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Body Style Information: This body style first appears in the 1992 Atlas catalogs, marked as "Coming in early '92". The first release was produced in six road names plus and undecorated car. The early production was performed in Atlas' New Jersey facility, but when Atlas moved all their toolings to China in the late 1990s, this mold was moved.
Prototype Information: The airslide covered hopper was introduced by General American Transportation Corporation (GATX) in 1953. Approx. 5000 of the 2600 cu. ft. cars were built between that year and 1969. The airslide is primarily designed for the bulk shipment of dry, granular or powdered commodities. The design of that car is such that it can be loaded and unloaded quickly and with little spillage through the use of air pressure. The most common commodities carried include: flour, sugar, starch, plastic pellets, cement, powdered chemicals and carbon black.
The company went through several official names and faced bankruptcy several times in that period. The railroad no longer exists as a separate entity, but much of its trackage continues to be used by its successor and other roads. The eastern half of the system merged into the Soo Line Railroad on January 1, 1986.
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In those days, railroad modelers had to assemble and build everything from scratch. Steve Jr. created a "switch kit" which sold so well, that the entire family worked on them in the basement at night, while doing business as usual in the machine shop during the day.
Subsequently, Steve Jr. engineered the stapling of rail to fiber track, along with inventing the first practical rail joiner and pre-assembled turnouts and flexible track. All of these products, and more, helped to popularize model railroading and assisted in the creation of a mass-market hobby. The budding entrepreneur quickly outgrew the limitations of a basement and small garage operation. Realizing they could actually make a living selling track and related products, Steve and his father had the first factory built in Hillside, New Jersey at 413 Florence Avenue in 1947. On September 30, 1949, the Atlas Tool Company was officially incorporated as a New Jersey company.
In 1985, Steve was honored posthumously for his inventions by the Model Railroad Industry Association and was inducted into the Model Railroad Industry Hall of Fame in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, Steve was nominated and entered into the National Model Railroad Association Pioneers of Model Railroading in 1995.
In the early 1990s, the Atlas Tool Company changed its name to Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc.
Item created by: gdm on 2017-12-06 20:52:26. Last edited by gdm on 2017-12-06 20:53:01
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