Century-old Reefer To be Restored in Indiana

It needs a new paint job and new brakes, but a 104-year-old Kingan Refrigerator Line wood refrigerator car will be restored by the Indiana Transportation Museum.

 

The car was rescued from a warehouse that was being demolished in Indianapolis. The Kosnick Supply Co., a lumber supply firm, had used the car to store paper records.

 

Being located inside the warehouse had shielded the car from the elements. It still had its original paint scheme, lettering and numbers, including the slogan “Reliable Sliced Bacon.”


ITM obtained the car through a donation by Brian Fahle, CEO and president of Indianapolis apparel merchandising company Main Event Merchandise Group.

 

Fahle had purchased the property at 925 E. Vermont St. sight unseen a few years ago as an investment and didn’t realize the car was in the warehouse.


A demolition contractor razed the building around the car until 18 museum volunteers and a heavy-equipment mover were able to put the car onto a trailer using a forklift.

 

The 12-ton car was moved to Kirklin, Ind., for storage until it can be restored.


Kingan was the first company to sell sliced bacon and was the largest meat packing company in Indianapolis.

 

In the early 1900s, the packing of beef and pork was the largest industry in Indiana. One of Kingan’s customers invented the method of preserving meat with ice, allowing meat to be shipped all over the nation in ice-filled cars year-round.

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