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Life-Like - 07721 - Reefer, 40 Foot, Steel - Johnson Wax - 49000

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N Scale - Life-Like - 07721 - Reefer, 40 Foot, Steel - Johnson Wax - 49000 Copyright held by TroveStar
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Stock Number07721
Tertiary Stock NumberS788D
Original Retail Price$2.00
BrandLife-Like
ManufacturerMehano
Body StyleMehano Reefer 40 Foot Type 2
Prototype VehicleReefer, 40 Foot, Steel (Details)
Road or Company NameJohnson Wax (Details)
Reporting MarksJWAX
Road or Reporting Number49000
Paint Color(s)White, Red and Blue
Print Color(s)Black
Coupler TypeRapido Hook
Coupler MountTruck-Mount
Wheel TypeNickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel ProfileDeep Flange
Release Date1977-01-01
Item CategoryRolling Stock (Freight)
Model TypeReefer
Model Subtype40 Foot
Model VarietySteel
Prototype RegionNorth America
Prototype EraNA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale1/160
Track GaugeN standard



Model Information: This is the second 40 foot reefer made by Mehano. It is distinctly larger than the first version (which was a Roco knock-off) and has a noticeably different door. Both models are of similar quality.
Prototype History:
A refrigerator car (or “reefer”) is a refrigerated boxcar (US) or van (UIC), a piece of railroad rolling stock designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Refrigerator cars differ from simple insulated boxcars and ventilated boxcars (commonly used for transporting fruit), neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus. Reefers can be ice-cooled, come equipped with any one of a variety of mechanical refrigeration systems, or utilize carbon dioxide (either as dry ice, or in liquid form) as a cooling agent. Milk cars (and other types of “express” reefers) may or may not include a cooling system, but are equipped with high-speed trucks and other modifications that allow them to travel with passenger trains.

By the 1940's, new reefers were being built entirely of steel. Insulating techniques improved to the point where economical refrigeration could be accomplished using steel side plates in place of wood sheathing. Cars with steel roofs and sides were more durable and required fewer repairs.

The General American Transportation Corporation built several 40' steel reefer for the Union Refrigerator Transit Line (URTX) from the late 1940's into the 1950's.
This reefer was 40' long & weighted 61,500 lbs. The car is a steel bodied reefer with iced bunkers at each end. These ice bunkers hold 10,400 lbs. of chunk ice or 11,500 lbs. of crushed ice. Ice stations were located every 100-150 miles along the railroads main line to replace the melted ice. In the winter, charcoal heaters could be placed in the bunkers to keep the cargo from freezing. Fans are located in the floor at each end to circulate air and keep an even temperature throughout the car. Typical cargo would be fresh fruit, vegetables or eggs.

American Car & Foundry (ACF Industries) also built 40' reefer for several companies.
Brand/Importer Information:
Life-Like Products LLC (now Life-Like Toy and Hobby division of Wm. K. Walthers) was a manufacturer of model railroad products and was based in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.

The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.

In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.

In June 2018, Atlas and Walthers announced to have reached an agreement under which all Walthers N scale rolling stock tooling, including the former Life-Like tooling, will be purchased by Atlas.

Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.
Manufacturer Information:
Mehano is a Slovenian toy manufacturer located in Izola, Slovenija. The company was founded as Mehanotehnika and was producing toys starting in June 1953. They first exhibited at the Nuerenberg Toy Fair in 1959. Mehano produced a number of different locomotives and rolling stock models for the North American market in the 1960s and 1970s. Companies such as Atlas and Life-Like imported a huge variety of their products. Generally they can easily be recognized as they are stamped "Yugosolavia" on the underframe. The company was formally renamed "Mehano" in 1990. Izola today is part of the country of Slovenia since the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Mehano filed for bankruptcy in 2008, but still continued to exist and operate. Since 2012, Mehano products are distributed by Lemke.
Item created by: gdm on 2017-01-30 17:12:12. Last edited by gdm on 2022-09-12 08:59:50

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