Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Another Saybrook Structure Photo (re)Discovered!

This is a lesson in making sure you review what you already have before you go too far doing new research...

I've been trying to figure out what colors to paint New Haven Railroad related structures, c. 1947 (click here and here for the discussion so far, and don't forget to check out the comments).

The biggest challenge, of course, is finding color photos from the era.  This one. . .

. . . from the spring of 1949 (according to the photographer, John Wallace) shows the Old Saybrook station and freight house in a monotone "all brown" color. While we don't need to go into actual colors here (since I did so here), this photo is helpful for establishing a point in time by which the freight house, for example, had been repainted from an earlier "two-tone" scheme.

That two-tone scheme had definitely been in use as late as the early 1940s, at least in Old Saybrook, as in this photo:

"Early 1940s" to spring of 1949 is still a pretty large window for speculating when the color scheme changed from two-tone to monotone. But looking at (for what has to be the millionth time) Shoreliner Vol. 22 #4 again (the one with John's Valley Line article), I see the following on page 10:

In case you can't read the caption, this is a shot of the Old Saybrook freight house in December 1946.

Dec. '46 to early spring '49 is a MUCH narrower window - heh, but it still doesn't solve my problem. I still don't know precisely how the structures were painted in October, 1947 (my chosen modeling period).

But does it really matter? Or is this actually a - dare I say it? - opportunity (especially given my recent era creep)? If I want to depict October, 1947, there's nothing to say that either the two-tone or monotone scheme wouldn't be ok. I just know I can't depict October 1946 with a monotone building or October 1949 with a two-tone building. (btw, it's always October on my layout - it's much easier to change locomotives and cars than it is to change scenery...)

Of course, we're just talking about the Saybrook freight house - other structures kept the two-tone scheme MUCH longer. See this photo of Wethersfield station from the summer of 1951:

Also from Shoreliner Vol. 22, #4
Of course, all this is assuming the captions on these photos are correct. I haven't independently verified them yet. But they were published in the Shoreliner so they have to be correct, right? :^)

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