Topics

Date of Change in NYC Painting Practice (was Intermountain kits)


Jeff English
 

Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...> wrote:

But supposedly they switched from
black to box car red for their open top cars in '41,
Correct on all counts, John.
Well, almost correct. Once again, in the interest of accuracy,
according to an article in the July 1974 issue of the NYC Headlight,
the date of change in the painting of open-top freight cars from
black to f.c. red was "up to the end of 1942 or early 1943".
It is likely that there was no exact date, and that each shop
used up their remaining supplies of black paint on different dates in
a period of time that could have extended months following
issuance of an official edict (whose date is still unknown to modern
modeler/historians), if there was such a formal issuance, as
opposed to verbal orders. Also it is likely that individual shop
managers had their own personal opinions about how quickly they
were going to adopt a new policy they may or may not have
supported personally.
The above change of date for painting whole cars is not
completely consistent with the elimination of black from the
background of oval heralds on f.c. red cars (indicating that it is
possible that there were some f.c. red open-top cars with black
backgrounds in '42-'43-'44). The elimination of black from heralds
is reflected in a drawing dated 3-2-44 for the size then currently
used on box cars, according to the same Headlight article. For
other size heralds (including the one usually used on hoppers and
gons), the article says black was eliminated "at about that time".
Apparently no drawings with specific instructions have turned up.
I have no doubt that the box cars built up to 1942 had the black
background, and that the ones built starting in 1945 did not. There
were no box cars built new for NYC in 1943, but I'm still looking for
unambiguous evidence of whether Lots 734-B and 735-B had black
backgrounds when built (both by Despatch Shops). I have not yet
turned up a builder's photo of Lot 735-B, which I expect lacked the
black, but I have a fuzzy rendition (2nd or 3rd generation copy
neg?) of a builder's photo of Lot 734-B which, in my opinion, is
inconclusive as to whether there is a black background. I've done
some extreme contrast/brightness manipulation with a scan of this
photo and I can sort of maybe say it looks like there is a black
background, but I don't have any confidence in this.

Lot 734-B = NYC 159000 - 159999
Lot 735-B = NYC 161000 - 161999

NYC AAR-design 40-ft cars, and some PS-1s, occupy a
chronologically consistent run of numbers except for leaving the
160000s vacant. I believe this was because there was still a
handful of USRA ss cars hanging on in that block, but they were all
gone by the July '47 ORER.
Other cars built after 1941 but before the first documented cars
without black backgrounds included:
Lot 729-B = IHB 10000 - 10599, blt 3-44 DSI
Lot 730-B = IHB 10600 - 10999, blt 4-44 DSI
Photos of cars with as-built paint jobs are pretty clear that the IHB
herald has a black background. Since Lot 734-B followed pretty
soon after 730-B, that's just one more little piece of circumstantial
evidence supporting black for Lot 734-B.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff English Troy, New York
Proto:64 Classic Era Railroad Modeling
englij@...

| R U T L A N D R A I L R O A D |
Route of the Whippet
---------------------------------------------------------------


Richard Hendrickson
 

Thanks, Jeff, for this useful summary. I think I knew most of what you
posted, but I didn't have it all in one place, Now I do.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


Stafford F. Swain <sswain@...>
 

This early 1940s timing of shifting painting open top cars from black to a freight car red coincides pretty tightly with the CNR's dates of doing exactly the same thing to the same groups of cars. Could this be a wartime supply issue??

Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...> wrote:

But supposedly they switched from
>black to box car red for their open top cars in '41,

