Thus far I have identified two early photos in my resources of the first tank car on the B&SR, the smaller tank placed on flat #22. Individually, they are good pictures, but together, they are much more useful references for my modeling period.

The first image, which appears on pg 69 of Jones, shows a single tank car behind locomotive #4 departing Bridgton. B&SR #4 arrived on the line late in 1901. The tank car, #22 due to its longer dome and just visible, lower horizontal seam, also arrived in 1901. The tank to receive the kerosene in Bridgton was being installed in late November 1901 (Terry Smith find).

In the surrounding environment, my go-to building for dating Bridgton yard photos is the Redmen’s/Grange Hall/Riverside Theatre. Built in 1902, this large 2-story building is obvious in photographs taken afterwards. With its absence, this photo was taken likely very late 1901 or, more likely, 1902 prior to the Hall’s construction.

If we look closer at this photo, it is noted that there are several posts in the stake pockets along the side and braced posts in the corners. This brings us to the second image, located on Gary Kohler’s Maine 2-foot photo CD Vol #1. Entitled “B&SR-tankcar.jpg,” this image shows the tank car with the same stakes, which we now understand formed a crude safety barrier with the rope or cable strung between them.

Other notable features are the link and pin pockets, placing this photo prior to conversion to couplers in FY1905 and the lack of stirrup steps, grab irons or hand holds other than the strung rope. The dome lasso, to keep the tank from rolling over during movement is present, as are the straps at the end of the tank securing the tank to the car body. I have yet to be able to determine if the ladder exists in the Jones picture, as it would be obscured in this view. There is also a lack of lettering of any kind.

As an expression of opinion, the various safety features were likely added to the car by the MEC when they took ownership, in the same manner grabs and ladders were added to the boxcars, I will be fashioning my 1907 model after these photos.