Topics

Book of historical drawings; is it worth scanning?

Dennis Storzek
 

It seems just when we started to talk about preserved drawings, the discussion up and died, and while it raised some questions I had, I've not had time to pursue it until now.

This Christmas a long time acquaintance lent me an interesting antique book titled, "American Railway Association, Mechanical Division, Supplement to Manual, Drawings for Cars and Trucks Adopted as Recommended Practice." It is dated June, 1926. Totaling 136 pages, it reproduces 53 plates (drawings) pertaining to the ARA "standard" trucks, three different trucks, in three different journal capacities each, and 256 plates that pertain to the XM1 single sheathed, and XM2 double sheathed "standard" boxcar. This is the complete set of drawings for these two Recommended Practice boxcars, each available in two weight capacities. These drawings detail the cars down to the smallest bolt, pin, and bracket.

Twenty years ago I would have killed for this set of drawings, but now I'm not so sure of their value. In a multitude of places "alternatives permissible" is noted, without detailing what the alternatives are, as they are all vendor supplied parts. From photos it is clear that the actual cars used a plethora of vendor supplied alternative parts, to the point that I suspect that no car was ever built that followed these drawings exactly. Twenty years ago I'd likely have followed these drawings, adapting them to the vendor supplied ends, doors, and roofs that show in the photos, fudging it in the best pioneer model railroading spirit. But today, with the large number of drawings of CARS THAT WERE ACTUALLY BUILT available from a number of archives, it seems that that would be the better source, leaving this book as just a curiosity; a collection of drawings that define the generic "standard" car that was never actually built.

It makes me wonder if they are worth scanning at all, especially since I have yet to figure out how to release the ring binder, which may well be rusted in place. The pages are too brittle to simply bend over double. And, while the cover size is only 10 x 14, a number of the plates are larger, done as fold-outs. Even if I had an 11 X 17 scanner, which I don't, I'm not sure even that would be large enough.

I'm seriously considering that the owner simply donate the book to a suitable library, such as the Pullman Library at IRM, where it could be available to anyone seriously researching the development of the ARA cars.

What say you?

Dennis Storzek

Dave Nelson
 

IF it has a copyright declaration then it is still in copyright (January 1, 1925 is the far limit right now for protection).  If it doesn’t it isn’t (as is true for anything not marked up to Dec 31, 1976).

 

The big unknown is if the original was copyrighted but that protection was not renewed.  If that is the case it is the public domain but finding out if it was or wasn’t is often a royal PITA.

 

FWIW, I firmly believe the current copyright duration is obscenely over-long and were it in my hands I’d scan  the drawings and distribute them.  But it is not in my hands so other than you waiting 1 year to see it legally fall into the public domain, it is, essentially, up to you.

 

All the T&C’s can be seen here: https://copyright.cornell.edu/publicdomain

Dave Nelson

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2020 7:55 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Book of historical drawings; is it worth scanning?

 

It seems just when we started to talk about preserved drawings, the discussion up and died, and while it raised some questions I had, I've not had time to pursue it until now.

This Christmas a long time acquaintance lent me an interesting antique book titled, "American Railway Association, Mechanical Division, Supplement to Manual, Drawings for Cars and Trucks Adopted as Recommended Practice." It is dated June, 1926.

Bob Webber
 

Dennis, we would be happy to scan it.... Since it isn't owned by bombardier, that would remove the major impediment in how we share it... We must charge at least what Pullman did and not online for most of the collection as bombardier owns it...for bombardier owned material... Rates haven't gone up for decades.

We could then allow access to it as you wish.  We'd of course like the original, but there are options here not normally there for us... If you want it scanned and keep the scans to preserve it in digital, that's fine too.   You know where we live.  We can scan ledger on flat patten and 3 ft by over 50 ft.  

Pairing drawings with as built and vendor specific drawings would be an entertaining project.

Scanning doesn't cost us... Printing does... And time spent researching and locating and then conserving drawings... In cases like this, with the drawings easily accissible, scanning shouldn't take time.  We get bogged down doing the larger files with the different type and sizes of media, but this... Even with fold outs... Should be OK.

I think any insight into the design process is valuable.

Sent from BlueMail

On Jan 27, 2020, at 9:55 PM, Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:
It seems just when we started to talk about preserved drawings, the discussion up and died, and while it raised some questions I had, I've not had time to pursue it until now.

