Merchants Despatch

Roger C. Hinman
Item #88132

This book is a must have for those interested in the New York Central and in freight cars, as well as to enthusiasts of railroad history.
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Merchants Despatch traced its origins to a railroad express service begun in 1855, with a connection to the American Express Company. From its earliest years it operated over the lines of the New York Central, and by 1871 its stock was owned by Vanderbilt Lines railroads. However, it was an independent part of the New York Central family. As such, it outlived the Central, and this book carries its history to the year 2000.

Some 298 photographs, most previously unpublished, enrich this book, in addition to 44 drawings. More than 50 period documents and graphics enliven the text, accompanied by extensive rosters and tables of both car data and company information. Thoroughly researched in company records, this is an authoritative, well illustrated and complete history of Merchants Despatch. It presents both the long and complex corporate history, and also much information and many details about the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the vast car fleet.

Author: Roger C. Hinman
Size: 8.5x11
Pages: 296
Table of Contents

1. Kasson's & American Express (1849-1870)
2. Vanderbilt's Other Venture (1871-1877)
3. The James Wickes Era (1878-1892)
4. Creating Despatch, New York (1893-1904)
5. The Progressive Era (1905-1922)
6. Merchants Despatch Incorporated (1923-1936)
7. MDTC Incorporated (1937-1945)
8. The Post-War Period (1946-1954)
9. New Markets (1955-1967)
10. Penn Central and Conrail )1968-2000)

11. 29-Foot Cars (1871-1896)
12. 34-Foot Common & Refrigerator Cars (1882-1922)
13. 36-Foot Standard Cars (1892-1945)
14. 40-Foot Standard Cars (1908-1945)
15. 41-Foot Standard Cars Before World War I (1911-1949)
16. 41-Foot Standard Cars After World War I (1920-1966)
17. Milk and Express Cars (1902-1945)
18. Steel Frame Standard Refrigerator Cars (1930-1970)
19. Steel Sheathed Standard Refrigerator Cars (1946-1984)
20. Dry Ice Cars (1930-1970)
21. Bunkerless and Ventilated Cars (1933-1984)
22. Meat Cars (1886-1978)
23. Mechanical Cars, FLexi-Vans, and Trailers (1956-1999)
24. Auto-Rack Cars (1961-1985)
25. Miscellaneous Equipment (1938-2000)

Appendix. Reporting Marks

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