Business Car 502 and Its China

Discussion in 'Business Cars' started by Karl, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Several years ago, I acquired a large box, which contained the correspondence from members of Frisco leadership, chiefly B. F. Yoakum and A. J. Davidson. The letters cover a broad range of subject matter and offer a glimpse of the Frisco during the during the turn into the 20th Century. Some of the subject matter covers broad strategic topics, and other correspondence talks about more mundane issues. Just as an aside, most of the multi-page letters were held together with straight pins. Only a few used a paper clip, which was patented 1899-1901.

    The attached correspondence from Mr. George L. Ball, on Mr Davidson’s letterhead, to Mr. William Hull, a.k.a “My dear Billie” makes an inquiry with regard to paying a bill from Scruggs-Vandervoort-Barney Dry Goods, a major St Louis mercantile concern. William Hull was Mr. Yoakum’s secretary. Mr. Ball was the long-time Assistant to The President By the late ’20’s G. L. Ball was the Superintendent of Insurance and Safety. During 1907, his name was named the president of the Frisco Car and Engine company, which was incorporated during 1907 as an “auxiliary company of the Frisco System”. The corporation was formed to serve as the construction company that would build the Frisco’s West Shops. Its stated purpose was the manufacture and repair of cars, engines, and railroad equipment.

    There is another wrinkle to this story. Frisco Business car 502 doe not appear in my Frisco 1903 or 1907 rosters. The old Museum’s excellent All Board series about Frisco business cars placed a build date of 1911 (ACF) for the 502 (May-June 1993 issue). The All Aboard article contained a photo of the newly-built car with Memphis Road “sub-lettering”. I also have other correspondence, which ante-dates 1911 that mentions the 502 being sent to NYC from Springfield for Mr Yoakum. This requires further research.

    But back to the letter…Lacking the previous correspondence, it appears that there was some dissatisfaction with the china on 502, and the Frisco wished to return same to Scruggs-Vandervoort-Barney. The mercantiler balked at the Frisco’s request, and cited wear issues on the items to be put back into “stock”. However, it seemed that the Frisco held all the cards, and it would refuse payment unless SVB accepted the return in part or in whole.

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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  2. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Sure would like to know the outcome to this?
  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Fascinating stuff. For someone who grew up on East Davidson Ave. in Chaffee, it's especially fascinating.

    It's a completely SWAG, but I wonder if #502 would have been under another "Frisco System" road's roster?

    Best Regards,

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