This Christmas a long time acquaintance lent me an interesting antique book titled, "American Railway Association, Mechanical Division, Supplement to Manual, Drawings for Cars and Trucks Adopted as Recommended Practice." It is dated June, 1926. Totaling 136 pages, it reproduces 53 plates (drawings) pertaining to the ARA "standard" trucks, three different trucks, in three different journal capacities each, and 256 plates that pertain to the XM1 single sheathed, and XM2 double sheathed "standard" boxcar. This is the complete set of drawings for these two Recommended Practice boxcars, each available in two weight capacities. These drawings detail the cars down to the smallest bolt, pin, and bracket.

Twenty years ago I would have killed for this set of drawings, but now I'm not so sure of their value. In a multitude of places "alternatives permissible" is noted, without detailing what the alternatives are, as they are all vendor supplied parts. From photos it is clear that the actual cars used a plethora of vendor supplied alternative parts, to the point that I suspect that no car was ever built that followed these drawings exactly. Twenty years ago I'd likely have followed these drawings, adapting them to the vendor supplied ends, doors, and roofs that show in the photos, fudging it in the best pioneer model railroading spirit. But today, with the large number of drawings of CARS THAT WERE ACTUALLY BUILT available from a number of archives, it seems that that would be the better source, leaving this book as just a curiosity; a collection of drawings that define the generic "standard" car that was never actually built.

It makes me wonder if they are worth scanning at all, especially since I have yet to figure out how to release the ring binder, which may well be rusted in place. The pages are too brittle to simply bend over double. And, while the cover size is only 10 x 14, a number of the plates are larger, done as fold-outs. Even if I had an 11 X 17 scanner, which I don't, I'm not sure even that would be large enough.

I'm seriously considering that the owner simply donate the book to a suitable library, such as the Pullman Library at IRM, where it could be available to anyone seriously researching the development of the ARA cars.

What say you?

Dennis Storzek

Dennis Storzek
 

On Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 11:41 PM, Dave Nelson wrote:
FWIW, I firmly believe the current copyright duration is obscenely over-long...
I agree completely. Can you say M-I-C K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E?
No Copyright declaration that I've found, yet. I wouldn't expect one. Back when the owner of a work actually had to pay money to secure copyright protection, typically only things intended to make money, like books and magazines, were copyrighted.

Dennis Storzek

Nolan Hinshaw
 

On Jan 27, 2020, at 19:55, Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:

[in re: a classic text]

What say you?
Regardless of its particular value to prototype modelers as a reference, it's still One of Those Treasures. Something like that deserves a copy camera rather than a flatbed scanner, and a lo-cal University may have one, with a program in preservation to operate it. It may be appropriate for a grad internship.

FUNEM
SVFM
FUNEX
SVFX
OKMNX

Tony Thompson
 

Dennis Storzek wrote:

No Copyright declaration that I've found, yet. I wouldn't expect one. Back when the owner of a work actually had to pay money to secure copyright protection, typically only things intended to make money, like books and magazines, were copyrighted.

      Most railroad publications were not copyrighted, including annual reports, employee magazines, brochures, timetables, etc. etc. Prior to 1978, if a copyright notice had not been inserted into the publication, it went straight into public domain. You will notice such an absence in almost any railroad-published document. The same is true of most AAR documents I have seen.

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





np328
 

First a reply to the original question: Yes, I think it is worth preserving. 

Why. 
Of the value: At one time...…  I had AAR documents copied at the MNHS, and did presentations on them at the Naperville and CCB meets, many years ago.  
1) I asked at the time, of the MNHS staff on any copyrights that might be on these (1956,1957) AAR documents. They came back with the declaration that these were reports complied and released - directly into the public domain. (Thus fully supporting the last part of Tony's post.) 
2) I had these (photo-copied from the MNHS) pages of the AAR reports over this 15 month period. My wife talked about cleaning up the house a bit and as I felt I was done with these, have given the presentations years prior, they got recycled.  About a year later, a young railfan I met at one of my historical societies events asked me if he could see the reports. I looked and then recalled I tossed them. 
      To him, and possibly others on this list, there was great value.

The AAR reports came out bi-monthly and gave traffic loading, crop reports and car loadings of these wheat, fruit, and vegetable loadings, industry strikes, (steel mills), car shortages, import export loadings, steel, iron ore, coal loadings, listed the two week time regional frames. Also when the farm implement builders went on vacation (that was a surprise) and how this eased the flat and gon loadings.
     I used this principally to show on the reefer loadings and how reefers were busiest in fall, winter, and spring, when carrying protected shipments, keeping them warm.   I do recall one person telling me that the presentation was OK, except that he doesn't model winter.  (I suppose this person might think that on the real railroads the hand of God takes these reefers and packs them in drawers someplace and all those reefers magically disappear during his modeled time.) 

   In hindsight, the value I thought I had wrung out of these documents, others may still see and I ways I never envisioned. 

