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Tank Cars from American Car & Foundry, 1865-1955
Edward S. Kaminski
Signature Press
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Date Listed:
2014-05-12 15:55:33
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Tank Cars from American Car & Foundry


By Edward S. Kaminski.

Cloth with dust jacket, 272 pages, 8.5x11", 514 photos, 31 drawings, 24 ads and graphics, commodity table, index. 2003.

"Tank cars began to be built in significant numbers after the Civil War. There are many thousands of tank car orders and photographs in the archives of American Car & Foundry.

"Freight car historian Ed Kaminski has assembled a superb sampling of this rich material, in a volume focusing exclusively on tank cars. Many who are interested in freight cars generally will already know Ed's first book, American Car & Foundry, 1899-1999,an extensive history of the company. This book extends and enlarges that legacy.

"You'll find many examples of the production of a major builder of these cars, American Car & Foundry, from 1865 until 1955. (In later years, tank car technology underwent major changes.) Covered are the tank cars built for ACF's own leasing company, Shippers Car Line; for private owners and railroads; and for other leasing companies, such as Union Tank Line, Conley Tank Car Company, and others. A chapter on tank car manufacturing and car details, and a collection of drawings of cars and components enrich the volume.

"The gradual introduction of standards of construction greatly influenced the appearance of tank cars, though in all eras cars were built to customer specifications for specific uses and cargoes. AC&F had its own standards for underframes, named by the year of their design, such as Type 4 (1904), Type 21 (1921), etc. Cars of these types and many custom designs are all shown herein.

"Tank cars carried many cargoes, from water and petroleum to wine, chemicals and solvents, edible oils, asphalt, printing ink, liquid latex, acids, and liquified gases such as chlorine, ammonia, and propane. Special linings for certain cargoes, differing arrangements of domes and outlets, pressurized tanks and insulated jackets, all contributed to the distinctiveness of individual tank cars. Examples of these and many more cargo-carrying types of cars are shown here.

"With 514 photographs and 31 drawings of complete cars and of car parts, as well as many AC&F ads and graphics, this book provides extensive coverage and information about the tank car from American Car & Foundry. Any freight car enthusiast is sure to enjoy this superb book.

"Author Ed Kaminski has been employed by ACF Industries since 1991. He is currently District Sales Manager, handling railcar sales and marketing based at the Eastern District Sales Office in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. He is a 1986 graduate of Rutgers University with a B.A. in History. In addition to a lifelong interest in railroads and their histories, Ed is an avid photographer of railroad-related subjects, and his photos have appeared in several national magazines as well as books, annual reports, and calendars. The author is a lifelong resident of northern New Jersey, where he lives with his wife and three daughters."