Red Caboose Mather Meat Reefer Mather (MRRX)(Orange w/red roof & ends) 6#s
Mather Meat Refrigerator Cars
The Mather Stock Car Company of Chicago was founded early in the twentieth century by Alonzo C. Mather. As the company's name indicates, its primary business was the leasing of stock Cars, which many railroads preferred to lease rather than buy because the stock business was highly seasonal. Mather branched out into leasing refrigerator Cars in the 1920's, however, and beginning in the 1930's the company did a brisk business in box Cars as well. The Mather fleet even included a few tank cars.
Mather leased cars to railroads and shippers in many parts of the country and was modestly successful throughout the 1920's. However, it was during the severe depression following the 1929 stock market crash that the Mather company prospered. With most new railroads in financial distress and many in receivership, there was no capital with which to purchase new freight cars, yet serviceable cars were often urgently needed. Leasing provided a viable alternative, as leased freight cars could be paid for a little at a time out of current revenue. Mather's Chicago Ridge shops therefore worked overtime building and rebuilding cars in the early 1930's, at a time when other car builders were largely idle for lack of orders.
Though Mather remained a relatively small company, it contained its profitable leasing business until, in the late 1950's, it was acquired by the North American Car Corporation.
Among the cars in the Mather leasing fleet were several hundred 37' meat refrigerator cars which had been converted from stock cars. From the 1930's through the 1950's, several hundred of these cars were leased to the Rath Packing Co. Other meat packing firms that leased 37' Mather reefers at one time or another include the Hygrade Food Products Corporation, the Hunter Packing Co., the Kohrs Packing Co., and Oscar Mayer and Co. These cars were also operated on a short-term lease basis under Mather's own MUNX and MRRX reporting marks.
Mather's 37' refrigerator cars had steel framed bodies with wood sheathing and interior lining, single sheathed ends, and Mather patent metal sheathed roofs. During the 1940's they were upgraded with AB air brakes, geared hand brakes, new draft gear, and modified end sills. In this form, many remained active through the 1950's and some lasted into the 1960's.
Mather M.R.R.X. Refrigerator
Part #: RR-31001
Body Style: Mather Meat Refrigerator Car
Colors: Reefer Orange, Freight Car Red Roof & Ends
Description: Mather with M.R.R.X. reporting marks
Current Road Numbers: 2603, 2611, 2617, 2646, 2684, 2695
Reporting Marks: M.R.R.X.
Re-weigh Date: C-R 4-44