Correct on all counts, John.
Well, almost correct. Once again, in the interest of accuracy,
according to an article in the July 1974 issue of the NYC Headlight,
the date of change in the painting of open-top freight cars from
black to f.c. red was "up to the end of 1942 or early 1943".
It is likely that there was no exact date, and that each shop
used up their remaining supplies of black paint on different dates in
a period of time that could have extended months following
issuance of an official edict (whose date is still unknown to modern
modeler/historians), if there was such a formal issuance, as
opposed to verbal orders. Also it is likely that individual shop
managers had their own personal opinions about how quickly they
were going to adopt a new policy they may or may not have
supported personally.
The above change of date for painting whole cars is not
completely consistent with the elimination of black from the
background of oval heralds on f.c. red cars (indicating that it is
possible that there were some f.c. red open-top cars with black
backgrounds in '42-'43-'44). The elimination of black from heralds
is reflected in a drawing dated 3-2-44 for the size then currently
used on box cars, according to the same Headlight article. For
other size heralds (including the one usually used on hoppers and
gons), the article says black was eliminated "at about that time". Apparently no drawings with specific instructions have turned up.
I have no doubt that the box cars built up to 1942 had the black
background, and that the ones built starting in 1945 did not. There
were no box cars built new for NYC in 1943, but I'm still looking for
unambiguous evidence of whether Lots 734-B and 735-B had black
backgrounds when built (both by Despatch Shops). I have not yet
turned up a builder's photo of Lot 735-B, which I expect lacked the
black, but I have a fuzzy rendition (2nd or 3rd generation copy
neg?) of a builder's photo of Lot 734-B which, in my opinion, is
inconclusive as to whether there is a black background. I've done
some extreme contrast/brightness manipulation with a scan of this
photo and I can sort of maybe say it looks like there is a black
background, but I don't have any confidence in this.

Lot 734-B = NYC 159000 - 159999
Lot 735-B = NYC 161000 - 161999

NYC AAR-design 40-ft cars, and some PS-1s, occupy a
chronologically consistent run of numbers except for leaving the
160000s vacant. I believe this was because there was still a
handful of USRA ss cars hanging on in that block, but they were all
gone by the July '47 ORER.
Other cars built after 1941 but before the first documented cars
without black backgrounds included:
Lot 729-B = IHB 10000 - 10599, blt 3-44 DSI
Lot 730-B = IHB 10600 - 10999, blt 4-44 DSI
Photos of cars with as-built paint jobs are pretty clear that the IHB
herald has a black background. Since Lot 734-B followed pretty
soon after 730-B, that's just one more little piece of circumstantial
evidence supporting black for Lot 734-B.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff English Troy, New York
Proto:64 Classic Era Railroad Modeling
englij@...

| R U T L A N D R A I L R O A D |
Route of the Whippet
---------------------------------------------------------------

To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@...
--
Stafford Swain
26 Kenneth Street
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3T 0K8
(204) 477-9246
sswain@...


John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

One of the things that I wasn't aware of concerned the development of paint.
There was an article in Invention & Technology (I think that's the right
name) about the problems of painting autos. It seems the lacquers in the
early days took a long time to dry and didn't cover well on metal. It took
something like 17 days to paint an auto, which was set under enormous heat
lamps with men in lint free coveralls and gloves working under the
sweltering conditions whose only job it was to pluck dust, hair, off the
slowly drying paint. Henry Ford's famous slogan "Any color you want as long
as it was black" was not that he didn't want to store a whole lot of colors,
but that black absorbed the heat the best and dried a little faster.
After WWI, Du Pont found itself with a lot of nitroglycerin on their
hands (or maybe it was other chemicals related to explosives), and in the
1920's, developed the Duco paints of synthetic paints. This took the time
down to a few hours (on autos). And Ford stuck to his plain jane Model-T
and lost his edge to GM who went to colorful autos that were stylized.
In the 1922 Cyc. for instance there is mention about using a paint with
carbon in it as the best on metal. (I'm not sure if this was true, but if
they believed it, that is what is most important.) Thus a box car red was
an iron oxide
paint using the cheapest pigments, and favored on wood, while black was
favored on freight cars made up mostly of metal. (And even box cars and
reefers got their hardware painted black on a lot of early schemes, not just
for the builder's schemes.)
I'm not sure when railroads got the message. There may also be a
question of when they switched from hand-painting to spray-painting. This
doesn't sound the most reasonable, but maybe not having to clean the
airbrush from red to black and back again was a factor. (I don't know about
them, but it would sway me.)
The question of paint raises another point. Early steel cars would be a
pain to paint (I'm sure they didn't do it like autos, but still) and I don't
think the paint stuck that well, either. When the Duco paints came on the
scene, the balance may have tipped a little more from wood to steel.
By the way, the Rutland stuck with their NYC scheme of red wood cars
(mainly box cars and reefers, but also
ballast cars, and black open top cars. The D&H, always trying to be
different, went the other way it seems. Their hoppers and gons had been red
through the '30's, and about 1940 switched to black, although that is when
they first started getting steel hoppers and gons in quantity. - John

