Builders and Car Shops
The Appalachian oil region had a good share of early tank car builders and repair shops, especially in the industrial cities in NW Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio. Titusville, Franklin, Warren and Sharon were some of the NW Pennsylvania centers for car making with Titusvilles shops dating to the 1870s, the earliest days of the metal tank car. With the help of David Weber (written and verbal communication) some of the builders in the aforementioned cities are described below:
Titusville Iron Co., Titusville, PA, 1875-1910. Became part of Struthers Wells Corp., 1928-1963. Built iron boiler tank cars for Star Tank Line and the Empire Line in the 1870s and later. This was a famous early tank car builder. In 1956 the Titusville Iron Co. built aluminum tank cars to carry acid for Union Tank Car Co.
Titusville Forge Co., Titusville, PA. Became part of Struthers Wells Corp., 1928-1963. Noted for building welded steel high pressure tanks to contain propane and butane (LPG) for Union Tank Car Co., 1948-1957.
Struthers Wells Corp., Warren, PA. Built riveted and welded tank cars, 1880-1910. Continued in manufacturing until 1963, but tank cars were discontinued at Warren plant except for aluminum cars for Union Tank Car Co. in 1956-57.
Union Tank Car Co., Oil City, PA, ca. 1920s 40s. Repaired tank cars at this site.
Conley Tank Line, Franklin, PA, ca. 1930s - 40s. Repaired tank cars. This plant may have been started by Union Tank Car Co.
Hammond Iron Works, Warren, PA, 1900. Became Pittsburgh-Des Moines (PDM) after 1950s. Made car tanks, storage tanks and other plate work. According to D. Weber (written communication) this company fabricated the St. Louis Gateway Arch at their Warren shop.
Allegheny Foundry Co. (Allegheny Steel Tank Car Co.), Warren, PA. Later became Warren Car Co. Built cars for United Refining Co., Crew Levick (subsidiary of Cities Service), Valvoline etc. Said to have also built circus flat cars.
Valvoline Oil Co., Wilburine Oil Works, Warren, PA, ca. 1900-1930. Repaired tank cars for Valvoline which handled refined products from Warren and East Butler refineries. This plant worked with Allegheny Foundry in designing and building the Allegheny automobile (1905), a pioneer roadster. It failed because it was difficult to cool the engine (Stepping Stones, 1975).
Warren Car Company, Warren, PA, 1920-present. Repairer of United Refining Co. tank cars (Warren) and those of other firms. Successor to the Allegheny Foundry and Allegheny Steel Car Co.
Pennsylvania Tank Car Co., Sharon, PA (until 1927). Made cars for Emlenton Refining Co., Titusville Oil Works, Seneca Oil Works, Texaco, Gulf, Galena Oil Co., Foco Oil Co., Claredon Refining Co. and others. A leasing subsidiary, the Pennsylvania Tank Line, advertised in 1919 that they had over 3000 tank cars in the line.
Petroleum Iron Works Co., Sharon, PA, and Masury, Ohio. Founded by Joseph Cullinan (later Pres. Of Texaco). This company purchased Pennsylvania Tank Car Co., Jan. 1, 1927, which later became part of GATX.
Other tank car plants in the region were General American Tank Car Co., Warren, Ohio (Masury, Ohio, after 1930s) which built and repaired GATX cars and others, Oil Well Supply Co. tank car works in Oswego, N.Y., (1900-25) where they also made boilers, and a Union Tank Car Co. plant in Dubois, PA, 1970s-present, which now repairs American Refining Group tank cars, etc. The Union Tank Car Co. also had a long history in Olean, N.Y.
The above is merely a sampling of a large sector of the bulk transportation industry dealing with tank car makers and repairers.