Sunday, July 11, 2021

Waybills, Part 87: more original forms

 As the sequence number of this post illustrates, I have been writing on this subject for some time, on a rather wide variety of topics relating to waybills. (To find earlier ones, use "waybills part" as the search term in the search box at right.) In the present post, I show and discuss some prototype documents sent to me by Richard Townsend, each of which I think has potential to be adopted in some form for model operation use. I  thank Richard for providing these.

I will begin with a blank Southern Railway waybill, interesting because it shows what was a common practice for large shippers: the pre-printed waybill with the shipper information already included. On model waybills, this could readily be indicated by using a non-typewriter font for the shipper info, while the rest of the waybill is made out with a typewriter font.

Note here that the shipper, American Limestone, is a division of American Zinc Company. Presumably this Southern waybill was so pre-printed because numerous carloads of limestone were being shipped from the facility in Mascot, Tennessee. 

An especially interesting card to me was this Baltimore & Ohio “weigh card,” used to designate a car needing to be weighed. This would naturally occur if such a car were picked up from a shipper with no scale, and the car moved, probably in a local train, some distance to a yard where there was a scale. This card identifies such a car for the yard crew.

Note the directions near the top that the card, 4.25 x 8 inches in size, should “extend above waybill,” presumably if attached to the bill, for example with a staple. On this card, the agent at Neville Island (outside Pittsburgh) has typed Section I, and the weigher at the scale has filled out Section II by hand.

Obviously this card could readily be adapted for use in model railroad operations, particularly for cars picked up in towns with no scale, but needing to be weighed (in other words, cars with waybills not identifying a weight agreement for the cargo). 

Here is another B&O form, this one designed to be attached to a route card board, and is about 3 inches square. In the upper left corner, it reads “50M-5-17-27,” which means 50,000 copies printed on that date, so this is an old form. The 1920s-style typefaces used on the card confirm that. There would be a parallel notation on the waybill for such a car, but this route card would convey the information to yard clerks walking a yard track.

I can well imagine using something like this in model operations, for example inserting a suitable size version of it into a waybill packet. I have described in a previous post a different document aimed at the same situation, to ensure that cars to be stopped actually do get stopped for partial loading or unloading (see it at: ), and I use that document on my own layout. This one is a tempting alternative.

As I have mentioned several times before, I like to see examples like the ones in this post, of documents the prototype used in moving freight cars. Sometimes there is no obvious way to adapt them for model use, but as with the three shown here, often one can readily imagine such uses. I will  likely post again about one or more of the documents shown above, if I do choose to use any on my own layout. And thanks again to Richard Townsend for sending these forms to me.

Tony Thompson

1 comment:

  1. Regarding the pre-printed waybill: I note that the "To Be Weighed" card has the shipping point rubber-stamped. Was it common that waybills had certain entries rubber-stamped instead of pre-printed or typed?