Refrigerator cars, also commonly referred to by their shortened name as “reefers” were a revolutionary design that allowed for the widespread shipment of perishable food products such as dairy, meat, and vegetables.
The earliest such cars date back to the mid-19th century, naturally using ice as a means of cooling. After the development of the frozen food industry in the 1950s the reefer began to loose its near monopoly on the country’s perishable business.
A late-19th century wood-bodied reefer required re-icing every 250 to 400 miles. In the latter half of the 20th century, mechanical refrigeration began to replace ice-based systems.
Swift and Company was incorporated in Chicago in 1875, founded twenty years earlier by Gustavus Franklin Swift. He grew his company into an international business, initially opening a shop in London, England in 1900. Swift offered a wide variety of products, including: fresh, cured, and smoked meats, meat specialties, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese, oleomargarine, lard, shortening, cooking and salad oils, and soaps. In 1921, sales exceeded $1.1 billion. By the end of World War II, it employed over 20,000 people.The
The St. Louis Refrigerator Car Company (SLRX) was a private refrigerator car line established on February 3, 1878, by Anheuser-Busch. SLRX was formed to facilitate large-scale distribution of its products via the U.S. rail network, expanding to serve other industries. The SLRX built its own bunkerless reefers, and maintained and operated them.
Swift Reefer photo taken by Jim Parker
- Intricately Detailed, Durable ABS Body
- Metal Wheels and Axles
- Die-Cast 4-Wheel Trucks
- Operating Die-Cast Metal Couplers
- Colorful, Attractive Paint Schemes
- Opening Doors
- Fast-Angle Wheel Sets
- Needle-Point Axles
- 1:48 Scale Dimensions
- Unit Measures: 11 5/8” x 2 3/4” x 3 9/16”
- Operates On O-31 Curves