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stafford F. Swain" <sswain@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2000 8:41 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Date of Change in NYC Painting Practice (was
Intermountain kits)


This early 1940s timing of shifting painting open top cars from black
to a freight car red coincides pretty tightly with the CNR's dates of
doing exactly the same thing to the same groups of cars. Could this
be a wartime supply issue??

Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...> wrote:

But supposedly they switched from
>black to box car red for their open top cars in '41,

Correct on all counts, John.
Well, almost correct. Once again, in the interest of accuracy,
according to an article in the July 1974 issue of the NYC Headlight,
the date of change in the painting of open-top freight cars from
black to f.c. red was "up to the end of 1942 or early 1943".
It is likely that there was no exact date, and that each shop
used up their remaining supplies of black paint on different dates in
a period of time that could have extended months following
issuance of an official edict (whose date is still unknown to modern
modeler/historians), if there was such a formal issuance, as
opposed to verbal orders. Also it is likely that individual shop
managers had their own personal opinions about how quickly they
were going to adopt a new policy they may or may not have
supported personally.
The above change of date for painting whole cars is not
completely consistent with the elimination of black from the
background of oval heralds on f.c. red cars (indicating that it is
possible that there were some f.c. red open-top cars with black
backgrounds in '42-'43-'44). The elimination of black from heralds
is reflected in a drawing dated 3-2-44 for the size then currently
used on box cars, according to the same Headlight article. For
other size heralds (including the one usually used on hoppers and
gons), the article says black was eliminated "at about that time".
Apparently no drawings with specific instructions have turned up.
I have no doubt that the box cars built up to 1942 had the black
background, and that the ones built starting in 1945 did not. There
were no box cars built new for NYC in 1943, but I'm still looking for
unambiguous evidence of whether Lots 734-B and 735-B had black
backgrounds when built (both by Despatch Shops). I have not yet
turned up a builder's photo of Lot 735-B, which I expect lacked the
black, but I have a fuzzy rendition (2nd or 3rd generation copy
neg?) of a builder's photo of Lot 734-B which, in my opinion, is
inconclusive as to whether there is a black background. I've done
some extreme contrast/brightness manipulation with a scan of this
photo and I can sort of maybe say it looks like there is a black
background, but I don't have any confidence in this.

Lot 734-B = NYC 159000 - 159999
Lot 735-B = NYC 161000 - 161999

NYC AAR-design 40-ft cars, and some PS-1s, occupy a
chronologically consistent run of numbers except for leaving the
160000s vacant. I believe this was because there was still a
handful of USRA ss cars hanging on in that block, but they were all
gone by the July '47 ORER.
Other cars built after 1941 but before the first documented cars
without black backgrounds included:
Lot 729-B = IHB 10000 - 10599, blt 3-44 DSI
Lot 730-B = IHB 10600 - 10999, blt 4-44 DSI
Photos of cars with as-built paint jobs are pretty clear that the IHB
herald has a black background. Since Lot 734-B followed pretty
soon after 730-B, that's just one more little piece of circumstantial
evidence supporting black for Lot 734-B.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff English Troy, New York
Proto:64 Classic Era Railroad Modeling
englij@...

| R U T L A N D R A I L R O A D |
Route of the Whippet
---------------------------------------------------------------


To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@...
--
Stafford Swain
26 Kenneth Street
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3T 0K8
(204) 477-9246
sswain@...


To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@...



Richard Hendrickson
 

John, with regard to your interesting observations and speculations on
paint, the development of synthetic enamels was, indeed, a major
breakthrough. Prior to that, railroad paint shops mixed their own paint
from bulk linseed oil, pigment, and mineral spirits, and the resulting
products took a long time to dry and didn't last long under the onslaught
of weather, dirt, corrosion, etc. to which railway equipment was exposed.
Synthetic enamel also made it practical to apply paint with spray guns, and
the car builders and major railroad shops begain to do so on a large scale
in the 1920s.

