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 Post subject: Heisler Lettering and Trim Colors
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:32 pm
Posts: 114
Just a quick question in regard to the trim colors of brand new Heisler locomotives. It has pretty much got to be either white or silver. Our Heisler, WH Eccles number 3, is trimmed in silver, but I'm not completely sure if that is correct. It looks good and is easier to clean than white, but I'm more interested in historic accuracy for this discussion. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in Advance, Taylor


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 Post subject: Re: Heisler Lettering and Trim Colors
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:31 pm 
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Considering that the first "Heislers" built by Sterns date to 1891, the last in 1941... it is likely that how the locomotives were painted changed over time.

If you look to American locomotive practice in general, in the 1890's you would expect planished iron jacket, black or green paint, and maybe aluminum leaf lettering...

As you move into the 20th century, you will move to black paint, aluminum leaf or white lettering and striping, and eventually go to a black jacket. Eventually silver paint was available....

Kline, In The Heisler Locomotive says black with a red roof with silver lettering... but this maybe a moment in time...

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 Post subject: Re: Heisler Lettering and Trim Colors
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 686
Location: Warren, PA
I have many copies of Walt Casler's Heisler builders photos and one original one.

It's obvious that it wasn't a black dip. I've concluded that the white trim was truly white, but thats opinion not fact.

There was at least a trim color on the wood, never have been able to determine if the steel roof was a different color. I've been very intrigued by the way that the Roots of Motive Power redid their 47-tonner with a red wood trim back to builders photo appearance. To me, it looks right.
I'm not sure how much historic research they did to get there, but they may have some pretty solid evidence on how they got it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rtoc5tLBAA

I've also concluded that the white tires, running board edges, and paint trim lasted for a time span generally measured in minutes once it hit the woods. The particular Heisler that my fathers company had has turned up a 25-year history and the only time I can find a trace of white (or even lettering) is on the builders photos. It's like they did it in water-base paint!

Builders Photo: http://gustafson.home.westpa.net/wd7.jpg
In service: http://gustafson.home.westpa.net/W&DUPLOGDUMP1.jpg
(That actually is the same locomotive, hard to believe. It also had at least 3 stacks and was scrapped with a different Radley-Hunter on it than it was built with)

The builders photos I've studied look amazingly cookie-cutter. About the only thing that changed was the font size. The wheel tires, running board edges, etc. remained relatively consistent from about 1900 to 1941 showing either complete lack of creativity or great confidence, take your pick. Climax certainly had some oddballs (like the "Gold Bug") and even some circus-style lettering, but Heisler seemed to be in one consistent mode. I imagine if you asked for something you could certainly get it, but if you didn't ask, this is what you got. Kind of like Climax putting the shop number on the locomotive if you didn't tell them a number.

I'd never take either Ben or Walt on with their research and the books they contributed to are just monumental. The only question is over what time period. Maybe somebody out there has actually chipped some paint away and found something under the grime and black.


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 Post subject: Re: Heisler Lettering and Trim Colors
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:05 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
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Location: Scottsboro, AL
The February 1977 issue of TRAINS had a lengthy profile of Don Jardine, Lima's official photographer, with much detail about the methods and procedures that were employed at Lima for taking builder's photos. This included using flat black paint for the portrait; the engine was then repainted before delivery to the customer. Whether Heisler engaged in similar techniques, I can not say.

Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: Heisler Lettering and Trim Colors
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:16 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:12 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Tidewater, VA
http://www.amazon.com/Heisler-Geared-Lo ... 1935327119

I have a copy of the above catalog, which shows most engines painted black with white trim, however I have seen photos, I forget what railroad, of engines delivered new in what appears to be a dark green/black, almost a darker olive drab color applied to the boiler jacket. The cab and tender remained black, and the smoke box appeared to be graphite. Lettering was still done in white.

Another photograph I saw recently on ebay, showed a silver-ish looking boiler jacket. again with white lettering.

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 Post subject: Re: Heisler Lettering and Trim Colors
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:05 am
Posts: 169
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Alan Maples wrote:
The February 1977 issue of TRAINS had a lengthy profile of Don Jardine, Lima's official photographer, with much detail about the methods and procedures that were employed at Lima for taking builder's photos. This included using flat black paint for the portrait; the engine was then repainted before delivery to the customer. Whether Heisler engaged in similar techniques, I can not say.

Alan Maples

That was standard practice for all builder's photos; flat white was used for any trim and lettering/numbering, and Baldwin even went so far as to visually isolate the locomotive by erecting white canvas screens around the locomotive and placing more white canvas on the ground (the other builders probably did the same). These locomotives were usually picked at random out of an order unless it was a prototype or single locomotive built for the customer in question; needless to say, the paint scheme used in the photo wasn't always the same one the locomotive was delivered with.

About the only reliable reference for "in-service" paint, lettering, and trim colors would be photos of the locomotive itself on the railroad during the period in question or, if you can find one, a railroad shop folio or other railroad documents listing the paint type and colors used. Either gloss white or silver could have been used, but there's no way to be certain without some sort of written or photographic proof.

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 Post subject: Re: Heisler Lettering and Trim Colors
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:34 pm 

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Location: southeastern USA
And then there's Glover builders photos, with all manner of junk around, women in huge hats, chickens, crops and a farmhouse in the background.......usually mosty painted, but probably still wet.

I like Glovers better, way more colorful.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Heisler Lettering and Trim Colors
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:32 pm
Posts: 114
Thanks for all the responses. From taking a good hard look at the builders photo of our engine, I can say for a fact that it doesn't have a flat black temporary paintjob, nor does it look like any of the trim is temporary. The cab roof could be red, but it could also be reflected light. In service photos are dirty, so it's more difficult to see the trucks, I can't tell if the whitewalls are intact, but the running board edging seems to be. Our engine dates from 1915, but a photo of a 1910 model is at a different angle, and you can clearly see a red roof, doors, and windows, but black trucks and running boards. I guess we'll just have to use discretion in regard to how the paint is applied.

Thanks, Taylor


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