PFE 9245x R-30-5 in April 1943 - still in late 1920s paint?


Robert kirkham
 

Continue to explore what is lurking in the Delano collection, and found this very partial image of PFE 9245X.   It is past the shed, among the nearer cars one track to its left (a little lower and further left than the two aluminum or white coloured tanks).   https://www.loc.gov/item/2017878186/.   Being only casually acquainted with the PFE, I went to the ORER first, and then to the PFE book and Tony Thompson’s blog.   Still wondering what I’m seeing.   So, not trying to be provocative but the photo makes me curious. 


My understanding has been that the earlier, more yellow, PFE colour would have been long gone by the mid 1930s (see p.117 of the PFE book by Thompson, Church & Jones, 2nd ed.) but this photo (8-9 years after 47606 cars had been (re)-painted) doesn’t show orange.   I’m thinking: armour-yellowish car sides, bare galvanized roof with bare wood or boxcar red battens, hatches, platforms and running boards, and uh?? boxcar red car end (unless that’s black?).   I suppose it could be very badly worn paint; it is mid WWII after all.

The other explanation -  colour issues with Delano photos - does not provide a satisfying explanation for this photo.  The rendering of colour in the balance of the photo indicates that orange was well within the capability of the film and exposure.  This small piece of loading dock equipment (to the left of the MKT boxcar) demonstrates that:

These other cars provide further evidence of the great range of colour in the photo.  Both are interesting, eh!  


Still having a lot of fun just exploring Delano’s record.


Rob


Tony Thompson
 

Rob Kirkham wrote:

Continue to explore what is lurking in the Delano collection, and found this very partial image of PFE 9245X.   It is past the shed, among the nearer cars one track to its left (a little lower and further left than the two aluminum or white coloured tanks).   https://www.loc.gov/item/2017878186/.   Being only casually acquainted with the PFE, I went to the ORER first, and then to the PFE book and Tony Thompson’s blog.   Still wondering what I’m seeing.   So, not trying to be provocative but the photo makes me curious. 

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My understanding has been that the earlier, more yellow, PFE colour would have been long gone by the mid 1930s (see p.117 of the PFE book by Thompson, Church & Jones, 2nd ed.) but this photo (8-9 years after 47606 cars had been (re)-painted) doesn’t show orange.  

Rob, it’s well known that PFE orange weathered/faded to a yellowish color. That’s what you see.

Tony Thompson



lrkdbn
 

That third photo intrigues me.What was the TMX car? Also, I think the next car is a ex Reading steel frame reefer in service to ERDX or DSDX
Larry King


Robert kirkham
 

The TMX reporting mark has a note in the 1953 ORER that says “See Mars Incorporated and Union Refrigerator Transit Lines, a Division of General American Transportation Corp”.  The TMX listing under URT notes that these cars are to be returned to the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific RR”, which is also interesting.  In 1953 there are three number series, 1000-1249, 1250-1399 and 1400-1999, for a total of 74 cars.    They are called out as between 41’6 and 43’ 5” external length, with internal length between 32’ 9 and 33’ 2”.

Rob   



On May 15, 2022, at 9:50 AM, lrkdbn via groups.io <lrkdbn@...> wrote:

That third photo intrigues me.What was the TMX car? Also, I think the next car is a ex Reading steel frame reefer in service to ERDX or DSDX
Larry King


Dennis Storzek
 

On Sun, May 15, 2022 at 09:57 AM, Robert kirkham wrote:
The TMX reporting mark has a note in the 1953 ORER that says “See Mars Incorporated and Union Refrigerator Transit Lines, a Division of General American Transportation Corp”.  The TMX listing under URT notes that these cars are to be returned to the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific RR”, which is also interesting.
The "Mars Incorporated" is a reference to the Mars Candy Co., located on Chicago's far west side and served by the Milwaukee Road. The plant, which was located in a residential area, just recently closed.

Dennis Storzek


Jack Mullen
 

The Mars billboard reefers painted chocolate brown are fairly well known, since foobie versions have been applied to a number of inappropriate models. The post-ban plain lettered cars are less well known.  From b/w photos which showed a dark body color, I'd assumed the TMX cars remained in brown. This photo however seems to be dark green.  Anybody know more?

Jack Mullen


ed_mines
 

I've seen many B&W photos of long strings of PFE reefers on the Erie.
Some cars are light colored; some are dark.
Erie had at least one tunnel which would get very smokey with a steam locomotive. The dark colored car are probably covered with soot and grime.)
Many colorants blanch (lighten in color) in sunlight. Old Westerfield boxes are a good example.
PFE inspected every car being returned and washed some cars. I think the cleaning solution may have encouraged the color shift.
Car servicing including washing and repainting was probably limited during WWII.
Tony's excellent book has pictures of steam era PFE cars in color and they were orange.
I've seen early '50s era color pictures of PFE reefers where the car side is yellow/gold and the reweigh data is on an orange, repainted background. 



al_brown03
 

On the subject of color shifts in old photos: understanding that the Mars car is actually chocolate brown, my first reaction was "Brunswick green".

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.


Robert kirkham
 

Hi Al,

I’m pretty sure that green is not a colour-shifted version of chocolate brown.  There is a sea of brown around the car, so i think the film was in the ballpark and the car was actually green.   My understanding of Brunswick green is that it is a bit of yellow added to black, and i would contrast that with the colour used on this reefer, which is brighter/lighter.   Of note, it is a very fresh coat of paint, or recently varnished or waxed - you can see the reflection of the cyilindrical white tank car on the shiny surface of the paint on the reefer (in the vicinity of the 67 in the car number).

Rob   



On May 16, 2022, at 9:15 AM, al_brown03 <abrown@...> wrote:

On the subject of color shifts in old photos: understanding that the Mars car is actually chocolate brown, my first reaction was "Brunswick green".

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.


Robert kirkham
 

It's a bit of a revelation for me.   Tony answered my basic question about PFE colours the other day, but my long understanding of PFE car colour - and especially the colour it faded to - was not as extreme as it should have been.    Here is another colour study from the same image as the Dry Ice reefer: https://www.loc.gov/item/2017878179/.  The Milwaukee cabooses, the other (non PFE reefers behind and also right) all show variations in colours that (to me at least) help make sense of the colour evident on PFE 72721 or 73781 - immediately above the cabooses ad partly behind the power pole.  

I’ve never done a PFE model with that colour on the sides.  Seems i have some work to do.

   

Rob

On May 16, 2022, at 8:47 AM, ed_mines via groups.io <ed_mines@...> wrote:

I've seen many B&W photos of long strings of PFE reefers on the Erie.
Some cars are light colored; some are dark.
Erie had at least one tunnel which would get very smokey with a steam locomotive. The dark colored car are probably covered with soot and grime.)
Many colorants blanch (lighten in color) in sunlight. Old Westerfield boxes are a good example.
PFE inspected every car being returned and washed some cars. I think the cleaning solution may have encouraged the color shift.
Car servicing including washing and repainting was probably limited during WWII.
Tony's excellent book has pictures of steam era PFE cars in color and they were orange.
I've seen early '50s era color pictures of PFE reefers where the car side is yellow/gold and the reweigh data is on an orange, repainted background.