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Inventory of the Shelton Adjustable Double Deck Car Company Collection, 1916-1928
MS 37  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Background
  • Collection Description

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Shelton Adjustable Double Deck Car Company Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1916-1928
    Collection number: MS 37
    Creator: Shelton Adjustable Double Deck Car Company
    Extent: 2 cartons
    Repository: California State Railroad Museum Library
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Shelf location: Big Four Building or off-site storage. Please contact the Library in advance of your visit.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Senior Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Shelton Adjustable Double Deck Car Company Collection, MS 37, California State Railroad Museum Library, Sacramento, California.

    Historical Background

    The Shelton Adjustable Double Deck Car Company was organized in 1916 to manufacture and market a device invented by John B. Shelton for a movable deck to be installed in railroad box, refrigerator and stock cars. The officers of the company included Shelton as president and Guy V. Fleming as secretary. Offices were in San Francisco. A Canadian subsidiary also was established in 1919.
    Over the years the company succeeded in installing adjustable car decks for test purposes on a number of railroads, including the Southern Pacific, Nevada-California-Oregon, Northwestern Pacific, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, and Chicago and Alton. None of the railroads however, ordered the devices.
    The company encountered financial difficulties in the 1920s, and in 1924 A. R. T. Lackie replaced Shelton as president. Further attempts were made to interest railroads in the adjustable car decks, but with little success. It appears as though the company ceased operation by the 1930s.

    Collection Description

    The collection consists of the business records of the Shelton Adjustable Double Deck Car Company, and includes the by-laws, minutes of the board of directors for the American and Canadian firms, stock sales books and patents information. There are also miscellaneous letters, stock transfer records and advertising materials. In addition, researchers will find photographs of the device in the Museum's photograph files and drawings in the drawings collection. Wood and brass advertising models of the adjustable car decks are located in the Museum's artifact collections.