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N Scale - Atlas - 3317 - Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel Plug Door - Ralston Purina - 405

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Stock Number 3317
Original Retail Price $2.25
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas Model Railroad
Body Style Atlas Boxcar 40 Foot Plug Door
Prototype Vehicle Boxcar, 40 Foot, Steel Plug Door (Details)
Road or Company Name Ralston Purina (Details)
Reporting Marks RPCX
Road or Reporting Number 405
Paint Color(s) Red
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Deep Flange
Release Date 1977-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 40 Foot
Model Variety Plug Door
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Model Information: Atlas first released this model in 1976. It was originally produced in their New Jersey factor. It replaced a similar model made by Roco for Atlas from 1967 - 1975. The American-made Atlas tooling was launched with an amazing 24 different road names. In the 1997 Atlas catalog, this model is referred to as a 40' Plugdoor Boxcar. However, the earlier Roco model had been referred to alternatively as a "Reefer" (1967, 1969 and 1971) as well as a "40' Insulated Plugdoor" (1975). Sometime in the 1990s, the tooling was moved to China. From September 2006 onward, this model was considered part of the 'Trainman' product line.

Prototype History:
Plug-Door boxcars are usually insulated and typically carry products such as canned goods that require protection from extremes of temperature but do not require refrigeration. Plug-style doors were normally used to ensure a tight seal in the insulation. Designed for transport of both perishables and large loads, plug doors allowed box cars to be sealed from outside dust and dirt. Cars like these were manufactured during the 50s and 60s.

Whether you consider this a reefer or a boxcar is a matter for angel-pinhead-counters. There seems to be a bit of a blurry line during the transition era between the idea of a steel ice reefer and an insulated boxcar. I guess an ice reefer was meant to hold ice for cooling but I doubt this is a cut-and-dry distinction. Modern "mechanical" reefers are a different breed as they contain a refrigeration unit which quite distinctly sets them apart from "boxcars".

Road Name History:
Ralston Purina Company was a St. Louis, Missouri-based American animal feed and pet food company. On December 12, 2001, it merged with Swiss food-giant Nestlé's Friskies division to form Nestlé Purina PetCare Company.

Ralston Purina (originally Ralston-Purina) traces its roots to 1894, when founder William H. Danforth established the animal feed company Purina Mills. Its predominant brand for each animal was generally referred to as "Chow"; hence "Purina Horse Chow", "Purina Dog Chow", "Purina Cat Chow", "Purina Rabbit Chow", "Purina Pig Chow", and even "Purina Monkey Chow". Later, the company began producing cereal, which received endorsement by Webster Edgerly, founder of Ralstonism, to market Ralston breakfast cereals. Edgerly was at the time promoting the consumption of whole-grain cereal. These cereals became so successful that the name of the enterprise was changed in 1902 to the Ralston-Purina Company.

In 1986, Ralston Purina sold Purina Mills, its US animal feed business, to British Petroleum. Purina Mills is now owned by Land O'Lakes. In 1994, the Ralston "human food" operations of the Ralston Purina Company were spun off into a new company called Ralcorp Holdings. In 1998, Ralston Purina spun off its international animal feed business as Agribrands which was acquired by Cargill in 2001. The animal feed businesses continue to use the Purina and Chow brands which Purina Mills and Cargill license for use in the US and internationally, respectively.

From Wikipedia

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.

Manufacturer Information: 'Atlas Model Railroad' represents the New Jersey manufacturing facility for Atlas brand model railroad products. Atlas also imported European made models in their early years and those items will be noted as having manufacturers set appropriately. In the 1990s Atlas moved all their toolings to China.

User isufrutc8k comment: Currently selling for $8.50 @ Auction https://hibid.com/lot/97082850/n-scale/?g=all-categories&cpage=10&q=&ref=catalog

Item created by: gdm on 2017-03-25 20:05:19. Last edited by CNW400 on 2020-06-02 20:51:12

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