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Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar


Bob Chaparro
 

Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar

An undated photo from the Los Angeles City Public Library:

https://tessa.lapl.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/photos/id/100971/rec/1247

Caption: "Barrels of liquor are stacked in a railroad car, ready to be transported. The number 1 is written on the top of each barrel."

A good view of how these barrels were secured in a boxcar. It's possible these are beer barrels as they appear to be the same kind of barrels as shown in this photo, although the boxcar is not the same one:

https://tessa.lapl.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/photos/id/103564/rec/16

Caption: "One man brings a barrel of Los Angeles Brewing Co. beer as two men roll the barrel on a railroad car. The barrels are stacked into the railroad car and later transported."

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Riverboy
 

I love these photos, but I kind of chuckled when I saw that beer barrels are being loaded onto a box car marked "Automobile". Is that encouraging drinking and driving? EmojiEmojiEmoji

Ok, maybe sort of lame, but I couldn't resist. But for real, the photos are very interesting. Especially the interior photo of how they are stacked and braced.

Tod C Dwyer

On Monday, March 16, 2020, 12:43:45 PM EDT, Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io <chiefbobbb@...> wrote:


Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar

An undated photo from the Los Angeles City Public Library:

https://tessa.lapl.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/photos/id/100971/rec/1247

Caption: "Barrels of liquor are stacked in a railroad car, ready to be transported. The number 1 is written on the top of each barrel."

A good view of how these barrels were secured in a boxcar. It's possible these are beer barrels as they appear to be the same kind of barrels as shown in this photo, although the boxcar is not the same one:

https://tessa.lapl.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/photos/id/103564/rec/16

Caption: "One man brings a barrel of Los Angeles Brewing Co. beer as two men roll the barrel on a railroad car. The barrels are stacked into the railroad car and later transported."

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Paul Woods <paul@...>
 

Bob, fantastic photos - thanks for sharing.

And a general question to the group: Presumably these loads would have required a decent sort of lock on the doors to prevent loss en-route....were they just a run-of-the-mill padlock type of affair or was there some standardisation, and were they applied by the railroad Agent or by the shipper?

Regards
Paul Woods

Whangarei, NZ


Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 02:33 AM, Paul Woods wrote:
And a general question to the group: Presumably these loads would have required a decent sort of lock on the doors to prevent loss en-route....were they just a run-of-the-mill padlock type of affair or was there some standardisation, and were they applied by the railroad Agent or by the shipper?
Car seals. A padlock can be picked, then snapped shut again after the pilferage is done, leaving the RR liable for the shortage. A car seal needs to be cut, leaving evidence of the deed. Security of shipments relied more on vigilant policing (which is why railroads had police departments) than strong locks. Subterfuge helped also; once sealed that carload of beer didn't look any different than a carload of anvils. Which is one of the reasons that all the gaudy brewery paint schemes disappeared from brewery owned cars early. Any value of advertising was more than offset by the increased pilferage that came with making the cars marked targets.

Dennis Storzek


Clark Propst
 

Cement was shipped in barrels for years. Many company's logos were round to fit the top of a barrel. Cement was still being sold by the barrel into the 60s. Maybe the 70s? Four sacks of regular Portland cement equal a barrel. Works out to 94 lbs per sack nowadays.
CW Propst 


Mont Switzer
 

Clark,

 

I had never heard of shipping cement in barrels.    

 

I know early cement loads shipped by truck consisted of bags stacked on flat bed trailers.  I just figured rail shipments were bags stacked in boxcars. 

 

What were the barrels made of?

 

Mont 

 

Montford L. Switzer

President

Switzer Tank Lines, Inc.

Fall Creek Leasing, LLC.

mswitzer@...

