A.C.L.R.R. item

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My daughter and I stopped in a what-not type shop off of Hwy 301 in Bushnell, Florida. When inquiring about railroad items we were shown a cone-shaped bucket that is about 2 feet deep and about 20 inches around with ACLRR stamped in one side from the inside out. The acronym is a raised lettered stamping to the outside. There is also a handle on it where I guess it used to be carried. It comes to a point at the bottom and seems to have kind of an odd shape to have been used for water. Being railroad nuts, of course, it now resides with us. Does anybody know what this is?

Our E-mail adress is L1K2GADD@GTE.NET(all in lower case) Thank you

-- Lennart P. and Kristine Gadde (l1k2gadd@gte.net), December 09, 1999


The SAL used the conical fire buckets as well. With the exception of the stamped initials, they were similarly painted and marked. Great find!

-- Buddy Hill (palmettoLTD@hotmail.com), December 11, 1999.

This fire bucket may be a second that wasn't painted. I find no evidence of paint on it other than some surface rust speckled around what may be a dark colored base paint or possibly the galvinizing. It is soldered or sealed down the seam and through the point. The only markings we can find are the stamped letters ACLRR which are 7/16" high by 7/16" wide with about 3/16" between A C and L, 5/16" between the L and R, and then 3/16" between the R R. If hung on a hook the ACLRR could face outward since it is almost centered between the handle brackets and is 3 and 3/4" below the top lip of the bucket. I also now have a ruler. My original dimensions were a little off. It is about 14" across by about 14 to 15 inches deep. Thanks for all of your responses!

-- Lennart P. and Kristine Gadde (l1k2gadd@gte.net), December 10, 1999.

I have heard two plausible reasons for fire buckets being conical. The first, as stated above, would be to make them useless to a potential thief. The other was that it was cheaper to make a bucket with no bottom. I prefer the former idea.

All of the buckets I have seen have been galvanized steel, though I am guessing most were painted red with white "FIRE" lettering on the side. All but one I have seen were painted at some point. Of course, like ACL flagging kits, the red flakes right off of the galvanizing. I have seen two stamped markings; "ACL" and "Property of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad"

Hope this helps. Marc

-- Marc L. Hamel (gigsup@aol.com), December 10, 1999.

I've never heard of the fire buckets being filled with sand - an interesting variation. The ones I saw were hung on the side of the depot, just above a large water barrel.

-- Larry Goolsby (LGoolsby@aphsa.org), December 10, 1999.

Yes they are fire buckets. The most of the ones I saw were filled with dry sand and hung from angle braces on the outside walls of the depot. Of course they were hung in places under the train shed roof or eaves in order to keep the rain out.

They were pointed to make them worthless for any other use. I doubt that a regular heavy duty railroad bucket would have lasted long, before sprouting legs and heading home with someone. Hmm, just thinking and remembering how much "A.C.L." stamped equipment sprouted legs and walked away. :)

My Mom still lives in an ACL section foreman's house my dad bought when the railroad did away with our section house (1952 I believe).

The faded past is still alive in memories and curio shoppes.

-- Curtis E. Denmark Jr. (curtisd@knology.net), December 10, 1999.

This is a fire bucket I have been told by old timers that the pointed bottom has three purposes.#1 These were turned upside down and put on top of the lid of the water barrels the bottom being up would shed water unlike a flat bottom bucket would collect water and the bottom would rust.#2 The botom being pointed would be easier to get down in the water barrel to fill it with water.#3 The person using the bucket could not set it down and it stand ,thus while putting out a fire the person would have to keep carrying or loose the water.These were the reasons I have bee

-- Robert Alan Ashworth (TarheelRRds@aol.com), December 09, 1999.

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