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Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
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Flemington Flyer
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Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:13pm »
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Reefer cars are probably one of the railroad's best wheeled invention for transporting perishible freight, borne of necessity for a growing nation.
 
As early as 1842, experimental shipments in speicalized boxcars were tried on a Rutland RR predecessor, but not until 1856 was the movement of dressed beef tried successfully.  
 
See -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator_car
 
Without going into detailed owners histories and construction methods (yet, that's what multiple links are for, after all!), the point here is to show off the mother of all reefer cars, the much lamented, romantic billboard reefer that once ran the rails with abandon from the mid 1800's to the late 1930's when they were their overt advertising was banned, and that are wildly popular with the model railroading community due to their striking appearance.
 
We'll start by referencing available books and online histories before we get into what everyone REALLY wants to look at  - LINKS OF PICTURES!
 
 
"L. F .L. jr."  


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Flemington Flyer
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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #1 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:16pm »
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A good overview of Billboard Reefers posted by user "WJSTIX" on -  
 
http://cs.trains.com/ctr/f/3/t/171135.aspx
 
 
"The majority of refrigerator cars in the "Billboard Reefer" era were involved in various leasing agreements, and lettered for private companies. Usually the letter X at the end of the reporting marks indicates the car is either owned by a private company and/or is in a lease arrangement, like "BREX" for Burlington Refrigerator Express. Some people believe that the railroads or car owners sold advertising space on the sides of their cars, but that's not where the name came from. Generally the company that leased the car would paint it for their company, often in bright attention getting colors with large letters reminding many of billboards - hence the name "Billboard Reefers".  
 
It gets pretty complicated, but in the 1900s railroads had come under fire for operating reefers as a monopoly, and so there were a number of separate companies set up to lease and operate reefers. Many of these, although on paper separate companies, were interlocked with the railroads, like Santa Fe Refrigerator Dispatch (ATSF), Western Fruit Express (GN), Burlington Refrigerator Express (CB&Q) etc. In some cases, several railroads were involved in a company like Fruit Growers Express. There were companies like American Refrigerator Transit Co. that leased out cars to companies too. Some companies like Cudahy meat packers operated their own reefers, and even leased them out to other companies. Some are still around, I believe there are some BNSF cars lettered WFEX for Western Fruit Express.  
 
Eventually problems arose with company A refusing to use a reefer lettered for company B, so the railroads ended up not being able to ship a loaded car both directions - that is, a car would be loaded for company A in say Chicago and taken to New York. If they didn't have a load to send back to Chicago, and other companies wouldn't use the car, the railroad would have to take it back to Chicago empty - and get paid less for doing so then they would a loaded car. Plus there were allegations of kick-back schemes and preferential rates for certain shippers and such.  
 
Finally it was decided that lettering could only be so high (I think 14"?) on a car, and could only use the company name, not advertise a particular product. Cars were repainted (they were allowed to go a certain amount of time after the ban in their pre-ban paint scheme before they were required to be repainted) into less exciting paint schemes by the companies using the cars.  
 
An up-side is railroads began using their cars to advertise around that time, so by the fifties boxcars often had huge lettering on the side, with slogans for the railroad and it's top trains..."Everywhere West", "Route of the Vista-Dome North Coast Limited", "Route of Courteous Service" etc."  


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Flemington Flyer
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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #2 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:20pm »
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What seems to be the "book of books" on the subject -  
 
"Billboard Refrigerator Cars" by Richard H. Hendrickson and Edward S. Kaminski, published by Signature Press in 2008.
 
(http://www.signaturepress.com/kaminski/BLBD.html)
 
More than you'll ever want to know about the whole billboard car story.  You can order it direct or through any book seller worth their salt, or at a good show.


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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #3 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:20pm »
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What seems to be the "book of books" on the subject -  
 
"Billboard Refrigerator Cars" by Richard H. Hendrickson and Edward S. Kaminski, published by Signature Press in 2008.
 
http://www.signaturepress.com/kaminski/BLBD.html
 
More than you'll ever want to know about the whole billboard car story.  You can order it direct or through any book seller worth their salt, or at a good show.


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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #4 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:21pm »
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Another great book on reefers in general -  
 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0870950916/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=33848934715&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9420057544743850811&hvpone=126.40&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd


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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #5 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:21pm »
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And while getting off the topic of Billboard Reefers in general, the solid research by this author can't be beat -  
 
http://www.amazon.com/Pacific-Fruit-Express-Anthony-Thompson/dp/1930013035/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51p6xFI4M5L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR122%2C160_&refRID=1H04GCKDWRR86J93T7W4


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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #6 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:22pm »
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Some good online discussion of Billboard cars (cause you just can't have enough links!)
 
http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?16135-Billboard-Advertisements-on-Freight-Cars


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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #7 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:27pm »
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Dairy -
 
http://www.atlaso.com/images/40reefer/1108/9091-2.jpg


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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #8 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:28pm »
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Beer -
 
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/Reefers-shorty-Anheuser-Busch-Malt-Nutrine_ACF_builders_photo_pre-1911.jpg/300px-Reefers-shorty-Anheuser-Busch-Malt-Nutrine_ACF_builders_photo_pre-1911.jpg


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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #9 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:31pm »
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Meat packers -  
 
http://erstworks.net/z-erstworks.com/Graphics_Reffer/Micro_Trains_05800140.jpg


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Re: Billboard Reefers - Rolling Ads of Yesteryear
 
« Reply #10 on: Feb 3rd, 2016, 2:32pm »
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Dry goods/manufacturers -
 
https://store.actionhobbieskingsville.com/v/vspfiles/photos/ATL20002004-2.gif


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