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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

McKeen Motor Car

From the source of all knowledge worth knowing [Wikipeida] because the McKeen Motor Car Company website is under construction. The McKeen Motor Car Company of Omaha, Nebraska, was a builder of internal combustion-engined railroad motor cars (railcars), constructing 152 between 1905–1917.[1] Founded by William McKeen, the Union Pacific Railroad's Superintendent of Motive Power and Machinery, the company was essentially an offshoot of the Union Pacific and the first cars were constructed by the UP before McKeen leased shop space in the UP's Omaha Shops in Omaha, Nebraska.
The UP had asked him to develop a way of running small passenger trains more economically, and McKeen produced a design that was ahead of its time. Unfortunately, internal combustion engine technology was not, and the McKeen cars never found a truly reliable powerplant. The vast majority of the cars produced were for E. H. Harriman's empire of lines (Union Pacific, Southern Pacific and others). Harriman's death in 1909 lost the company its major sponsor and investor, and Harriman's successors were less enthusiastic about the McKeen cars. Many McKeen cars ended up being re-engined with a variety of drive mechanisms — gasoline-mechanical, gasoline-electric, diesel-electric, or even steam power. Most, although not all, McKeen cars had the distinctive "wind-splitter" pointed aerodynamic front end and rounded tail. The porthole windows were also a McKeen trademark, adopted allegedly for strength after the 7th production car. A dropped central door, as pictured, was also present on the majority of the cars. Two lengths, 55 and 70 feet, were offered; either could be fitted out with a large mail and express area ahead of the center doors, a smaller mail/express area, or the car could be all seats for a maximum capacity of 64 or 105 respectively.
It is when I read the backs of postcards like this
that I wish that I could speak a multitude of languages. I would love to know what is being said, even if it only, "I'm OK; are you?" The post card was published by a company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska - just like the Union Pacific and the McKenn Motor Car Company. The Barkalow Brothers, Sidney D. Barkalow and Derrick V. Barkalow, arrived in Omaha from Ohio in 1856. BARKALOW BROS., news agents U. P. R. R., firm composed of D. V. and S. D. Barkalow, commenced business in 1865. D. V. B. of above firm was born in Warren County, Ohio, February, 1843. In 1856 he removed with his parents to Omaha, Neb. Learned printing and telegraphy, and about 1862 was engaged as operator on the overland telegraph line. He married in Cheyenne, W. T., May 24, 1876, to Miss Kate Whitehead. They have two children, Weltha M. and Robert V. Mr. B. is a member of the Pleasant Hours Club. S. D. Barkalow of above firm was born in Warren County, Ohio, in 1844; removed to Omaha Neb., with his parents in 1856. At the age of fifteen years he commenced clerking, and at seventeen started in business for himself in book and stationery firm of Barkalow Bros. They became the exclusive distributors of printed materials, including postcards, for the Union Pacific Railroad. They won won their contract with the U.P. in 1865 and became the exclusive news agents on the trains and in the stations along the line. The Barkalow Brothers also published non railroad oriented view-cards that were often printed by Tom Jones. They eventually became suppliers of hotel gift shops and moved their business to Fort Myers, Florida. They have been known to cooperate with Williamson-Haffner Company in their publishing efforts. The forgoing was found on the great website of the Metropolitan Post Card Club of New York

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