PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Jerry Britton's PRR Middle Division in HO Scale


The Mather Stock Car Company was a U.S. corporation that built railroad rolling stock. Mather specialized in stock cars, but built other types of cars as well, including boxcars. The company was headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Their main headquarters building, Mather Tower, built in 1928 in Chicago, still stands today. This building has the smallest floors of any of Chicago's skyscrapers.

Mather was founded by Alonzo C. Mather; the company's first stock car was built in 1880. As the 20th century dawned, Mather began leasing stock cars to the railroads that used them. Railroads of the time found it less expensive to lease stock cars than to purchase them outright or to build them. By the 1920s, Mather had expanded their fleet to include boxcars and refrigerator cars along with a few tank cars.

With the onset of the Great Depression in the US, Mather was one of a limited number of companies that saw profits in the 1930s. As railroads eliminated freight cars out of their own fleets, leasing companies such as Mather were able to step in and supply freight cars as needed.

In the late 1950s Mather was merged into the North American Car Corp. of Chicago.

Mather leased refrigerator cars to, among other companies, Agar Packing & Provision Co. (AGRX), Hygrade Food Products Corp. (HFPX), Hunter Packing Co. (HPAX), Kohrs Packing COmpany (KOHX), John Morrell & Co. (MORX), Peyton Packing Company (PPCX), and Rath Packing Company (RPRX). Its own reporting marks were MRRX or MUNX.

Notable Number Series

Series 100-599 were built by Mather in 1948 and leased to Rath Packing Company (Iowa) with reporting mark RPRX (RSM). They featured Dreadnaught ends and Universal hand brake.

Series 600-999 were built by Mather in 1952 and leased to Rath Packing Company (Iowa) with reporting mark RPRX (RSM).

Series 5500-5699 were built for Morrell in 1939 by General American. They were sold to Mather in 1954. Reporting mark MRX (RSM).

Series 9000-9199, originally built and owned by Mather, featured a Klasing hand brake. With a MORX (RSM) reporting mark, these cars were leased to Morrell.

Series 9200-9974 were built in 1940 by Mather and leased to Morrell with reporting mark MORX (RSM).

Paint Schemes