Early 1900s Passenger Car Colors

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Does anyone know the color scheme on passenger car equipment during the early 1900s (about 1915 or so)? I see from another post on the forum that cars were tuscan red in the 1880s and that much later they were an IC brown and orange scheme. This information is for a painting, so the more detailed the better.



-- Malcolm Campbell (malcolmrcampbell@cs.com), February 20, 2002


Thanks a lot for your help. Tracking down color schemes that are 75- 100 years old isn't the easiest thing in the world.


-- Malcolm Campbell (malcolmrcampbell@cs.com), February 20, 2002.


Trying to determine specific colors on early equipment is difficult. Color film didn't exist, and often there are no records that far back. But, here's what we know for sure: 1. According to the 1887 Central Railroad & Banking Company Annual Report (the predecessor of the Central of Georgia), the standard color for passenger cars was changed to Tuscan Red during fiscal year 1887. (The color that was being replaced is not noted, but it is believed to be a yellow ochre color.) 2. A 1901 CofGa standard color chart specifies medium shade tuscan red for "all passenger train cars." It also specifies yellow ochre for caboose cars. 3. The May 1935 issue of THE RIGHT WAY states that the standard passenger car color was "dark green."

Sometime between 1901 and 1935, the color standard for passenger cars was changed from tuscan red to dark green (I assume this to be a "Pullman green".) I believe that this was done in the early 1920s about the same time Pullman began operating the Central's sleeping cars.

For your target date of 1915, I would think that "medium shade tuscan red" would be correct.

Allen Tuten

-- Allen Tuten (allen@cofg.org), February 20, 2002.

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