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N Scale - Atlas - 31404A - Tank Car, 29 Foot, Beer Can Shorty - Eat Honey - 86581

N Scale - Atlas - 31404A - Tank Car, 29 Foot, Beer Can Shorty - Eat Honey - 86581


Brand Atlas
Stock Number 31404A
Manufacturer Atlas
Body Style Atlas Tank Car Beer Can Shorty
Road/Company Name Eat Honey
Reporting Marks GATX
Road/Reporting Number 86581
Body Construction Plastic
Release Date 2008-04-01
Item Category Rolling Stock
Model Type Tank Car
Model Subtype 29 Foot
Model Variety Beer Can
Prototype Tank Car, 29 Foot, Beer Can Shorty
Region North America
Era/Epoch Era IV: 1958 - 1978


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Body Style Information: This body style is used to haul ingredients for making beer and chemicals like sulfuric acid. N-Scale modelers seem to love them because Atlas keeps on making them. They were originally announced in the 1969 catalog as 'Road Names to be Announced'. They were still in 'real soon now' state as of the 1972 catalog! It seems Atlas was having some trouble finding a manufacturer to produce the darn things. It does seem that they appeared on retailers' shelves on or around 1972 since the 1973 Sun-N-Sand Special Run car used this body style.

Regardless of the introduction date, Atlas has made at least 170 different versions of this car in at least 10 different releases. Originally produced with Rapido Couplers, more recent releases use Accumates. If a prototype exists, it would be 29 foot long and carry about 4,000 gallons of something. According to Atlas, that something might be chemicals, honey, lard or heating oil.

Road/Company Information: We have been unable to determine if this is a real car or a whimsical paint scheme from the designers at Atlas.

Brand/Importer Information:
In 1924 Stephan Schaffan, Sr. founded the Atlas Tool Company in Newark, New Jersey. In 1933 his son, Stephan Schaffan, Jr., came to work for his father at the age of sixteen. Steve Jr. built model airplanes as a hobby and frequented a local hobby shop. Being an enterprising young man, he would often ask the owner if there was anything he could do to earn some extra spending money. Tired of listening to his requests, the hobby-store owner threw some model railroad track parts his way and said, "Here, see if you can improve on this".

In those days, railroad modelers had to assemble and build everything from scratch. Steve Jr. created a "switch kit" which sold so well, that the entire family worked on them in the basement at night, while doing business as usual in the machine shop during the day.

Subsequently, Steve Jr. engineered the stapling of rail to fiber track, along with inventing the first practical rail joiner and pre-assembled turnouts and flexible track. All of these products, and more, helped to popularize model railroading and assisted in the creation of a mass-market hobby. The budding entrepreneur quickly outgrew the limitations of a basement and small garage operation. Realizing they could actually make a living selling track and related products, Steve and his father had the first factory built in Hillside, New Jersey at 413 Florence Avenue in 1947. On September 30, 1949, the Atlas Tool Company was officially incorporated as a New Jersey company.

In 1985, Steve was honored posthumously for his inventions by the Model Railroad Industry Association and was inducted into the Model Railroad Industry Hall of Fame in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, Steve was nominated and entered into the National Model Railroad Association Pioneers of Model Railroading in 1995.

In the early 1990s, the Atlas Tool Company changed its name to Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc.


Item created by: Lethe on 2015-07-22 17:53:19. Last edited by gdm on 2016-11-18 09:14:18

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