more info.  
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Paul Krueger
 

Actually, the caption probably is correct. Pacific Creosoting had a plant at Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island that was served by the MILW via rail barge.

Paul Krueger
Seattle, WA


mopacfirst
 

There are at least three different types of wood pipe.  The earliest type, bored-out tree trunks, is too early for our interest as freight car loads.  The first picture in this thread, of stave pipe with metal (probably steel wire) bands, is suitable for pressure service, meaning water distribution.  There's a lot of non-potable water distribution, but that's a good question whether any of it was ever used for utility potable water distribution.  Redwood, as I understand it, doesn't need preservatives like creosote.

And, the banded stave pipe very likely was used a lot for sewer, meaning non-pressure, piping.  The type shown in Bruce's photo is probably non-pressure given its wall thickness and construction method.  But the point is well-taken that WWII probably prolonged the use of anything that could be made wholly or in part of non-strategic metals, such as freight cars.

Ron Merrick


Lee
 

Wood pipe was used out West as well. Yuma AZ installed it in the late 1880’s using redwood. It was replaced some years later although as recent as 2008 sections were recovered during road and utility work in the oldest part of town were the redwood water pipe was installed originally. Slats about two inches wide, inch thick.  Cut on angle along the long side to make 10,12,14 sided pipe, depending on the diameter.  What’s also if interest is that the still existing SP freight house was, of significant portions , constructed of redwood. 
I have photos of the recovery pipe somewhere....
Lee Stoermer
Aldie, VA (formerly from Yuma) 


Jeffrey White
 

Salem, IL, a town of about 7500 in South Central Illinois replaced their wooden water mains in the late 80s/early 90s in a multiyear public works project. Some of those mains were in service for 100 years.

Jeff White

Alma, IL

On 12/24/2020 7:52 AM, Lee via groups.io wrote:
Wood pipe was used out West as well. Yuma AZ installed it in the late 1880’s using redwood. It was replaced some years later although as recent as 2008 sections were recovered during road and utility work in the oldest part of town were the redwood water pipe was installed originally. Slats about two inches wide, inch thick.  Cut on angle along the long side to make 10,12,14 sided pipe, depending on the diameter.  What’s also if interest is that the still existing SP freight house was, of significant portions , constructed of redwood. 
I have photos of the recovery pipe somewhere....
Lee Stoermer
Aldie, VA (formerly from Yuma) 


Brent Greer
 

That brings up a question I've had for a while for our expert modelers, what colors do you recommend for representing creosoted wood (like loads of utility poles or trestle pilings)?

Thanks,
Brent 

Dr. J. Brent Greer



Dr. J. Brent Greer


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of earlyrail <cascaderail@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 11:10 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Treated Water Pipe (1935)
 

Description:

"Workers at the Pacific Creosoting Company plant on Bainbridge Island are loading creosoted wood water pipe on a Great Northern Railway wood flatcar. Wooden pipe allowed economical distribution of water in cities and towns around King County. Similar products were produced at the West Coast Wood Preserving Company plant in West Seattle."


Caption is not correct.
Bainbridge Island never had rail service.

Howard Garner


Chuck Soule
 

Howard Garner wrote: "Caption is not correct.  Bainbridge Island never had rail service."

The Pacific Creosote plant on Bainbridge Island, just like many sawmills around Puget Sound, had rail  service provided by barges.  The Milwaukee and Northern Pacific both conducted significant rail-barge traffic out of Seattle and, to a lesser extent, Tacoma.  I remember that the sawmill at Port Gamble still had a rail-barge connection in the 1990s.

Chuck Soule


Richard Townsend
 

I'm no expert,  but I use Minwax walnut stain for new creosote. 

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR


Tom Zehnder
 

I wonder if these pipes were intended for conveying stormwater instead of potable water.  I understand that stormwater pipes were constructed of wood during world war 2 to conserve steel for wartime uses.  Could it be that they were also constructed in the 30s. This would also explain the use of creosote. 

Just a thought 

Tom Zehnder 


Nelson Moyer
 

I don’t use paint, but stain. I bought a small can of Campbell tie stain in the late 1970s, and I’m still using it for staining stripwood used of wood platforms, flat car decks, fences, poles, trestle bents, etc. It’s turpentine based (I think), because I use turpentine as a thinner. The strength of the dilution and the length of exposure determines the color intensity. Using it straight for a short exposure simulates newly creosoted ties or poles nicely.

 

I attached the remains of the Lemon Creek trestle near Winfield, IA and the model parts before assembly. When I photographed what’s left, the wood was badly bleached, so I went darker to represent what it could have looked like 30 years earlier.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brent Greer
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2020 11:39 AM
To: earlyrail <cascaderail@...>; main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Treated Water Pipe (1935)

 

That brings up a question I've had for a while for our expert modelers, what colors do you recommend for representing creosoted wood (like loads of utility poles or trestle pilings)?

Thanks,
Brent 

Dr. J. Brent Greer

 

 


Dr. J. Brent Greer

 


Bruce Smith
 

Brent,

Creosote treated wood is usually brown to very dark brown, with darker, often black, stains. For an example of fresh utility poles, see: 


Regards,
Bruce



From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Brent Greer <studegator@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2020 11:39 AM
To: earlyrail <cascaderail@...>; main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Treated Water Pipe (1935)
 
That brings up a question I've had for a while for our expert modelers, what colors do you recommend for representing creosoted wood (like loads of utility poles or trestle pilings)?

Thanks,
Brent 

Dr. J. Brent Greer



Dr. J. Brent Greer


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of earlyrail <cascaderail@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 11:10 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Treated Water Pipe (1935)
 

Description:

"Workers at the Pacific Creosoting Company plant on Bainbridge Island are loading creosoted wood water pipe on a Great Northern Railway wood flatcar. Wooden pipe allowed economical distribution of water in cities and towns around King County. Similar products were produced at the West Coast Wood Preserving Company plant in West Seattle."


Caption is not correct.
Bainbridge Island never had rail service.

Howard Garner