Paint and Finish

"...most logging companies had little interest in any specific paint scheme.  A Mallet was as much a tool as a donkey engine or saw sharpener, and they were content to accept them as they came from the factory." - Jim Wilke - RR Historian and specialist in historic locomotive paint schemes

A great deal of research has been done in regards to the factory paint schemes of the Baldwin locomotive works.  Thanks to this research a clearer picture has emerged of what Baldwin's locomotives looked like in both color and finish when they left the factory and entered service.  Baldwin's schemes went from opulent wine-red and red wheels in the early 1870s, to elegant Lake brown by the mid decade, and then to a dark Olive green by the start of the 1880s.  The dark olive green would remain Baldwin's standard color for steam locomotives, unless specified otherwise by the buyer, well into the 20th Century.  As a result, most of the Logging Mallets were olive green when they left the factory.  The large mainline railroads, which had massive locomotive fleets, often requested plain black with no stripes after the 1880s, but short lines and industrial railroads tended to leave the painting up to Baldwin.

Since the early 1870s, Baldwin used a standardized system to specify the colors and decorations of their locomotives.  This system used the main engine color, often Olive Green, followed by the lettering color, and then a Style number.  The Style number referred to the striping that would be applied to the various components of the locomotive.  Typically the lettering and striping was gold leaf before the 1890s and aluminum after 1900, with some transition in between.  Sometimes "Color" was used, which was a yellow imitation gold paint.

By the turn of the 20th Century, Baldwin had settled on two styles for their default scheme, Style 291 for locomotives with tenders, and Style220 for tank engines.  Style 220 was made up of the following components: cab-3, cylinder-12, tank-57, dome-31, and driver 16.

The individual component numbers refer to a drawing in Baldwin paint book, now preserved at Stanford.  For example, the Cab 3 drawing shows a wood cab with stripes filling the carved chamfers bordering the windows, recessed panels, and wall corners.  On steel cabs these chamfers and panels did not exist, so this infilling was imitated with round-corner panel stripes, both around the windows and where a recessed panel would have been on the cab side.  

A note about driver tire stripes and builders photos.  Builder's photos of Baldwin locomotives sometimes show the entire tire highlighted, but this was not part of most Baldwin striping styles.  Instead, new engines with stripes had the tire painted in the engine color with a thin stripe near the inner edge of the tire.  The "white tires" that show in some builders photos were temporary and done to make the wheels more visible.  Examples of this are the builder's photos for Weyerhaeuser #120 and Bloedel Donovan #14, which show "white tires."  Both locomotives were photographed not long after entering service, by Clark and Darius Kinsey respectively, and the Kinsey photos show thin tire stripes rather than completely highlighted tires.

Note that some builder's photos show the engines painted exactly as they would enter service, such as Portland & Southwestern #2, Little River #126, and Booth Kelly #2.  The driver stripe issue appears to be the only variation between the striping shown in builder's photos and the stripes on the engine as delivered.  An engine ordered in Style 49 would have Style 49 stripes in its builder's photo, a Style 220 engine would have Style 220 stripes for its builder's photo, and a "black, no stripes" engine would appear without stripes (aside from maybe white tires) in its builder's photo.

What parts were Olive Green?

In typical Baldwin practice the entire engine would be olive green, down to the frames and axles.  Put simply, these were olive green locomotives, not black engines with a few olive green parts.  The above diagram is a visual representation of how a logging Mallet would be painted from the factory:  The only non-green parts would have been the smokebox, stack, and firebox, all of which would have been blackened, either with graphite or some other mixture.  Also, the boiler jackets on some of the early logging Mallets were planished iron, a highly reflective material with a medium grey color.  Planished iron would take on the color of its surroundings, such as a blue sky, resulting in the common perception of the material having a blue tint.  Another feature worth mentioning is that Baldwin was known to paint walking surfaces, like running board and tender tops, with unvarnished mineral paint, usually a red-brown similar to freight car paint.  This was because these areas would be subject to more use and punishment than other areas and need frequent repainting.  These mineral paint areas however would not affect the overall look of the factory scheme, as they generally could not bee seen from an observer on the ground.  Cab roofs on new engines were also painted with mineral paint.  