  If you do not want to do this and the binder (rusted you say) has no value, send them to me and I will scan them at our archives. (four by? scanner) 
The only thing I will ask for is a copy of the electronic data.
The pages once released, would be returned to you for what ever disposition you decide.                                          Jim Dick - St. Paul 

  

mel perry
 

of course, it has historical value and should be
preserved and scanned, there appears to be no
shortage of volunteers for the project, i would
just add, that who/whomever is chosen, doesn't
ise this item ad a means of extortion, ideally it should be posted to the web with "copy" super
imposed on each page, that way it can be viewed
by everyone, and if someone chooses to
purchase copy or copies, at a reasonable price
they can.do so, storing it someplace which is
not acceptable, unless they have to travel a
distance, is a form of elitism, give the public
a chance, at least to view the documents with
other options, notice i said "reasonable prices",
i already know where this is headed
mel perry

Jeff Eggert
 

I'll second the use of a DSLR for digitizing a book such as this.  A simple copy stand and a 20+ MP DSLR can generally do well for most items up to 11x17 in size or so, depends on how fine the printing is.

Relating this to steam era freight cars, I have a homemade stand and have used it to digitize over 4,000 car forging drawings the CNWHS has.  We have deemed these drawings to be of minimal value (as far as we know no one has ever asked for them, ever) and felt traditional flatbed scanning was too time consuming or feeder scanning wouldn't work.  They were taking up prime file cabinet space before, now they can be relegated to deeper depths of the archives storage.  A small resolution sample is attached.

Jeff Eggert

Nolan Hinshaw
 

On Jan 28, 2020, at 21:03, Jeff Eggert <ophoto@...> wrote:

I'll second the use of a DSLR for digitizing a book such as this. A simple copy stand and a 20+ MP DSLR can generally do well for most items up to 11x17 in size or so, depends on how fine the printing is.
For E-size material a medium format camera might be preferable, just in case anyone's planning to digitize material that large. OhByTheWay, something better than Acrobat Pro should be the tool to convert the raster file to vectors for technical drawings.

FUNEM
SVFM
FUNEX
SVFX
OKMNX

Charlie Vlk
 

All

If the volume in question is this one…

Drawings of the standards and recommended practice of the Master Car Builders Association  Henry O. Shepard Co. Press Chicago 1918

It is already available online at HathiTrust.  Here is a link:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiuc.2544177_001

This one has the MCM-26B samples of the Standard Letters and Figures for Freight Car Marking…. Showing the M, C, B, 2, 7, 8 in 9”, 7”, 4” , 3”, 2” and 1” sizes.

 

If it is different it is certainly worth scanning.

Charlie Vlk

 

 

Dave Nelson
 

Do you have drawings for any of the castings Camel provided for boxcar doors?  These are, AFAIK, very hard to find.

 

A collection of sill step drawings (w/ reference to which car series used them) could be of interest.

Dave Nelson

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeff Eggert

Relating this to steam era freight cars, I have a homemade stand and have used it to digitize over 4,000 car forging drawings the CNWHS has.  We have deemed these drawings to be of minimal value (as far as we know no one has ever asked for them, ever

Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 11:37 AM, Charlie Vlk wrote:

f the volume in question is this one…

Drawings of the standards and recommended practice of the Master Car Builders Association  Henry O. Shepard Co. Press Chicago 1918

It is already available online at HathiTrust.  Here is a link:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiuc.2544177_001

Nice find, Charlie. No, the book in my possession is from eight years later, June, 1926, and is limited to trucks and the Recommended Practice car designs the ARA had adopted; the single sheathed boxcar with the pressed steel Pratt truss framing, and a similar double sheathed car with a steel framed superstructure. It appears to be a complete set of drawings because they go down to the level of detailing each sill step, bracket, bolt, etc. Unfortunately, the drawings show the generic flat plate ends and flat sheet riveted roof, which are features apparently no road bought; each opting for proprietary designs that were permissible alternates.

While the Hathi Trust scans are welcome for printed text with occasional diagrams, looking at these MCB drawings, the resolution leaves something to be desired, considering the drawings are already greatly reduced for publication in the book.

Dennis Storzek

Jeff Eggert
 

I don't know if there would be anything like those castings in this group.  Lots of levers, brackets, tanks bands and the ever vague "steel details" to name a few.  Some drawings do reference a builder's drawing number.  These aren't really cataloged, just a drawing number at this point.  There has been a thought to put them out for online viewing, but it would be more of a treasure hunt as we don't have anyone available in our archives group to populate other fields of interest.

Jeff Eggert