[EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors


Bruce Smith
 

Ray,

Red pigments are one of the earliest color pigments that human used. Red pigments occur naturally in the form of iron oxides, hence the name "oxide red" as a common paint color for that boxcar red sort of color. Of course, these colors have brown and orange overtones, so they are not the "pure" reds that one associates with the color "caboose red". One of the first uses that I am aware of for a "red" is the PRR's red background for keystones on passenger engines and signs. This color was called "toluidine red" and its use began in the late 1920. The paint was expensive and therefore unlikely to be used for the exterior of cars. Widespread use of truly red car paint seems to coincide with the introduction of synthetic paints and pigments following WWII.

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Hutchison <rayhutchison2@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 6:35 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
I know that the answer for individual railroads will differ, but I am wondering when the "caboose red" started to be used?  Color photographs (there are not many) of older cabeese show a boxcar red or similar color, but at some point rialroads began to paint their cars in colors that carried through to modern period.  My particular interest is Great Northern, contemporary models (including brass) show the early wood boxcars in caboose red... but before this, what color would they have been painted?

Ray Hutchison
Green Bay WI


Charles Peck
 

Out of not knowing, I am wondering about the uses of lead oxides.  Grandfather, an L&N RR 
boilermaker, had mason jars of red lead and white lead that he had brought home from the shops.
I seem to recall the red lead being used as a primer coat. Were these common in RR shops? 
What other uses would these have had? 
Chuck Peck

On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 9:15 AM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Ray,

Red pigments are one of the earliest color pigments that human used. Red pigments occur naturally in the form of iron oxides, hence the name "oxide red" as a common paint color for that boxcar red sort of color. Of course, these colors have brown and orange overtones, so they are not the "pure" reds that one associates with the color "caboose red". One of the first uses that I am aware of for a "red" is the PRR's red background for keystones on passenger engines and signs. This color was called "toluidine red" and its use began in the late 1920. The paint was expensive and therefore unlikely to be used for the exterior of cars. Widespread use of truly red car paint seems to coincide with the introduction of synthetic paints and pigments following WWII.

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Hutchison <rayhutchison2@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 6:35 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
I know that the answer for individual railroads will differ, but I am wondering when the "caboose red" started to be used?  Color photographs (there are not many) of older cabeese show a boxcar red or similar color, but at some point rialroads began to paint their cars in colors that carried through to modern period.  My particular interest is Great Northern, contemporary models (including brass) show the early wood boxcars in caboose red... but before this, what color would they have been painted?

Ray Hutchison
Green Bay WI


Ralph W. Brown
 

Hi Chuck,
 
The use of “white lead” and “red lead” was not limited to railroads.  White lead was a major paint component.  Oil, typically boiled linseed oil, pigments, driers, and solvents, typically mineral spirits or turpentine, were added to white lead to make now largely banned “lead paint.” 
 
“Red lead” was a lead based paint commonly used as a primer, especially, but not exclusively, over steel as it has rust inhibiting qualities.  We used a lot of it in the Navy and Coast Guard.  It has since largely been replaced by other non-lead red colored primers that some still called “red lead.” 
 
While assigned to the Skipjack in the ‘60s, we used a vinyl paint system that started with zinc chromate primer on bare HY80 steel, sometimes followed by a vinyl “red lead” primer, and then the black vinyl color coat.  MEK was the solvent used for these primers and paints.  I guess my point is that in some circles at least “red lead” became a generic name for any red primer regardless of whether it contained lead.
 
Pax,
 
 
Ralph Brown
Portland, Maine
PRRT&HS No. 3966
NMRA No. L2532

rbrown51[at]maine[dot]rr[dot]com
 

From: Charles Peck
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 9:39 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
Out of not knowing, I am wondering about the uses of lead oxides.  Grandfather, an L&N RR
boilermaker, had mason jars of red lead and white lead that he had brought home from the shops.
I seem to recall the red lead being used as a primer coat. Were these common in RR shops?
What other uses would these have had?
Chuck Peck
 
On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 9:15 AM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Ray,
 
Red pigments are one of the earliest color pigments that human used. Red pigments occur naturally in the form of iron oxides, hence the name "oxide red" as a common paint color for that boxcar red sort of color. Of course, these colors have brown and orange overtones, so they are not the "pure" reds that one associates with the color "caboose red". One of the first uses that I am aware of for a "red" is the PRR's red background for keystones on passenger engines and signs. This color was called "toluidine red" and its use began in the late 1920. The paint was expensive and therefore unlikely to be used for the exterior of cars. Widespread use of truly red car paint seems to coincide with the introduction of synthetic paints and pigments following WWII.
 
Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL
 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Hutchison <rayhutchison2@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 6:35 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
I know that the answer for individual railroads will differ, but I am wondering when the "caboose red" started to be used?  Color photographs (there are not many) of older cabeese show a boxcar red or similar color, but at some point rialroads began to paint their cars in colors that carried through to modern period.  My particular interest is Great Northern, contemporary models (including brass) show the early wood boxcars in caboose red... but before this, what color would they have been painted?

Ray Hutchison
Green Bay WI


Philip Dove
 

Just in case people don't know, red lead at least in a school laboratory grade was actually orange, not even orangey red. Genuine Red lead priming paint was also orange when l sold it in the 1970s and 1980s. White lead was white as a paint but not the brilliant white of paint pigmented with titanium oxide. 
I got the impression that while artist had a pallete of bright colours, for use on structure or as a protective coating paints were before the 1940s usually duller colours. Blue was not popular because it faded quickly in daylight. 



-------- Original message --------
From: "Ralph W. Brown" <rbrown51@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2021, 16:52
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
Hi Chuck,
 
The use of “white lead” and “red lead” was not limited to railroads.  White lead was a major paint component.  Oil, typically boiled linseed oil, pigments, driers, and solvents, typically mineral spirits or turpentine, were added to white lead to make now largely banned “lead paint.” 
 
“Red lead” was a lead based paint commonly used as a primer, especially, but not exclusively, over steel as it has rust inhibiting qualities.  We used a lot of it in the Navy and Coast Guard.  It has since largely been replaced by other non-lead red colored primers that some still called “red lead.” 
 
While assigned to the Skipjack in the ‘60s, we used a vinyl paint system that started with zinc chromate primer on bare HY80 steel, sometimes followed by a vinyl “red lead” primer, and then the black vinyl color coat.  MEK was the solvent used for these primers and paints.  I guess my point is that in some circles at least “red lead” became a generic name for any red primer regardless of whether it contained lead.
 
Pax,
 
 
Ralph Brown
Portland, Maine
PRRT&HS No. 3966
NMRA No. L2532

rbrown51[at]maine[dot]rr[dot]com
 
From: Charles Peck
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 9:39 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
Out of not knowing, I am wondering about the uses of lead oxides.  Grandfather, an L&N RR
boilermaker, had mason jars of red lead and white lead that he had brought home from the shops.
I seem to recall the red lead being used as a primer coat. Were these common in RR shops?
What other uses would these have had?
Chuck Peck
 
On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 9:15 AM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Ray,
 
Red pigments are one of the earliest color pigments that human used. Red pigments occur naturally in the form of iron oxides, hence the name "oxide red" as a common paint color for that boxcar red sort of color. Of course, these colors have brown and orange overtones, so they are not the "pure" reds that one associates with the color "caboose red". One of the first uses that I am aware of for a "red" is the PRR's red background for keystones on passenger engines and signs. This color was called "toluidine red" and its use began in the late 1920. The paint was expensive and therefore unlikely to be used for the exterior of cars. Widespread use of truly red car paint seems to coincide with the introduction of synthetic paints and pigments following WWII.
 
Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL
 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Hutchison <rayhutchison2@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 6:35 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
I know that the answer for individual railroads will differ, but I am wondering when the "caboose red" started to be used?  Color photographs (there are not many) of older cabeese show a boxcar red or similar color, but at some point rialroads began to paint their cars in colors that carried through to modern period.  My particular interest is Great Northern, contemporary models (including brass) show the early wood boxcars in caboose red... but before this, what color would they have been painted?

