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 Post subject: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:58 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Center Conway, NH
Does any of GSC railroad related casting drawings exist? There must have been millions! Where are they now?


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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:26 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 523
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Greetings:
The Museum of Transportation at Kirkwood, MO is said to have half a box car full of GSC paper, all uncataloged.
I did some research there (not GSC) a few years ago, Teresa Militello is the Curator-Library & Archives. She has a small group of volunteers (mostly retired folks) who work at identifying, cataloging and filing. They have a huge backlog of material on hand.
People I spoke to had heard of the GSC stuff, however no had actually ever seen it.
In my opinion, they would need a large grant, dedicated paid staff and a lot of dedicated space to do anything with that collection (if it indeed exists).
Be well,
J.David


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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:05 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:13 pm
Posts: 72
I hope the Grant application includes digitizing the drawings. Allows individuals who cannot travel to access the collection.


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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:53 am 
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Posts: 1543
There is unfortunately going to be a lot of industry technical information that has the paper rot and fall apart before it ever gets copied to PDF.

Those who work in the industry and have accumulated electronic information libraries over the course of their career might consider keeping a few USB flash drives addressed to friends or historical organizations with any information that you would like to see saved. Nobody expects you to be handing out your library for free while you are still working and using it, but a couple archive USB flash drives in pre-addressed mailing envelopes can save part of it if you are no longer able to.

This is the time for trying to preserve technical information, right now, because many of the older people in the industry are closing their businesses and aren't going to be back.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
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I have offered electronic copies of my crane production lists to several museums. Most never replied and most that did weren't interested in anything that wasn't original documents.


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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:35 pm 
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I have encountered that too, and it is particularly short sighted when a historical organization that preserves or operates equipment turns down offers of electronically preserved information with the excuse that their mission is only to preserve original material. An electronic library at least helps to show what documents were produced, as a guide to what is missing from their paper document collections.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 811
Location: New Franklin, OH
When it comes to drawings, I’m a firm believer in high resolution scanning, cleaning up the image and converting the image to PDF format. This not only makes the drawing easily accessible and distributable but also reduces the handling of the originals and preserves the paper/vellum/whatever.

The problems doing this are surmountable: 1. The time required to scan and process the image; 2. The cost of hard disk storage space for the large files; and the costs associated with a large format scanner. Number one is the hardest to deal with and can occur while cataloging. It mostly comes down to manhours.

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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:02 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:47 pm
Posts: 11
The GSC collection exists to some extent (I do not know how completely) at the National Museum of Transport in St. Louis. As has been stated the GSC collection is largely uncatalogued, and is stored in one of the pieces of rolling stock in the collection. The archives building is quite small for the collection, and as much as the archives personel try to digitise everything, they are limited by volunteers. In my experience it can take some time for them to track down what is being sought.

They do have plans to expand indoor climate controlled archive space, and whenever I utilize their resources I try to make a donation to that effort. It's an incredible archive collection that deserves to be properly catalogued, digitized, and stored, and Teresa and team are making great efforts to do just that.

-Sam


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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:13 pm
Posts: 7
Somewhat OT but the legacy of historical record storage in Saint Louis includes the loss of a great deal of military personnel records from the WW2 era. As I recall, they were lost when the Federal Archives, stored in a basement of a federal building, flooded. At least the GSC records are not in a basement.


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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:05 pm 

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 10:27 am
Posts: 178
Location: New Haven Ct area
On the subject of scanning and storing historic drawings anyone know what the Google book process and rules are? For example who pays to scan all those historic books? Does Google provide any financial support or assistance of scanning kequipment for such services? Next what are the rules on there storage of such historical data, does it have to be books or are mechanical drawings ok? Can anyone upload their scanned info or must it come from academia? I think if possible loading such info into the Google system would solve the data storage issue and make the info as available and easy to find for future generations as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:40 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 811
Location: New Franklin, OH
I don’t know the finer details but Google works with authors, publishers and libraries. John Q. Public can’t haphazardly submit anything they want because of the huge potential for copyright violations which Google takes very seriously.

Assuming that was what your question was about....

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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:08 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 631
I think you could gift wrap the earth in all the RR related print material including blueprints, land plats, business records, and more. The Arkansas Railroad Museum alone has paper records back from over 100 years. Unfortunately, I know that many dumpster loads went to the landfill, and probably semi truck trailer loads went from Pine Bluff and presumably are now in Omaha in UP's possession. That's just one museum from one moderate sized RR.

I've said it before, if all the RR museums (and other museums, many diverse museums have interrelated missions, and needs) could get together.. Establish a cooperative effort....But it's a huge task. Probably could have a building with 1000 specialists cataloging records for 10 years and never get through the stack......


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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Location: South Carolina
One thing I’ve always wondered about GSC cast bed frames: were there wooden patterns for each bed design that was made? If so, the amount of lumber and the labor to make them boggles the mind, especially for what in many cases was a very limited run of castings.

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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:02 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Mi
whodom wrote:
One thing I’ve always wondered about GSC cast bed frames: were there wooden patterns for each bed design that was made? If so, the amount of lumber and the labor to make them boggles the mind, especially for what in many cases was a very limited run of castings.


I asked a similar question to an old foundry man and he called them "pit work". If I understood him correctly there were a number of pattern boxes, similar to core boxes that formed sections of the mold on a production line setting like cores. Once complete they would be assembled in a pit in the pouring deck. The same set of boxes could be used to make repetitive parts of the casting with the unique parts made from a set of boxes. Once the mold had been assembled the rest of the pit would be rammed up with sand with vents and risers where required.

Some time ago I saw a video on YouTube of a bell foundry in Europe that appeared to use this method.


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 Post subject: Re: General Steel Castings Technical Drawings
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:47 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
Posts: 105
The one feature that amazes me is the integral cast main air reservoir. Is there similar large and complicated casting being done today?


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