1924 Railroad Refrigerator Car, Used by Fruit Growers Express

Summary

Modern refrigerated rail cars have mechanical cooling units, but well into the 20th century, ice cooled refrigerator cars like this one. Since 45-55 pounds of ice melted each hour, icing stations had to be located at regular intervals along the route, and adherence to strict schedules was necessary to prevent spoilage. The ability to ship meats and produce in refrigerator cars, far from their points of origin, greatly expanded both farmers' markets, and consumers' food choices.

Modern refrigerated rail cars have mechanical cooling units, but well into the 20th century, ice cooled refrigerator cars like this one. Since 45-55 pounds of ice melted each hour, icing stations had to be located at regular intervals along the route, and adherence to strict schedules was necessary to prevent spoilage. The ability to ship meats and produce in refrigerator cars, far from their points of origin, greatly expanded both farmers' markets, and consumers' food choices.

Artifact

Refrigerator car

Date Made

March 1924

Henry Ford Museum
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Transportation - Trains

Object ID

87.207.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Wood (Plant material)
Steel (Alloy)

Color

Black (Color)
Red
Yellow

Dimensions

Length: 40 ft

Inscriptions

FRUIT GROWERS EXPRESS / F.G.E.X. / 55667 CAPY. 75000 / LD.LMT. 75000 / LT.WT.56800 I.H.3.24 VENTILATOR / AND / REFRIGERATOR UNITED STATES / SAFETY APPLIANCES / STANDARD F.G.E.X. / 55667 BUILT NEW 3-24 / TRIPLE VALVE K-2 / COUPLER SHANK 6X9 / JOURNAL 5X9 / DIRT COLLECTOR 1 1/4

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