Ray Hutchison
Green Bay WI


Dave Parker
 

There is  a fascinating book called "The Painting of Railway Equipment" by B E Miller that dates to 1924:

https://books.google.com/books/about/Painting_of_Railway_Equipment.html?id=3HA5AAAAMAAJ

He lists these red pigments:  vermilion (mercury sulfide), red lead, Venetian red, Indian red, and Tuscan red.  Based on the descriptions, I don't think there would have been any problem formulating a paint that would correspond to our current impression of "caboose red".  I think cadmium-based paints provided (and still do) the most vivid reds, but I'm guessing they were too pricey for use on rail cars.

In the FWIW department, at that time the B&M's cabooses had distinctly red ends, but freight-car color (i.e., oxide) sides.  I don't know if this practice was common on other roads.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Bruce Smith
 

Chuck,

Red lead was extremely common in RR shops. But as noted, it was generally a primer and had an oxide red color. 

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Charles Peck <lnnrr152@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 8:39 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
Out of not knowing, I am wondering about the uses of lead oxides.  Grandfather, an L&N RR 
boilermaker, had mason jars of red lead and white lead that he had brought home from the shops.
I seem to recall the red lead being used as a primer coat. Were these common in RR shops? 
What other uses would these have had? 
Chuck Peck

On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 9:15 AM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Ray,

Red pigments are one of the earliest color pigments that human used. Red pigments occur naturally in the form of iron oxides, hence the name "oxide red" as a common paint color for that boxcar red sort of color. Of course, these colors have brown and orange overtones, so they are not the "pure" reds that one associates with the color "caboose red". One of the first uses that I am aware of for a "red" is the PRR's red background for keystones on passenger engines and signs. This color was called "toluidine red" and its use began in the late 1920. The paint was expensive and therefore unlikely to be used for the exterior of cars. Widespread use of truly red car paint seems to coincide with the introduction of synthetic paints and pigments following WWII.

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Hutchison <rayhutchison2@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 6:35 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
I know that the answer for individual railroads will differ, but I am wondering when the "caboose red" started to be used?  Color photographs (there are not many) of older cabeese show a boxcar red or similar color, but at some point rialroads began to paint their cars in colors that carried through to modern period.  My particular interest is Great Northern, contemporary models (including brass) show the early wood boxcars in caboose red... but before this, what color would they have been painted?

Ray Hutchison
Green Bay WI


Jeffrey Gray
 

Attached photo, Iron Workers 1960 (no tie off BUT hard hats?). The "red iron" and I agree it is pretty much orange!



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Philip Dove <philipdove22@...>
Date: 7/4/21 1:12 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors

Just in case people don't know, red lead at least in a school laboratory grade was actually orange, not even orangey red. Genuine Red lead priming paint was also orange when l sold it in the 1970s and 1980s. White lead was white as a paint but not the brilliant white of paint pigmented with titanium oxide. 
I got the impression that while artist had a pallete of bright colours, for use on structure or as a protective coating paints were before the 1940s usually duller colours. Blue was not popular because it faded quickly in daylight. 



-------- Original message --------
From: "Ralph W. Brown" <rbrown51@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2021, 16:52
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
Hi Chuck,
 
The use of “white lead” and “red lead” was not limited to railroads.  White lead was a major paint component.  Oil, typically boiled linseed oil, pigments, driers, and solvents, typically mineral spirits or turpentine, were added to white lead to make now largely banned “lead paint.” 
 
“Red lead” was a lead based paint commonly used as a primer, especially, but not exclusively, over steel as it has rust inhibiting qualities.  We used a lot of it in the Navy and Coast Guard.  It has since largely been replaced by other non-lead red colored primers that some still called “red lead.” 
 
While assigned to the Skipjack in the ‘60s, we used a vinyl paint system that started with zinc chromate primer on bare HY80 steel, sometimes followed by a vinyl “red lead” primer, and then the black vinyl color coat.  MEK was the solvent used for these primers and paints.  I guess my point is that in some circles at least “red lead” became a generic name for any red primer regardless of whether it contained lead.
 