(765) 836-2914

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Clark Propst
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 10:22 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar

 

Cement was shipped in barrels for years. Many company's logos were round to fit the top of a barrel. Cement was still being sold by the barrel into the 60s. Maybe the 70s? Four sacks of regular Portland cement equal a barrel. Works out to 94 lbs per sack nowadays.
CW Propst 


Clark Propst
 

On Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 07:29 AM, Mont Switzer wrote:

I know early cement loads shipped by truck consisted of bags stacked on flat bed trailers.  I just figured rail shipments were bags stacked in boxcars. 

 What were the barrels made of?

 Mont 

They were before my time Mont. Bet you could Google them? They have to go back a ways. I do have a photo of cloth sacks on a packing machine, don't know if it's dated? I have photos of paper sacks being filled at the packing machine, being 'trucked' into a box car, braced in a box car, or later (60s) coming off a palletizing machine.  Also first experiments with shipping sacks on flat beds. In Iowa trucks were not allowed to haul out of cement plants until 1960. 
There's a Lehigh plant in Mitchel Ind. The Lehigh plant here used Mitchel transport co. to haul their products. Have to think there's a connection.
CW Propst


Mont Switzer
 

Clark and all,

 

The Lehigh Portland Cement plant in Mitchell, IN was on the B&O.  the Monon interchanged with the B&O at Mitchell and both railroads  provided covered hoppers to the plant for bulk loading.  I suspect the same was true for boxcars for bagged cement loading.

 

The B&O served another cement plant in southern Indiana indirectly.  The plant was at Speed, IN, on the PRR.  The plant owned/operated the Southern Indiana Railroad which switched the plant and  had trackage over a former electric line to Watson, IN so they could interchange with the B&O.  I always saw both B&O, PRR and other boxcars for bagged cement loading and B&O and PRR covered hoppers for bulk loading at the plant in Speed.

 

Where I’m going with all of this is in the 1950’s I would see B&O sidings in southern Indiana full of M-26 class low interior height boxcars just waiting for warm weather.  They were perfect for cement and gain loading in the area.  Most showed reweigh and repack stencils from the B&O shops in Washington, IN.

 

I’m sure boxcar loads of  bagged cement were shipped well into the 1960’s.  Most lumber years carried bagged cement back then, like the big box stores with lumber yards do now. 

 

FYI, I still weather my cement hoppers with real cement.  I use the fine cement the big box stores sell for setting lag bolts in foundations. 

 

Mont      

 

Montford L. Switzer

President

Switzer Tank Lines, Inc.

Fall Creek Leasing, LLC.

mswitzer@...

(765) 836-2914

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Clark Propst
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 10:50 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar

 

On Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 07:29 AM, Mont Switzer wrote:

I know early cement loads shipped by truck consisted of bags stacked on flat bed trailers.  I just figured rail shipments were bags stacked in boxcars. 

 What were the barrels made of?

 Mont 

They were before my time Mont. Bet you could Google them? They have to go back a ways. I do have a photo of cloth sacks on a packing machine, don't know if it's dated? I have photos of paper sacks being filled at the packing machine, being 'trucked' into a box car, braced in a box car, or later (60s) coming off a palletizing machine.  Also first experiments with shipping sacks on flat beds. In Iowa trucks were not allowed to haul out of cement plants until 1960. 
There's a Lehigh plant in Mitchel Ind. The Lehigh plant here used Mitchel transport co. to haul their products. Have to think there's a connection.
CW Propst


Clark Propst
 

On Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 08:36 AM, Mont Switzer wrote:
I’m sure boxcar loads of  bagged cement were shipped well into the 1960’s.  Most lumber years carried bagged cement back then, like the big box stores with lumber yards do now. 
One of the Mason City Ia. plants shipped bagged cement to their satellite facility in the Twin Cities by box car till the UP screwed everything up after they took over the CNW. Bags went out on flat beds all the time.
Here, hoppers stayed on home rails even with 5 RRs in town. Box cars were pool. Into the 60s cars from any road were loaded. In the mid/late 60s ? the CNW provided a fleet of cars
CW Propst


Tony Thompson
 

Dennis Storzek wrote:

Subterfuge helped also; once sealed that carload of beer didn't look any different than a carload of anvils. Which is one of the reasons that all the gaudy brewery paint schemes disappeared from brewery owned cars early. Any value of advertising was more than offset by the increased pilferage that came with making the cars marked targets.

