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Milton in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Milton Car Works / ACF Industries

Industries of Milton

 
 
Milton Car Works / ACF Industries Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 6, 2021
1. Milton Car Works / ACF Industries Marker
Inscription.  
Milton Car Works, now ACF, is Milton's oldest industry. Samuel Wilson Murray, William Dougal, John McCleery, and Charles McCormick founded Murray, Dougal & Co., in 1864.

Within a year, production began with an order for ten gondola cars manufactured for the Pennsylvania Railroad. With the discovery of oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania, demand arose for a more economical and efficient means of shipping barrels of oil. As a result, Milton Car Works began producing its famous vertical "wooden tubs on wheels." While this type of car, considered the world's first tank car, was manufactured for several more years, the horizontal steel tank car was soon patented, revolutionizing the industry.

By 1874, over 500 were employed at the Car Works building flat cars, gondolas, hopper gondolas, and box cars as well as non-railcar products including iron bridges and steam boilers. The plant used a good deal of lumber, and logs were floated down from Muncy Dam by way of the West Branch Canal. Including the large lumber pools, the Car Works occupied over six acres.

The fire of 1880 destroyed a good part of the plant, however, many of
Marker detail: "wooden tubs on wheels" image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: "wooden tubs on wheels"
ACF Industries — maker of America’s first tank cars
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the buildings were rebuilt in stone as well as brick.

The American Car & Foundry Company was incorporated in 1899 in New Jersey and acquired twelve companies, including Milton Car Works. A year later, the Milton ACF facility was designated as a tank car plant. By 1907, the company filled in the old lumber pools and constructed a steel-framed preparation and erection shop as well as a new powerhouse to employ new "state-of-the-art" fabrication methods. Other large modern buildings were erected over the years. The tank seam riveting methods were replaced in the 1950's by more modern welding methods. Production levels varied at ACF over the years and other types of railcars were also produced from time to time, including covered hopper cars.
 
Erected by Milton Historic Downtown Walking Tour.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1864.
 
Location. 41° 0.951′ N, 76° 51.314′ W. Marker is in Milton, Pennsylvania, in Northumberland County. Marker is on Arch Street (Pennsylvania Route 405) just north of Mahoning Street (Pennsylvania Route 642), on the right when traveling north. Marker is second from the right of four interpretive panels in a small pedestrian plaza along the sidewalk.
Marker detail: American Car & Foundry Co. Plant image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: American Car & Foundry Co. Plant
Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Milton PA 17847, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chef Boy-Ar-Dee (here, next to this marker); Other Industries of Milton (here, next to this marker); Samuel J. Shimer & Sons / Milton Manufacturing Co. (here, next to this marker); On This Site Stood the Second Stone House in Milton (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rotary Centennial Park (about 500 feet away); The West Branch of the Pennsylvania Canal System (about 500 feet away); The Founding of Milton (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Rotary Centennial Park (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milton.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Milton Historic Downtown Walking Tour
 
Also see . . .  From Sawmill To The American Car Foundry, The History Of ACF In Milton. ACF, the oldest and longest operating industry in Milton, began as a sawmill in 1842. A foundry was added nearby, and a blacksmith shop. In 1864, The Car Works was formed as a corporation, and a tank car was designed and built for hauling oil. The company made a variety of train cars over the years. In the 1870s they made bridges, and during the war, they made artillery shells. (Submitted on July 30, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Horizontal Tank Car image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Horizontal Tank Car
Milton Car Works / ACF Industries Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 6, 2021
5. Milton Car Works / ACF Industries Marker
(second from right of four interpretive panels at this location)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 30, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 54 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 30, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Dec. 1, 2021