Pax,
 
 
Ralph Brown
Portland, Maine
PRRT&HS No. 3966
NMRA No. L2532

rbrown51[at]maine[dot]rr[dot]com
 
From: Charles Peck
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 9:39 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
Out of not knowing, I am wondering about the uses of lead oxides.  Grandfather, an L&N RR
boilermaker, had mason jars of red lead and white lead that he had brought home from the shops.
I seem to recall the red lead being used as a primer coat. Were these common in RR shops?
What other uses would these have had?
Chuck Peck
 
On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 9:15 AM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Ray,
 
Red pigments are one of the earliest color pigments that human used. Red pigments occur naturally in the form of iron oxides, hence the name "oxide red" as a common paint color for that boxcar red sort of color. Of course, these colors have brown and orange overtones, so they are not the "pure" reds that one associates with the color "caboose red". One of the first uses that I am aware of for a "red" is the PRR's red background for keystones on passenger engines and signs. This color was called "toluidine red" and its use began in the late 1920. The paint was expensive and therefore unlikely to be used for the exterior of cars. Widespread use of truly red car paint seems to coincide with the introduction of synthetic paints and pigments following WWII.
 
Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL
 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Hutchison <rayhutchison2@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 6:35 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
I know that the answer for individual railroads will differ, but I am wondering when the "caboose red" started to be used?  Color photographs (there are not many) of older cabeese show a boxcar red or similar color, but at some point rialroads began to paint their cars in colors that carried through to modern period.  My particular interest is Great Northern, contemporary models (including brass) show the early wood boxcars in caboose red... but before this, what color would they have been painted?

Ray Hutchison
Green Bay WI


Dennis Storzek
 

On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 11:01 AM, Bruce Smith wrote:
Red lead was extremely common in RR shops. But as noted, it was generally a primer and had an oxide red color. 
Not unless it has been adulterated with something. The red lead primer I'm familiar with has a bright orange color. The iron workers at the transit authority used it a lot for priming the overlapping surfaces of repairs on the elevated structure; priming both surfaces and bolting the parts up while the paint was still wet, back in the seventies when I was there.

Here's a color reference: https://colourlex.com/project/red-lead/

Dennis Storzek


Jim Betz
 

  OK - we all agree that the paint called "red lead" wasn't very red.  Done.
But this thread has been entirely hijacked by those posting - correct information
that isn't exactly "on topic"  ... the OP wants to know "when were cabooses
first painted Red?".  Not 'red lead', not the earlier 'iron oxide' but the classic
red caboose.  Yes, the actual color varied from RR to RR - he's not interested
in that variation but rather wants some idea of when the use of Red paint for
cabeese was first used/became so common across all the RRs.
  And, if you know, when it was first used on the GN (because that is his
RR of primary interest).
  I suspect he may also like to know "why?" ... why was it adopted for
cabeese for so many RRs?  My -guess- about that is ... wait for it ... 
simply to improve visibility.

  Come on guys - someone has to know the answer.  Even if it is only for
their RR and not the GN.
                                                                                   - Jim


Jim Betz
 

Ralph,
  In the Coast Guard we called zinc chromate "green death".  The drill was
Chip, Paint, and Soogey.  Chip off the old paint until you got down to bare
metal (using a chipping hammer), paint it (zinc chromate, red lead, and lastly
color), and soogey (keep it clean by scrubbing with a stiff brush and washing
the dirt and soap into the sea.  One of the primary tasks of anyone with a
Seaman's rank and even a few 3rd class Petty Officer's from time to time.
                                                                                        - Jim


Jerry Michels
 

Hi Jim, well to put in my comment, but for the MP not GN, the MP painted its cabooses 'caboose red' as did the Iron Mountain before the MP bought it in 1915.  So caboose red was an early paint .  We also have paper documents that say the IM used caboose red, At some time, probably the 1920s the railroad changed to 'boxcar red' which lasted until the 1970s when the MP went back to 'caboose red" but probably no the original 'caboose red' but more of a 'vermilion red.' There was a touch of orange in it. The story is complex some were freshly painted 'boxcar red' and some the newer 'vermillion red' and part of the story has to do with how the cabooses were repainted, and the fading of a brand of 'caboose red' to orange if it was washed with alkali rather than acid detergent. This led to the story that the MP painted cabooses orange,  They didn't, it was faded vermillion. The final color was an Imron Bright caboose red.  By the way, many years ago RMC had a misprint stating that the caboose they pictured was painted blue.  Never happened. If anyone wants more details on caboose colors on the MoPac, I wrote a book on them. Probably still available somewhere.

