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Old 04-20-2014, 06:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 55 gallon drum color coding ???

I know that many years ago B-4 Placards existed that 55 gallon steel drums were color coded as to what was in them. Does anyone have the chart or know what the color coding was ??? I have found a source for rather affordable solid wooden 55 gallon drums and I'd like to paint them up as for to use on the layout.

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Rocky
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Other than a text label that defines the content and/or manufacturer, the only thing I have ever seen in the way of color coding is the 4 color diamond on the side with a number in each of the colors.

The colors are always the same (Red on top, Blue on the left, Yellow on the right and White on the bottom), so the colors are meaningless except to try to differentiate (just in case the symbol is not "upright") which attribute of the contents the number is specifying something about. The attributes are something like volatility, flammability, taste and fashion sense, ... no wait, it is "Fire Hazard" [Red], "Health Hazard" [Blue] "Reactivity" [Yellow] and "Specific Hazard" [White]. (Might as well be Flammability, Poisonability, Eat your flesh off-ability and Fashion sense-ability.)

The numbers represent something about each of those attributes of what is in the drum (or box or building or anything else that the symbol is on), but what the numbers mean in each color is just like trying to remember what the colors mean... they are only known to those that have to deal with it every day. To the rest of the populace they are just pretty colors and sometimes mean that the container probably has something scary in it.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That is the "placard" type thing. I'm talking about in the 30s, 40s and 50s before the Hazmat thing came into effect. I know they didn't have that back in the days of steam...

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Old 04-22-2014, 01:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GN_Rocky View Post
That is the "placard" type thing. I'm talking about in the 30s, 40s and 50s before the Hazmat thing came into effect. I know they didn't have that back in the days of steam...

Rocky
I'm just going by what I did working summer high school Vac wth my Dad at a whar.unloading frt. cars in the Early 50th's.

Most Chem. drums was painted black with white tops with label's top and sides. Some also had white stencil's on the side to.
Oil company's had Blue, Red and Yellow for there oil drums. Depending on the company it was like Union 76, Mobile, Shell, and etc..
Most I remember was the wt. that was around 4 to 5oo lbs and to moving them around in the frt. cars was a b**ch.. Mostly due to I was only around 15o lbs at that time.
Sometime just getting the barrow truck to brake them over to get out was sometime need help.. lol.
No Hasmat in tho days. If punched a hold in them like the old timers did years back, just get some card board and band it up if able to stop the leak. Get to bad of a leak, just set the drum over to the outside frt. car door and let it go on the track ballast and clean up with sand or sawdust later. lol.
Hope this help some, Rocky
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rocky:

To the best of my recollection there was never a standard color coding scheme in the US for these types of containers. All that currently exists is the placard system regarding hazardous materials. Even today, you cannot rely on the colors of compressed gas and Colour_coding cylinders to readily identify their contents.

Here are a few links supporting my memory -

color classifications

Meyers Steel Drum

I worked in service stations for Texaco, Mobil and Standard Oil in the early 60's and the various bulk solvents, oils and lubes that came in drums were usually painted in the company's colors and logos. It was always the drum's lid that identified the actual contents. Occasionally the drum had its contents labeled but we would still refer to the lid for actual contents.

I remember when growing up, my father worked for the Navy and would bring home empty drums to use as a backyard incinerator to burn trash. These were always either olive drab or black. I had the fun job of punching a row of holes around the bottom to support a draft. I got to use a WW2 surplus mattox pick-ax, what fun!
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys That gives me some insight. I remember some barrels from the lab that were light green with the middle "band" white. Also remember Light blue with the white band too. But I was curious as to the solid black, silver, red, etc. barrels. I've made some solid black, silver and red barrels so far. I guess I'll do some Pullman green/olive, orange and green barrels next. Maybe I should do some blue ones too

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