Aside from the typical slow down associated with summer, a major medical situation in the family slowed and halted modeling practices for a while. This unfortunate event has prompted the cancellation of a number of scheduled trips, including attending the Narrow Gauge convention in Maine, the upcoming Mid-Atlantic RPM and Mid-East NMRA conventions.

We are working through the “situation” and I hope to be back on the clinic track again next year along with a long stay in Maine for lots of previously scheduled research.¬†The research hasn’t completely stopped, as I have had a bit of “free” time sitting in waiting rooms and the such. Thus far I have been able to mine data from a few years (1882, ’89, ’98, & 1902) of the Bridgton News Archives for on-going and upcoming projects, with several more to go. I have set a schedule for myself to digest a year’s worth of newsprint every two weeks. I wish the search function worked better, but if you happen to take a look at some of the print scans, especially of those in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, you would understand why Mk. 1 eyeballs on every page is a necessity.

Most recently, however, I did receive an artifact from a fellow modeler in attendance at the Narrow Gauge convention in Maine. During a visit to Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Co., a piece of B&SR Boxcar 50 was found laying on the ground near the car’s current resting place. Either dislodged by yard handling or contact, the item was noted to have been from the door area. As it measures approximately 12″ long, it very well may have been a piece of the sheathing below the door.

Sample of B&SR Boxcar 50 Sheathing

Sample of B&SR Boxcar 50 Sheathing

Regardless of it’s exact origin, it exhibits the rot and neglect of the boxcar’s general appearance, regardless of the attempted preservation though application of gray paint. Even at my last visit in 2014, the paint was severely cracked and flaking.

B&SR Boxcar #50, @ MNGRR, Portland, ME, November 2014

B&SR Boxcar #50, @ MNGRR, Portland, ME, November 2014

I am in the process of contacting several companies specializing in the analysis of historical paint with the hopes of looking back in time to the paintings of #50, built by M. M. Caswell and others in the B&SR car shop during the spring of 1889. These houses use many tools to mount, cross section, photograph and determine color based upon a few common color coding systems. They are also capable of determining the paint vehicle, pigment constituents and finish (e.g.: matte or gloss). Although it will take some time to complete, I look forward to sharing the results.