Jerry  Michels


Jeffrey Gray
 

Yes, back to the question. Red fades and was a problem. But, B&O "Devils Red" maybe late 1930s and NKP post war I am pretty sure. PRR, NYC, et al, stayed with the more brown color (this is best way I know not to flame the fires of PRR folks, apology is extended).



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Jim Betz <jimbetz@...>
Date: 7/4/21 3:16 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors

Ralph,
  In the Coast Guard we called zinc chromate "green death".  The drill was
Chip, Paint, and Soogey.  Chip off the old paint until you got down to bare
metal (using a chipping hammer), paint it (zinc chromate, red lead, and lastly
color), and soogey (keep it clean by scrubbing with a stiff brush and washing
the dirt and soap into the sea.  One of the primary tasks of anyone with a
Seaman's rank and even a few 3rd class Petty Officer's from time to time.
                                                                                        - Jim


Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>
 

Dave,

The Sacramento Northern did this with their cabooses from at least the late 1930s. The practice stopped on some repaints of cabooses obtained from the WP in the early 1950s as far as I can tell from photos. Some of their older cabooses were still painted this way until retired in the late 1950s. Attached is a Will Whittaker photo (poorly focused, one of his rare booboos) showing this paint scheme around 1948. I have seen this in color films as well, and I can also spot it in some well-balanced black-and-white photos.

The Southern Pacific painted caboose ends a bright orange, probably starting in the 1950s.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 1:38 PM Dave Parker via groups.io <spottab=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
There is  a fascinating book called "The Painting of Railway Equipment" by B E Miller that dates to 1924:

https://books.google.com/books/about/Painting_of_Railway_Equipment.html?id=3HA5AAAAMAAJ

He lists these red pigments:  vermilion (mercury sulfide), red lead, Venetian red, Indian red, and Tuscan red.  Based on the descriptions, I don't think there would have been any problem formulating a paint that would correspond to our current impression of "caboose red".  I think cadmium-based paints provided (and still do) the most vivid reds, but I'm guessing they were too pricey for use on rail cars.

In the FWIW department, at that time the B&M's cabooses had distinctly red ends, but freight-car color (i.e., oxide) sides.  I don't know if this practice was common on other roads.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Tony Thompson
 

Garth Groff wrote:

The Southern Pacific painted caboose ends a bright orange, probably starting in the 1950s.
Actually that started in 1955. Ends were Daylight Orange and so specified on the lettering drawing.

Tony Thompson
tony@signaturepress.com


akerboomk
 

To expand on Dave Parker’s post…

 

In the 1900 / 1907 painting guides for the B&M (Available from the B&MRRHS), caboose sides were “Brown”, ends (including cupola ends) were “Red”.

 

So on the B&M the [partial] use of red dates back to at least that point…

 

Ken

 

 


--
Ken Akerboom


Bruce Smith
 

Dennis, Folks,

Part of the issue with defining the color of red lead primer is that, as a natural metal oxide, its color can vary. 

Webster's dictionary defines red lead as "an orange-red to brick-red lead oxide Pb3O4 used in storage-battery plates, in glass and ceramics, and as a paint pigment." 

Thus, no need to adulterate red lead to get an oxide red color.

I have seen a number of photos with a brick red color to the red lead primer. 

Frankly, if it is bright orange, I suspect that it is not pure Pb3O4 😉

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 1:58 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
 
On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 11:01 AM, Bruce Smith wrote:
Red lead was extremely common in RR shops. But as noted, it was generally a primer and had an oxide red color. 
Not unless it has been adulterated with something. The red lead primer I'm familiar with has a bright orange color. The iron workers at the transit authority used it a lot for priming the overlapping surfaces of repairs on the elevated structure; priming both surfaces and bolting the parts up while the paint was still wet, back in the seventies when I was there.

Here's a color reference: https://colourlex.com/project/red-lead/

Dennis Storzek


Eric Hansmann
 

It seems a few large roads painted the cabooses in the same freight car color as their boxcar fleets into the 1930s. B&O, NYC, and PRR come to mind. 
 
IIRC, B&O introduced the brighter Devils Red I’m the late 1930s. 


Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN


On Jul 4, 2021, at 2:32 PM, Jeffrey Gray <bigsix@...> wrote:

Yes, back to the question. Red fades and was a problem. But, B&O "Devils Red" maybe late 1930s and NKP post war I am pretty sure. PRR, NYC, et al, stayed with the more brown color (this is best way I know not to flame the fires of PRR folks, apology is extended).



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Jim Betz <jimbetz@...>
Date: 7/4/21 3:16 PM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors

Ralph,
  In the Coast Guard we called zinc chromate "green death".  The drill was
Chip, Paint, and Soogey.  Chip off the old paint until you got down to bare
metal (using a chipping hammer), paint it (zinc chromate, red lead, and lastly
color), and soogey (keep it clean by scrubbing with a stiff brush and washing
the dirt and soap into the sea.  One of the primary tasks of anyone with a
Seaman's rank and even a few 3rd class Petty Officer's from time to time.
                                                                                        - Jim


O Fenton Wells
 

And SRR in the Brosnan era


On Jul 4, 2021, at 7:14 PM, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:

It seems a few large roads painted the cabooses in the same freight car color as their boxcar fleets into the 1930s. B&O, NYC, and PRR come to mind. 
 
IIRC, B&O introduced the brighter Devils Red I’m the late 1930s. 


Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN


On Jul 4, 2021, at 2:32 PM, Jeffrey Gray <bigsix@...> wrote:

Yes, back to the question. Red fades and was a problem. But, B&O "Devils Red" maybe late 1930s and NKP post war I am pretty sure. PRR, NYC, et al, stayed with the more brown color (this is best way I know not to flame the fires of PRR folks, apology is extended).



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Jim Betz <jimbetz@...>
Date: 7/4/21 3:16 PM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors

Ralph,
  In the Coast Guard we called zinc chromate "green death".  The drill was
Chip, Paint, and Soogey.  Chip off the old paint until you got down to bare
metal (using a chipping hammer), paint it (zinc chromate, red lead, and lastly
color), and soogey (keep it clean by scrubbing with a stiff brush and washing
the dirt and soap into the sea.  One of the primary tasks of anyone with a
Seaman's rank and even a few 3rd class Petty Officer's from time to time.
                                                                                        - Jim


Doug Paasch
 

This is a cross-posting I just placed on the GN list, but here is what I have on GN caboose colors:

 

I dug out my copy of “Rocky and Old Bill – A History of Great Northern Paint and Lettering Schemes” by Hank Stevens published and copyrighted in 1994.  According to it, the paint scheme for GN cabooses was “mineral red” with white lettering into the 1920s, and was changed to vermillion bodies with black roofs, trucks, underframes, end platforms, and ladders in the 1920’s, with some cabooses still in mineral red into the 1930s.  The lettering starting with the vermillion cabooses was yellow into the 1950s, and if repainted 1953-1956, lettering was changed to white.  The roofs started being painted silver in the early 1960s, although wood roofs could be painted silver or black even then.  And of course, 1967 was when Big Sky Blue replaced vermillion.

 

So the short answer is, mineral red (boxcar red) into the 1920s, then vermillion 1920s until 1967, with many remaining vermillion to the end.  White lettering into the 1920s on mineral red, then yellow lettering on vermillion 1920s to 1950s, then white lettering on vermillion 1950s, then white on BSB 1967 when repainted or if new.

 

   Doug Paasch

 

 


prrrob
 

Hi all,

The PRR painted cabin cars (caboose) bright red as far back as 1891.  (But soon changed to freight car color on the Pennsy as I'm guessing cost won out over safety?)

"The standard cabin car color is the pigment  known as scarlet lead chromate.  It is always purchased dry.  The material desired under this specification is the  basic chromate of  lead (PbCrO, PbO), rendered brilliant by  treatment with sulphuric acid, and as free as possible from all other substances."
The article continues with why bright red was chosen for safety and why red lead and genuine vermillion weren't chosen (too orange and too expensive respectively).


For tons more period information on paints on the railroad and more see:
http://prr.railfan.net/documents/Contributions_To_Practical_Railroad_Information_index.html
Contributions to Practical Railroad Information

"This is a series of articles by Dr. C. B. Dudley, Chemist, and F. N. Pease, Assistant Chemist, of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who are in charge of the testing laboratory at Altoona. They will give summaries of original researches and of work done in testing materials in the laboratory referred to, and very complete specifications of the different kinds of material which are used on the road and which must be bought by the Company."


Rob Schoenberg