Topics

Heinz "Coffin Tank" Pickle Cars


Bill J.
 

OK, we've all seen them, they've been produced by everyone from Tyco to Westerfield.  The question is, how late were they used?

Thanks, Bill Jolitz


Eric Hansmann
 

Bill.

 

The 1943 ORER lists 21 pickle tank cars for HJ Heinz, but few looked exactly the same.

 

One of these cars, HJHX 43, has a 60,000 pound capacity. It might be one of the truss rod coffin-type pickle cars. These have only been produced by Westerfield Models.

 

17 other cars have a 80,000 pound capacity (70, 72, 80-84, 100, 102, 104) and were similar to the Athearn pickle tank car model with the enclosed sides.

 

The remaining cars (106, 113, 114) were all 100,000 pound capacity. I have not seen photographs of these cars. There are photos of HJHX 115, 116, and 117 in David Leider’s wonderful book, “Pickle and Vinegar Makers of the Midwest.” These cars look longer than the others. I recommend this book for details on this industry and the freight cars that were used. FYI, Leider notes there were only Heinz three pickle tank cars listed in the July 1963 ORER.

 

IIRC, Tyco or AHM produced a vinegar tank car with Heinz lettering. I do not recall a pickle tank car.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill J. via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2020 8:28 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Heinz "Coffin Tank" Pickle Cars

 

OK, we've all seen them, they've been produced by everyone from Tyco to Westerfield.  The question is, how late were they used?

Thanks, Bill Jolitz


Bill J.
 

I found a #83 for sale from Overland in brass.  Wondering if I "need" one for the summer of 1943 in the southern San Joaquin Valley.  I fear they are more of a Midwest than far West car.

Thanks, Eric,

Bill Jolitz


Douglas Harding
 

Dave Lieder’s book is good, but focuses on the Midwest Pickle and Vinegar production. It does not contain much on production in California.

 

A map in this 1910 publication  https://archive.org/details/hjheinzcompanypr00hjhe/page/n5/mode/2up shows Heinz had Distributing Warehouses in San Francisco and Los Angeles and Distributing Agencies in Sacramento and San Diego. But all their salting stations and factories were in the upper Midwest and the East. The Coffin cars were used for moving cucumbers from salting stations to factories. You may not see a Heinz coffin car in California. But a lot of cucumbers, including cukes for pickling are raised in California, including the San Joaquin area. That means cukes had to move from salting stations to factories, most likely in vats on flatcars. The coffin cars was one design, used by companies besides Heinz. The covered tanks on a flatcar, ie the Athearn car, was another, used by many companies. Find out who was making pickles in that area, and you may determine what car would be appropriate. Because Athearn make a pickle car, it is most likely Irv saw one from his building and duplicated it, like he did with so many of his cars.

 

One company operating in LA in 1891 was The Western Manufacturing and Pickle Factory.

 

Vinegar is another side of the pickle story. I have a copy of a photo of Heinz vinegar car HJHX 200 taken in 1940 in Roseville CA. So Heinz was moving cars in California close to your specified time.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill J. via groups.io
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2020 4:22 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Heinz "Coffin Tank" Pickle Cars

 

I found a #83 for sale from Overland in brass.  Wondering if I "need" one for the summer of 1943 in the southern San Joaquin Valley.  I fear they are more of a Midwest than far West car.

Thanks, Eric,

Bill Jolitz


Bill J.
 

Doug, that's the final word for me, thank you.

Bill Jolitz