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CRA452 -- William H. Peterson Papers

CRA 452: Photographs


20.00 Linear Feet
April 2007
Revised: December 2009


William H. Peterson worked at the Pullman-Standard Hammond, Indiana plant from 1947 to 1981. As part of the Research and Development Office, Mr. Peterson obtained sixty United States patents and over 100 foreign patents during his career. One of his most significant patents involved the Hydroframe-60 freight car, described in an article in the Chicago Daily Tribune, October 10, 1961, Section F, page 5:

Pullman Gets Patent on New Freight Car

Pullman, Inc., yesterday was granted a patent on its Hydroframe-60 freight car. The car, being fabricated by the Pullman-Standard division, is designed to provide complete lading and car protection at impact speeds of twelve miles an hour and more. The patent is based on an invention of William H. Peterson, of the Pullman-Standard division. Providing cushioned travel, the invention will eliminate freight and car damage and attract many classes of high revenue merchandise of the railroads, a spokesman said. Pullman-Standard termed the invention "the greatest single development in the railroad carbuilding field over the last 50 years." It added that it now is possible to redesign freight cars using substantially less material.

The William H. Peterson Papers include a large number of files produced by Mr. Peterson during his career at Pullman-Standard. The collection will be described in this finding aid as it gets processed for research and educational use. We are grateful to Mr. Peterson and his family for preserving these historically significant files in the Calumet Regional Archives at Indiana University Northwest. For questions regarding the Peterson Papers, please contact Archivist Stephen McShane at 219-980-6628 and/or email at


Box File Description
1 1 Historical Information, William H. Peterson
2 Correspondence, Elevation to Fellow, William H. Peterson, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1987
3 Correspondence, Arnold Stucki Award, William H. Peterson, 1987
4-5 Scrapbook, William H. Peterson, (1959-1962)
6-8 Selected patents, William H. Peterson, (1954-1981)
9-10 Selected original drawings, William H. Peterson, (1950-1980)
11 Presentation,William H. Peterson, "Cushioning Requirements for Adequate Lading Protection," at the Union Pacific Railroad, Nov. 30, 1959 and the ASME Annual Meeting, Dec. 4, 1959
12 Presentation,William H. Peterson, "Cushioning Requirements for Adequate Lading Protection," at Materials Handling and Packaging Conference, Feb. 24, 1961 and Car Foremen's Association of Chicago, May 8, 1961
13 Presentation,William H. Peterson, "Dynamic Behavior of Lading in Freight Cars," Battelle Memorial Institute, Oct. 3, 1962
14 Presentation,William H. Peterson, "Physical Factors Affecting Damage to Package Commodities During Railroad Transport, Stockholm, September 1964
15 Presentation,William H. Peterson, Impact Hazard, RailCar Cushioning and its Relation to the Strength of Packages and Shipping Containers, Vienna, May 1966
16 Slide presentation script, "Pullman Standard Hydraulic Cushion," n.d.
17 Correspondence, William H. Peterson, Presentations, 1967
18 Articles, William H. Peterson, Technisch-wissenschaft liche Beilage, 1965, 1967
19-21 Company Publications, Carbuilder, with articles on Hydroframe-60 Boxcar, (1954-1970)
22 Historical information, William R. Peterson/Hartin F. Peterson/ Warren H. Peterson, all employees of Pullman-Standard at various times, (1947-1955)
23 Historical information, Pullman-Standard Research and Development Department, 1957-1966
24 Summary, List of Pullman-Standard and competitors cushion underframe and end-of-car cusion unit cars, June 30, 1967
25 Articles, Pullman-Standard, 1971, 1977, 1985
26 Telephone directory, Pullman Incorporated, n.d.
  SERIES: FREIGHT (Note: The following listing is a preliminary inventory at the box level)
2   Patent issues/searches
  Speeches by others on Hydroframe-60 Boxcar
  Damages in industry problems
3   Peterson Patent infringement trial briefs (Pullman-Standard vs. ACF)
4   Patent infringement trial record
5   General arrangement diagrams and other drawings
6   Company publications, Carbuilder, various issues
7   Cushioning
8   Cushioning--fibre
  Carton info
  D & G
  Speed control--cushioning
9   Cushioning--hydraulic
  German papers
  Pin calculations
  Standard car impacts/AAR certification tests
  Sales brochures
  ICC hearings
10   Cushioning--lading tests, 20"-30" string
  Talbot EOC drawings--cushion
11   Cushioning drawings, 1951-233
12   Impact information
  Various drawings
13   New product areas
  Speed control device
  Impact indicator
14   Speed control device
15   Titanium wheel
  Brittle fracture
  Front draft lug
16   Vendors--car components
17   Advertising
18   Misc. engineering information
  New product areas
  General car design
19   Misc. engineering information
  Erie Lackawanna drawings
  NOTE: The collection includes an additional ten boxes dealing with passenger car information. Data on the contents of these boxes will be added to this preliminary inventory as the boxes are processed.

Subject Tracings

  • Hammond, Ind.
  • Pullman-Standard Company
  • Railroads