ACF Builder's Photos

Discussion in 'Heavyweight Cars' started by jefferyam, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. jefferyam

    jefferyam Member

    Does anyone know what became of ACF's builders photos of early Frisco passenger cars? It would seem that like Pullman and Budd, that ACF surely would have taken builder's photos of equipment that they built just for their records as a matter of course. I know a lot of Pullman stuff is available, and some Budd stuff, but does anyone know what became of ACF's archival material like that? Was it lost in a fire, or simply discarded, or does a museum or library somewhere have their collection? Anyone know?
  2. U-3-b

    U-3-b Member Supporter

    I believe that much of what ACF had was donated to the University of Missouri - St Louis.

  3. pensive

    pensive Member Supporter

    My maternal grandfather and his father (my great-grandfather) worked at the ACF plant in St. Charles as draftsmen. When I discovered that the Mercantile Library at UMSL had the extant ACF records, I investigated whether there were any references to my ancestors. The collection has an index which list a cursory description of the contents of each box. In order to access the collection, one has to come during regular business hours, and tell the librarian which boxes that you want. He retrieves them and the two of you go into a locked room by yourselves, so the librarian can watch you while you inspect the records. I didn't find anything on my ancestors, but one box contained builder's photographs of narrow gauge mining cars destined for South America. Since the production at the St. Charles plant was mainly passenger cars, the possibility of the existance of builder's photographs is good. The friendly librarian told me that the records at headquarters were being thrown out before somebody decided to save what was left.

    Here's the website for the Barriger Library:

    Perhaps the most difinitive book on the ACF is American Car & Foundry Company, A Centennial History, 1899-1999 by Edward S. Kaminski (Signature Press, 1999). It contains short histories of each plant and chapters on each car type produced. Most of the book is made up of hundreds of builder's photos with captions. Mr. Kaminski was an employee of ACF, so he probably had free access to whatever records they possessed.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2014
  4. jefferyam

    jefferyam Member

    Thank you to the two of you that mentioned the UMSL library. I found some of the box contents online but didnt find the lot number i was looking for but I am still hopeful that maybe they have something because the website said that some boxes didnt have a listing of contents so maybe it is there somewhere. I dropped an email to the person listed as being in charge on their website. Hopefully I will hear back from them sometime soon.
  5. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    During my working career, I had the chance to work closely with ACF. We ordered several series of both additional and replacement tank cars and also covered hoppers from ACF, who was our vendor of choice, plus a few cars from others. I got to know a number of the ACF people, who were really great to work with, Ed included. In addition to the ACF book referenced above by Rich, Ed has authored another one on ACF Tank Cars, another on Pullman-Standard Freight Cars, and another on Magor Car Corporation, all published by Signature Press. they are all quite good.

  6. timothy_cannon

    timothy_cannon Member Supporter

  7. jmlaboda

    jmlaboda Member

  8. jefferyam

    jefferyam Member

    Seems they have a ACF photo dvd with about 2000 photographs but it doesnt specify what types of equipment are on the cd. $99 is a lot to to pay and then when it arrives find that the lot number I am looking for isnt on there. I am going to get the lot numer when I get home and email them and see if they can at least tell me if that lot is on the dvd. Id like to know if what I am looking for is even there.
  9. jefferyam

    jefferyam Member

    I tried with them. They said that the dvd of builders photos they offer only includes freight equipment.
  10. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    ACF Builder Photo of 775 SLSF Chair Car:

    ACF Builder Photo of 1108 SLSF Coach:

    ACF Builder Photo of 1207 SLSF Coach:

    Other views also available on the site:


    John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library
    jefferyam and Joe Lovett like this.

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