With few exceptions, however, the railroads continued in the
1920s-'30s-'40s to use paints with organic pigments such as carbon black,
iron oxide, and copper oxide (which produced the olive green colors used on
passenger cars), presumably because they were more durable. Apparently WW
II and its aftermath stimulated some improvements in paint technology which
then made long-lasting paints in a variety of bright colors economically
feasible, accounting for the more colorful paint schemes of the 1950s and
'60s.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

Richard - Yes, there must have been some improvement
in paints in the early '50's, as autos went from somber maroons, dark blues
and greens, cream, light gray, or black, to brighter colors. (Period ads
often featured bright red autos, but several people remember the extra cost
of such a color and how fast it faded.)
On the other hand, I remember the story of how the Rutland's 4-8-2's
were delivered in green and yellow in '46 and within 6 months, looked so
sooty they gave and painted them standard black. (Yes, the Rutland was
poor, but they seemed to maintain their engines pretty well.) Yet the
Rutland went to green and yellow only four years later with their diesels.
They might have gone to a brighter color, but I'm thinking that one reason
for the explosion of the freight car paint palette in the '50's was the
demise of the steam engine.
Whatever the reason, a bright pine tree green seems to have led the way
(M&StL, MEC, REA, Cities Service), with the blues and bright reds coming in
the mid-50's.
- John Nehrich

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Hendrickson" <rhendrickson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Date of Change in NYC Painting Practice (was
Intermountain kits)


Apparently WW
II and its aftermath stimulated some improvements in paint technology
which
then made long-lasting paints in a variety of bright colors economically
feasible, accounting for the more colorful paint schemes of the 1950s and
'60s.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520




To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@...



John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

PS - I had thought it was copper oxide that made the Pullman Green, too, but
Arthur Dubin in Kalmbach's Pullman Painting Guide said that Pullman combined
the yellow of rural dirt with the black of the industrial areas to make the
color, which would suggest a combination of raw siena and raw or burnt
umber. While the patina of copper certainly is stable, I don't recall any
jade green paint shade being common until the late '50's, when again
something must have made it possible.
- John Nehrich

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Hendrickson" <rhendrickson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Date of Change in NYC Painting Practice (was
Intermountain kits)


1920s-'30s-'40s to use paints with organic pigments such as carbon black,
iron oxide, and copper oxide (which produced the olive green colors used
on
passenger cars), presumably because they were more durable. > Richard H.
Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520




To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@...



Jeff English
 

"Stafford F. Swain" <sswain@...> wrote:

This early 1940s timing of shifting painting open top cars from black to a
freight car red coincides pretty tightly with the CNR's dates of doing
exactly the same thing to the same groups of cars. Could this be a
wartime supply issue??
Indeed, the conventional wisdom among modern-day followers
of the NYC is that this was a wartime economy move. Black
returned to NYC freights cars ca.1955 , when times were better, at
least for freight (the bitter end of steam on NYC was 1957, so this
tidbit is still within STMFC list scope).

and Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...> wrote:

I think I knew most of what you posted, but I didn't have it all in
one place, Now I do.
I thought it would be good to put it all in one place with a
descriptive subject line, so it would be a useful resource in the list
archive. You're welcome.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff English Troy, New York
Proto:64 Classic Era Railroad Modeling
englij@...

| R U T L A N D R A I L R O A D |
Route of the Whippet
---------------------------------------------------------------


Richard Hendrickson
 

John Nehric wrote:

PS - I had thought it was copper oxide that made the Pullman Green, too, but
Arthur Dubin in Kalmbach's Pullman Painting Guide said that Pullman combined
the yellow of rural dirt with the black of the industrial areas to make the
color....
Rural dirt yellow and industrial black make Pullman Green? I wonder where
Dubin came up with that notion, which I find seriously lacking in
credibility. Copper oxide pigment was what the Santa Fe used to make the
olive green (somewhat lighter than Pullman Green) they used on passenger
cars, and it seems reasonable to me that the Santa Fe was following common
industry practice in this regard.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520