Topics

"TW" reefers

John W Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

But getting back to the original reason I asked about this - since the TW
cars lasted until '49 at least, which of the Red Caboose cars might have
lasted past 1938 or were repainted in more modest schemes?
I know the Chateau Martin one doesn't even got back to billboard
reefer days, but the scheme itself is c. late steam (even if they had
ex-GPEX type cars, not former wood ice bunker reefer cars, at least that's
all I've ever seen besides one single-dome/compartment tank car in the ACF
book).
Some of the other schemes even Red Caboose admits are fictional,
but if the scheme itself is clearly out of place for post '38.
If I was modeling the 1920's, for instance, and there were some
neat wine cars available c. 1916, I would feel that whether or not the
schemes were accurate or just plausible, no way would I run them without
cutting into the feel of the period of Prohibition, bootleg, Elliot Ness,
speakeasys, and the like. So the question I have is do the Red Caboose
schemes do the same for any post-'38 layout?
Which brings me to another point. I still am confused by the
billboard ban. It seems that a careful reading of it actually was not as
restrictive as we tend to think of it. Yet I think it had a real "wet
blanket" effect beyond its narrow reading. I look at photos and see a
certain type of billboard scheme, promoting products, not just a big
version of the company's name, and when I find out the date of the photo,
(such as in the accompanying caption), it is always pre-'38. And I think
that the Red Caboose schemes, except for maybe the Ambrose wine one (which
is fictitious) would not have survived the ban. (Maybe what is confusing
is trying to read a period into a made-up scheme, as ones pre-'38 would be
clearly more promotional, so maybe the made up ones are too vague for
either before or after this date.)
- John

Richard Hendrickson
 

John Nehrich wrote:

....I look at photos and see a
certain type of billboard scheme, promoting products, not just a big
version of the company's name, and when I find out the date of the photo,
(such as in the accompanying caption), it is always pre-'38. And I think
that the Red Caboose schemes....would not have survived the ban.
John, I only have a couple of photos of the prototypes for the RC wine
reefers, but they don't entirely confirm your conclusions. Both are W. C.
Whittaker photos taken before WW II. One shows California Despatch Line
CDLX 279 (an ex-PFE car built in 1909 and rebuilt in 1933) with billboard
stenciling for the Italian Swiss Colony winery in Asti, Calif. The photo
is dated Jan. 11 1939 and the car had its journals repacked by the SP at
Oakland on Oct. 28, 1938, which suggests that it was expected to continue
in revenue service at that time. That car was in the CDLX 277-317 series,
and at least some cars of that series remained on the CDLX roster in the
ORERs through 1950, though all were gone by 1/53. How long they kept their
billboard paint schemes is, of course, unknown.

The other photo is undated but appears to have been taken at about the same
time. It shows CDLX 307 of the same series with fancy lettering and logo
for the Bear Creek Vinyard Assn. of Lodi, CA and the car is obviously
retired and out of service, as the ladders and sill steps had been removed.
Coupled next to it was CDLX 298 of the same series, also out of service as
its hand brake had been removed, so these cars were probably in a CDLX dead
line when photographed. FWIW, the last reweigh date on CDLX 307 was 12-34,
which was presumably the date when its billboard paint scheme was applied,
and it was only moderately dirty and weathered - ± about 5 years worth, I'd
estimate.

All of the cars in this series had wood roofs and were equipped with six
wooden tanks. On the evidence of the phots cited above, they had twelve
reefer-style hatch covers on the roof, six on each side.


Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

Richard - I'm not sure how much time was given to repaint the billboard
schemes. I kept coming back to the one article in the '42 MR that bemoaned
the total loss of these gaudy cars, and as a first-hand report as to the
overall effect. So when I say "pre-'38", I guess that could give a few
years leeway, but not much more than that - assuming he is correct, of
course. But still, is there any reason to suspect the RC schemes as
suitable for, say, mid-'40's?
Yes, all the cars in the series were said to have the 6 wood tanks, so I
guess all the RC cars should get the extra roof hatches. - John

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Hendrickson" <rhendrickson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2001 7:23 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: "TW" reefers


John Nehrich wrote:

....I look at photos and see a
certain type of billboard scheme, promoting products, not just a big
version of the company's name, and when I find out the date of the photo,
(such as in the accompanying caption), it is always pre-'38. And I think
that the Red Caboose schemes....would not have survived the ban.
John, I only have a couple of photos of the prototypes for the RC wine
reefers, but they don't entirely confirm your conclusions. Both are W. C.
Whittaker photos taken before WW II. One shows California Despatch Line
CDLX 279 (an ex-PFE car built in 1909 and rebuilt in 1933) with billboard
stenciling for the Italian Swiss Colony winery in Asti, Calif. The photo
is dated Jan. 11 1939 and the car had its journals repacked by the SP at
Oakland on Oct. 28, 1938, which suggests that it was expected to continue
in revenue service at that time. That car was in the CDLX 277-317 series,
and at least some cars of that series remained on the CDLX roster in the
ORERs through 1950, though all were gone by 1/53. How long they kept
their
billboard paint schemes is, of course, unknown.

The other photo is undated but appears to have been taken at about the
same
time. It shows CDLX 307 of the same series with fancy lettering and logo
for the Bear Creek Vinyard Assn. of Lodi, CA and the car is obviously
retired and out of service, as the ladders and sill steps had been
removed.
Coupled next to it was CDLX 298 of the same series, also out of service as
its hand brake had been removed, so these cars were probably in a CDLX
dead
line when photographed. FWIW, the last reweigh date on CDLX 307 was
12-34,
which was presumably the date when its billboard paint scheme was applied,
and it was only moderately dirty and weathered - � about 5 years worth,
I'd
estimate.

All of the cars in this series had wood roofs and were equipped with six
wooden tanks. On the evidence of the phots cited above, they had twelve
reefer-style hatch covers on the roof, six on each side.


Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520



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Richard Hendrickson
 

Richard - I'm not sure how much time was given to repaint the billboard
schemes. I kept coming back to the one article in the '42 MR that bemoaned
the total loss of these gaudy cars, and as a first-hand report as to the
overall effect. So when I say "pre-'38", I guess that could give a few
years leeway, but not much more than that - assuming he is correct, of
course. But still, is there any reason to suspect the RC schemes as
suitable for, say, mid-'40's?
Well, I don't have the evidence to prove it but I'm inclined to say
"certainly not." At any rate, we're talking about only a handful of cars
here, as it's well documented that the billboard meat and dairy reefers
were gone by that time. And I keep coming back to the principle that it's
a mistake to model weird stuff even if you can document it. Even if you
know it to be true, do you really want to explain to every knowledgeable
person who visits your layout that the Italian Swiss Colony wine car
actually WAS still in service in, say, 1944, implausible as it may seem?
So I guess my answer is that in that respect the model really isn't
"suitable" even if the prototype was still around at that date. In any
case, it's likely that, however long they lasted, those wooden tank
ex-reefer bulk wine cars shuttled back and forth between the Central Valley
and North Coast of California where the wineries and growing regions are
located. So if you're modeling the Northwestern Pacific or the SP lines
that connected it to central Calif., okay. But on the Illinois Central or
the Atlantic Coast Line or the Rutland? I don't think so.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

thompson@...
 

Richard Hendrickson wrote:
The other photo is undated but appears to have been taken at about the same
time. It shows CDLX 307 of the same series with fancy lettering and logo
for the Bear Creek Vinyard Assn. of Lodi, CA and the car is obviously
retired and out of service...FWIW, the last reweigh date on CDLX 307 was 12-34,
which was presumably the date when its billboard paint scheme was applied,
and it was only moderately dirty and weathered - ± about 5 years worth, I'd
estimate.
Richard's detective work is right on the money: the reweigh date is
almost certainly the date of transfer to CDLX from PFE, as that is the
month and year of the car's sale by PFE.
On the issue of when the billboard schemes were disallowed, the ICC set
July, 1937 as the date after which no such cars were to be accepted in
interchange. That's not to say that all cars lost their paint schemes then,
particularly if they were used entirely on a single road.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history