Exceptions

While logging companies typically did not request special schemes on their new locomotives, it did happen from time to time.  An example among the logging Mallets is Mud Bay #8, which was ordered "black, no stripes" from the factory.

Repaints in service

While a logging company' disinterest in locomotive paint schemes usually led to a Mallet arriving on the job shining from top to bottom in olive green with aluminum stripes, this same attitude of course meant the scheme would not last.  Based on the photographs of Clark & Darius Kinsey, and others, it appears Baldwin's factory schemes generally lasted about five to seven years in the woods.  It is possible that the first few repaints would still in olive green, and minor repairs in early years would likely have been matched to the existing color.  The transition to overall black probably didn't come until the entire locomotive was in need of repainting or a rebuild.  

By the time they were retired virtually all of the logging Mallets were painted black, often with few or no stripes.  The only decoration other than lettering would be parts highlighted in aluminum or silver for visibility reasons.  Often, this highlighting was done on the smokebox front and cylinder covers.  This safety-conscious method of decoration would sometimes also spread to the pilot beam and edges of running boards, and occasionally handrails.  Lettering was generally aluminum, silver, or white, depending on the railroad.

However, some companies went beyond basic black when it came time to repaint their locomotives.  The Simpson Timber Company continued to paint their Baldwin locomotives green and stripe them in methods consistent with Baldwin styles into the 1950s.  The Caspar Lumber Company kept the boiler jackets on their two Mallets painted green, although the remainder went to black.  Long-Bell painted the jacket green on their #1001 at Tennant, California.  During the 1950s the Arcata & Mad River heavily decorated their #12, with silver smokebox, handrails, drivers, and cylinder covers with stars on them.  

List of as-built paint schemes of the logging Mallets

Locomotive Painting Jacket
Little River Railroad #126/Columbia River Belt Line "Skookum" Olive Green and Gold, Style 291 Planished Iron
Little River Railroad #148 Olive Green and Gold, Style 291 Painted
Booth-Kelly Lumber Co. #2 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Caspar South Fork & Eastern "Trojan" Olive Green and Gold, Style 291 Painted
Eastman Gardiner & Co #64 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 291 Planished Iron
Portland & Southwestern #2 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 291 Planished Iron
Booth-Kelly Lumber Co. #6 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
St Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. #7 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Hammond Lumber Co. #4 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Long-Bell #1000 Black, no striping.  "Lettering etc. to be in aluminum leaf." Painted
Long-Bell #1001 Black, no striping.  "Lettering etc. to be in aluminum leaf." Painted
St Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. #10 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Clemons Logging Co. #6 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Clover Valley #4 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Caspar South Fork & Eastern "Samson" Olive Green & Gold, Style 291 Painted
Bloedel-Donovan #8 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Bloedel-Donovan #9 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Insular Lumber Co. #7 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 291 Painted
Saginaw Timber Co. #4 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Clemons Logging Co. #7 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Potlatch Lumber Co. #24 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Simpson Logging Co. #13 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Ostrander Railway & Timber Co. #7 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Bloedel-Donovan #14 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 291 Painted
Clemons Logging Co. #8 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Mud Bay Logging Co. #8 Black, no striping.  "Lettering etc. to be in aluminum leaf." Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #110 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Saginaw Timber Co. #5 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Crown Willamette Paper Co. #12 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #105 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #106 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #111 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #200 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 291 Painted
Hammond Lumber Co. #6 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Polished Steel
Hammond Lumber Co. #5 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Polished Steel
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #107 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #201 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 291 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #4 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 291 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #120 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 291 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #110 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #112 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. #9 Olive Green and Aluminum, Style 220 Painted

 

 

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