    Yet in the late 1950s, several brewers, including Miller and Pearl Beer, put their logos onto insulated box cars. (photos in the Hendrickson-Kaminski billboard reefer book) Maybe they began to value advertising again.


Tony Thompson




Malcolm H. Houck
 

Barrels for cement were indeed very common and the Rosendale Consolidated Cement Company (Rosendale NY) shipped over 100 paper -lined barrels of cement per day in the early days of the last century. Interestingly that need created an entire sub-set enterprise of barrel manufacture, leading to the development of mechanization of the barrel manufacture; -- machining the croze in the staves, jigs for assembling the bottoms and lids. specialty machinery for milling the staves and, lastly (among other things) an assembly machine to grasp and close the staves while the steel hoops were slid and pressed over the staves.

Mal Houck


Aley, Jeff A
 

In the first photo (link reproduced here: https://tessa.lapl.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/photos/id/100971/rec/1247 ), I see a series of at least 5 rings where the car side meets the roof.  What are they?

I also see something at the peak of the end (a rectangular plate with maybe a chain dangling from it?).  What is that?

Finally, in my ignorance, I am surprised that the lining of the car side does not go all the way to the floor. Are boxcars commonly built this way?

 

Thanks,

 

-Jeff

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2020 9:44 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar

 

Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar

An undated photo from the Los Angeles City Public Library:

https://tessa.lapl.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/photos/id/100971/rec/1247

Caption: "Barrels of liquor are stacked in a railroad car, ready to be transported. The number 1 is written on the top of each barrel."

A good view of how these barrels were secured in a boxcar. It's possible these are beer barrels as they appear to be the same kind of barrels as shown in this photo, although the boxcar is not the same one:

https://tessa.lapl.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/photos/id/103564/rec/16

Caption: "One man brings a barrel of Los Angeles Brewing Co. beer as two men roll the barrel on a railroad car. The barrels are stacked into the railroad car and later transported."

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Todd Sullivan
 

Hi Jeff,

I'm going to offer some hunches, and I'll probably be corrected in due course! 

The boxcar interior first.  When I was at the NPTCo in the early 1960s, that car would have been classified by the car inspectors as being suitable for rough freight.  The interior lining is incomplete, and the lining (boards) that do exist are in rough shape.  Barrels are rough freight, in that they don't need a smooth lining to protect the product/lading, so the car's condition and the load are matched.  That doesn't explain why the lining boards seem to be missing at the bottom and near the top of the sides, but maybe that's the way the car's owner equipped the car.  That's not common for boxcars, BTW.  Looking at the blocking (dunnage) to keep the barrels in place, it occurred to me that perhaps the car is in dedicated service, as the lining boards are at the correct height to nail the blocking.

The 5 rings or hooks on both sides of the car by the doors could have been used to hang tarps or other primitive load-restraining devices (ropes?) to keep the lading from shifting toward the door openings.  They are probably not hooks for the workers' coats!

The device on the car end with the chain attached could be a vent, but it really doesn't look like that.  So, that's a puzzle beyond my knowledge.

Todd Sullivan


Guy Wilber
 


Jeff wrote:

“I see a series of at least 5 rings where the car side meets the roof.  What are they?”

Lifting rings to which chain blocks were attached for lifting automobiles or light trucks for tilting or decking prior to the more common use of Evans or NYC auto racks.  This is definitely a 40’ auto car with staggered doors.

“I also see something at the peak of the end (a rectangular plate with maybe a chain dangling from it?).  What is that?”

I see it and agree it’s very small chain or a stretch of rope, but am unsure of its purpose.

