Atlas O Reefers
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The Atlas O Reefers started shipping in May of 2000 and they have come out in waves ever since. They are coveted by many of us in the hobby for their attention to detail and their accurate representation of the original prototypes. They were first offered in the 40' variety, and then Atlas also offered up the older 36' cars. After that, they brought out Re-built 40' Reefers with the "re-built" meaning the wooden roof was replaced with a steel one. Finally, they released the longer 53'6" Express Reefers with passenger type trucks.

The original Billboard Reefers, as they are often called, were a great way for a company to advertise their products. Like moving bill boards, they were seen by thousands as the reefers transported their cargo. Begun in the late 1800's, the heyday of the billboard reefer began with the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. Beer companies utilized the billboard reefer to advertise the returning of their products.

Unfortunately, many organizations argued that the cost of their shipping was subsidizing the advertising for the billboard owner, and there were even situations where a reefer with one owners markings, say a brewery, was sent to ship a product from a chocolate company - or worse yet, a competitors product. As a result of many such complaints, they were outlawed by the Interstate Commerce Commission in July 1934 when they ruled that the lessee's name could be no more than 12" high. By law, all billboard reefers had to be removed from service by January 1937. Of course, many were repainted and continued to provide useful service into the 1960's. 

To date, there have been over 270 different unique paint schemes offered - and for most of the designs - the cars come in 2 numbers. There are a few cars that have been offered in 4, 6 or even 8 numbers. In our collection, as of October 2010, have over 340 Atlas O Reefers in total. The picture to the left shows one of our display shelves with a portion of our collection.

A few years ago, we had at least one of every paint scheme, but in a moment of insanity I sold all of them and with the proceeds paid for a year of college for each of the son muffins: Croissant, Crumb Cake and the Mini-Muffin. Since then, we have recollected all of the 36' Reefers and the majority of the 40' Reefers. Some are just impossible to find as they were originally manufactured in runs as small as 75 cars.

We also have quite a collection of the 53'6" Express Reefers - all eastern roads, of course.



Atlas O's 40' and 40' Rebuilt Reefers: 

Erie Baby Ruth #1 Baby Ruth #2 Borden's
Edelweiss #1 Edelweiss #2 Grand Union Ralston Purina
Pacific Fruit Express Blatz IGA Kraft Phenix
Northwestern #1 Northwestern #2 Miller #1 Miller #2
Bangor & Aroostock A&P Kraft NYC MDT
Narragansett Miller #3 Miller #4 Burlington
Columbia Soups Fruit Dispatch Company Tivoli Beer Monarch Foods
Schlitz SP PFE Bootes Del Maize Niblets
Silver Edge Beer Brookside Our Mother's Cocoa Crisco
Cherryland Land O Lakes Milwaukee Red Crown
Crazy Water Hanley's Glanbeulah Canning Karlsbrau Beer
Lagoda Canning #1 Lagoda Canning #2 Plochman & Harrison Schmidt's
Ken-L-Ration Pacific Egg Producers Frazier's Packing Great Fall's Beer
Northwestern Borden's Cheeses Borden's Butters Blatz
Doggie Dinner Red Top Milk White Rock Colorado & Southern
Phenix Cheese Robin Hood Beer Premier Malt #1 Premier Malt #2
Cherryland #2 Parrot Potatoes Lehigh Valley Banana Distribution
College Inn Cranberries Williamson Wisconsin Cheese
Gluek Brewing #1 Gluek Brewing #2 Fairmount Canadian Pacific
Marhorfer J.Lynard and Company
Northern Pacific Berkshire MDT Oak Grove Butter
DL&W Silver Edge Beer #2 Miller/Hart WP/PFE
Wash Boro Tomatos Canada Dry DL&W #2 Pere Marquette
Prairie Farms Sante Fe Plitts Great Northern
Ballantine Beer WP/PFE Marty Cheese Penn Canning
Glaser Crandell #1 Glaser Crandell #2 Meter Sauerkraut Pabst-ett #1
Pabst-ett #2 Stokely's Sun-Rayed Flaharty Dairy
Peerbolte Onion Sets Hamilton Grand Trunk Pacific Arizona Brewing Company
Cliquot Club Borden's Lion Milk Wilson's Milk
White House Milk Sante Fe Fehr's Falls City

Atlas O's 36' Reefers:

Cudahy Puritan Decker Eagle Beer Hormel
Oscar Meyer
Swift - Premium Ham
Swift - Silverleaf
Swift - War Bonds
Kingans Krey's Nuckoll's Packing #1 Nuckoll's Packing #2
Selecto Swift - Red Pabst Baby Ruth
Oppenheimer Meats
Cudahy Sunlight
NKP DL&W Pluto Water
Southern Star Mrs Tucker's Vissmans
Clicquot Club
Page Milk Pearl Brand Peter Fox Beer Westcott & Winks
Mandan Turkeys Kohr's Stegner Peacock Brand
Sally Lee Evansville Packing Crown Meyer Kornblum
Rath's Wilson's PRR Union Line Hoster
NYO&W DM&IR Columbus Packing H.M.Noack
Swifts Kahn's Empire Line St. Mary's Brewing
A&P Bright Morning
Clicquot Club
PRR Produce
Zion Fig Bars Atlantic Seaboard Libby's Swift Bacon
Swift Ham Fosse Westcott & Winks #2
PRR Fruits & Vegs
Kahn's Swift's Silver Springfield Brewries A.R.Loomis
Nuckolls Refridge Line
Old Heidelberg
Eastern Refridge Des
PRR Lines Dairy
Cudahy Decker #2 Hanford's Wilson

Atlas O's 53'6" Reefers:

American Railway Express REA Soo Line Western Pacific
Pacific Fruit Express Frisco NC&SL REA #2
Philadelphia & Reading American Refrigerator Express Lehigh Valley Reading

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Last modified: 05/05/12