Hairinsul Insulation


Bob Chaparro
 

Hairinsul Insulation

Factoid:

Hairinsul was an insulation product patented in 1923 by the American Hair Felt Company and made from chemically cleaned and felted cattle hair.

This insulation initially was used in wood-sheathed wood refrigerator cars. In the late 1930 Johns-Manville jointly worked with the Santa Fe Railway to explore its use in steel-sheathed refrigerator cars rebuilt from Santa Fe’s wood-sheathed cars.

But eventually Santa Fe chose Johns-Manville’s Dry-Zero insulation. This material was similar to kapok, a seed-hair fiber obtained from the fruit of the kapok tree.

Below is an advertisement for Hairinsul from a 1952 issue of Railway Age.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


John Sykes III
 

To the best of my knowledge, Hairinsul was used by PFE in their reefers.  I think it was combustible, hence stenciling on steel cars not to use torches during repairs (or something like that).

-- John


Tony Thompson
 

John Sykes III wrote:

To the best of my knowledge, Hairinsul was used by PFE in their reefers.  I think it was combustible, hence stenciling on steel cars not to use torches during repairs (or something like that).

No, the flammable insulation in PFE's steel reefers was kapok, QUITE flammable.

Tony Thompson




John Sykes III
 

Thanks, Tony.  My memory ain't what it used to be.

-- John