“Finally, in my ignorance, I am surprised that the lining of the car side does not go all the way to the floor. Are boxcars commonly built this way?”

Commonly referred to as “belt rails” and another staple of auto cars from the ‘teens, 1920s and 1930s.  Heavy boards for securing blocking, bracing and temporary decking.

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada_._,_._,_


Aley, Jeff A
 

Guy,

 

               Thanks for the answers.  I’m glad to have learned something new today.

 

Regards,

 

-Jeff

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Guy Wilber via Groups.Io
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 12:40 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar

 



Jeff wrote:

 

“I see a series of at least 5 rings where the car side meets the roof.  What are they?”

 

Lifting rings to which chain blocks were attached for lifting automobiles or light trucks for tilting or decking prior to the more common use of Evans or NYC auto racks.  This is definitely a 40’ auto car with staggered doors.

 

“I also see something at the peak of the end (a rectangular plate with maybe a chain dangling from it?).  What is that?”

 

I see it and agree it’s very small chain or a stretch of rope, but am unsure of its purpose.

 

“Finally, in my ignorance, I am surprised that the lining of the car side does not go all the way to the floor. Are boxcars commonly built this way?”

 

Commonly referred to as “belt rails” and another staple of auto cars from the ‘teens, 1920s and 1930s.  Heavy boards for securing blocking, bracing and temporary decking.

 

Guy Wilber

Reno, Nevada


Paul Woods <paul@...>
 

Was there an expectation that empty barrels would be returned?

Regards
Paul Woods


---- On Thu, 19 Mar 2020 02:48:13 +1300 Malcolm H. Houck via Groups.Io <Indian640@...> wrote ----

Barrels for cement were indeed very common and the Rosendale Consolidated Cement Company (Rosendale NY) shipped over 100 paper -lined barrels of cement per day in the early days of the last century. Interestingly that need created an entire sub-set enterprise of barrel manufacture, leading to the development of mechanization of the barrel manufacture; -- machining the croze in the staves, jigs for assembling the bottoms and lids. specialty machinery for milling the staves and, lastly (among other things) an assembly machine to grasp and close the staves while the steel hoops were slid and pressed over the staves.

Mal Houck
_._,_._,_





Jerry Dziedzic
 

A few thoughts to add to Mal's.  Cement packaging long relied on barrels and cloth bags.  I credit Hercules Cement with the first rail shipments in covered hoppers, in 1929.  Tony Thompson has a photo of bulk cement in a boxcar during the construction of Shasta Dam in the 1940's; imagine unloading that one!  It's my guess that bulk eliminated barrels, but I don't know when.  I don't know when paper sacks replaced cloth, either; about the same time flour made the change?  I have LCL waybills from the early 1940's returning bundles of cloth bags to cement mills.

Weight is the advantage a sack has over a barrel. One sack contains a cubic foot of cement weighing 94 lbs, more easily carried to a small job site.  A barrel's volume was 4 cu. ft. so a barrel weighed 376 lbs. Boxcar loads of sacks from Lehigh Valley cement producers were common in the 60's and early 70's  Much cement still moves in sacks, though now by truck.

Pennsylvania's Public Utilities Commission permitted highway bulk transport in 1958, as I remember.  Wish I were near my files to confirm this date.

Jerry Dziedzic


Bob Chaparro
 

Bulk cement...lots of labor at the receiving end.
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA


Bill J.
 

That's how cement was delivered to the dam projects on the Hetch Hetchy RR (connection with the Sierra RR).

Bill Jolitz


Charles Peck
 

The fellow on the right appears to me to have goggles up on his forehead.
Posing for his picture, perhaps?  N95 being in the future, I guess a wet cloth
on his face might be some protection.
Chuck Peck

On Thu, Mar 19, 2020 at 12:45 PM Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io <chiefbobbb=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Bulk cement...lots of labor at the receiving end.
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA