Barney & Smith Car Company Dayton Ohio By Scott D Trostel w/ dust jacket
Barney & Smith Car Company Dayton Ohio By Scott D Trostel w/ dust jacket
Barney & Smith Car Company Dayton Ohio By Scott D Trostel w/ dust jacket
Barney & Smith Car Company Dayton Ohio By Scott D Trostel w/ dust jacket

Barney & Smith Car Company Dayton Ohio By Scott D Trostel w/ dust jacket

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Barney & Smith Car Company Dayton Ohio By Scott D Trostel w/ dust jacket
The Barney & Smith Car Company
Car Builders- Dayton, Ohio
By Scott D Trostel
Hard Cover with Dust Jacket
232 pages
Copyright 1993

Table Of Contents
Formation Of Thresher, Packard & Co. 1849      1 1
1860 Times Of Change          21
The Barney & Smith Manufacturing Co.33
Narrow Gauge Car Construction41
The Sleeping Car Of Style51
Changing Technology Of The Railroad Car67
Allied Suppliers79
The Company Goes Public87
Prosperity And Growth101
Coming Of The Steel Freight Car115
A Time Of Distressed Management135
The Departments And The Master Craftsmen147
The Final Years          161
Equipment Rosters                  179

Technology of the twentieth century has moved at such a rapid pace that it has been terribly destructive in the name of progress. The industrial arts have not had the fortunes of preservation equal to that given to works of art on canvas. With few exceptions the face of railroad preservation has been focused on the locomotive or the passenger cars that they pull, or to a fine private car. To back up one step in the chain of events reveals the original need for the huge factories and many skills to construct this equipment. The railcar construction industry has received almost no attention in this respect yet it was a major employer in America. The assumption that railroad cars just simply hatched out of the end of a building has prevailed much too long. It has come time to peer beyond the walls and explore railcar manufacturing in detail at specific builders and to understand the arts, skills and trades necessary to produce the cars. It also brings the understanding of advances in technology which to a large degree effected the longevity of some builders who failed to make timely updates to meet customer demands.
The Barney & Smith Car Company of Dayton, Ohio, has long been a name of prominence in western Ohio for its massive 19th century industrial complex and its products -- railroad and interurban cars. It is interesting that its home town is where the Wright Brothers, printers and bicycle shop owners conquered the mysteries of powered flight. It was not airplanes, but railroad cars that made this town famous. It was the founders of this firm who saw to it that the community and its industry was well cared for. Eliam E. Barney well understood that for the integrity of a community to be whole, it meant providing work, wages and growth. It meant supporting families, understanding their self-esteem, the churches and even supporting upstart enterprises to the benefit of the community as a whole. The attitude of maximum profit at the sacrifice of all others would certainly have been heresy to Barney. Names like National Cash Register, Mead Paper, Huffy Bicycle, General Motors and Frigidaire can trace much of their local success to Barney & Smith. In another time when greed, personal gain and materialism were not the driving factors of industry this was a firm that built the highest quality railroad cars. This was a firm that emphasized the qualities and importance of the individual and family values. The educational skills exhibited by employees in its vast complex emphasized not only the mind but the hands and creativity. The railroad cars they built were works of art in wood, not duplicated in the twentieth century since.
While America's robber barons wielded much power in operating the railroads, the car builders were quite small and were well controlled by their customers and suppliers.
This builder was a pioneer in railcar construction. They started production just 24 years after railroads had themselves come to this new country. Barney and his partners opened their shop on the banks of a canal because there were no railroads in the area to serve them. This might be considered akin to the earliest years of the personal computer industry when the risk was high, and the understanding of the technology was not widely known. Barney and his partners risk everything to fill a new and young demand while some of their eastern contemporaries were already going out of business. No one possessed a degree in the specific engineering disciplines of car building, in fact they were least likely to have been considered qualified by any estimation as suited for railcar construction.
They built up an enterprise without shame and developed a community and standards of workmanship that can only be marveled at today. Their employees were what we know today as the blue collar work force, a group that took great pride in their work and was freely allowed and encouraged to do it to the best of their ability. Since the 1960's blue collar labor has come to be looked down on and shamed as a lower class of uneducated and unskilled laborers. Their detractors are now beginning to be measured by values and standards that reflect of a renewed understanding of character, self-esteem, integrity and self-worth.
This book is an attempt to chronicle the Barney & Smith Car Company over its 76 years, to look at the skills that railcar building demanded, the pains of growth, the problems in trying to build non-standard equipment prior to the advent of the Master Car-Builders Association and similar trade organizations. It looks at how cars were designed, built and sold, their many styles, their evolution, controversy and the autonomy of such early manufacturing firms. Lastly the book studies the neglect of a publicly held corporation, hesitation to move into new technology without knowledgeable administrators, positive leadership and a business plan. The downfall of Barney & Smith was it lack of vision of the impending formation of American Car & Foundry in 1899, an enlarged Pullman organization shortly thereafter and their failure to act on the development and production of all steel railroad cars in a timely manner. Finally, to make a huge investment without understanding of funded debt and market trends in railroad car manufacturing. This books tells the best and the worst and studies the equipment styles of a major American railcar builder

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