McKenna Process Company
Plant formerly located in Joliet, Illinois - ca. 1920.
By the Langfords: George Sr.(1876 - 1964), George Jr.(1901 - 1996) & George III (1936 - )
2005 by George Langford III
Last updated on November 17, 2014
This is a picture-book prepared by George Langford, Sr., to illustrate the plant used to reroll rails according to the rail renewing inventions of Edward W. McKenna, Chief Engineer of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company.  McKenna's basic concept was that worn rails retained 98% of their original mass.  He reasoned that it ought to be possible to redistribute the remaining mass so as to restore the essential original dimensions: the rail height from base to head and the head dimension required to maintain the original gauge of the installed tracks.  This could be done by re-rolling the rail. 

During 1897, the first year of operation of the McKenna plant at Joliet, Illinois, about 20,000 tons of rerolled rails were shipped; I know this because I found, in an old ledger that had been discarded by McKenna and then appropriated by George, Sr. to catalogue his paleontological and archaeological specimens, four pages of debits & credits dating from August 17, 1897 to December 31, 1898.  One of the entries was a rebate of $50 on the tarriffs charged by the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern RR for switching 1,987 cars through December 31, 1897.  At 20 tons of rails per car and two handlings per car (once into the McKenna yard and once out) that works out to 20,000 tons.  In an article in Railway Age (March 2000) there's a retrospective article about a tour of the McKenna plant conducted in 1900.  By that time, the article says, there were 80,000 tons of McKenna's re-rolled rails in service.

George Langford, Sr., started with the McKenna company in 1898 and was successively foreman, superintendent, director and, finally, president of McKenna from 1929 until 1946.  On June 30, 1928, about the time that George Langford, Sr. became President, the McKenna Process Company was reorganized in order to include George, Sr. as a small stockholder.  Later, after George, Jr., joined his father at McKenna in 1929, George, Jr., was given a share (August 6, 1929) and on December 6, 1932, another share.  That made the Langford family 0.13% owners of the McKenna Process Company.   However, family ties may have played an indirect role as well.  George Langford, Sr.'s text on all these pages is in green italicsGeorge Langford, Sr.'s history of the McKenna Process Company follows on the next page.  George Langford, Jr.'s biography of George, Sr. is next, after that.  Richard L. Leary of the Illinois State Museum has published a fine biography, "George Langford, Sr. (1876-1964): Amateur paleobotanist and inventor" as a chapter in the Geological Society of America Memoir 185, 1995.  Next is George Langford, Jr.'s history of the McKenna Company, written from a slightly different perspective as the son of the principal character. 

A list of George, Sr.'s many patents is here.  Steve Reynolds of DATAMP graciously and generously found them for me.

George III prepared the scanned images in order to give a talk about the life of George Langford, Sr., at the invitation of Michael Henderson of the Burpee Museum, Rockford, Illinois, at their Second Annual Mazon Creek Open House, October 21, 2000.  The subject of the talk was the quite cyclical rail business of the McKenna Proccess Company that gave George, Sr., the resources as well as the time to pursue his many scientific interests, among which were the Pennsylvanian coal flora and fauna preserved in the fossils found on the spoil heaps of coal mines in Wilmington Township, Will County, Illinois.  Many of the fossils collected by George, Sr., are preserved at the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, Illinois.  Images of these fossils are available on line in the Mazon Creek Collections Database.  George Langford, Sr., authored two important compendia, both published by the Earth Sciences Club of Northern Illinois (ESCONI): The Wilmington Coal Flora, 1958, and The Wilmington Coal Fauna and Additions to the Wilmington Coal Flora, 1963.  After the failure of the McKenna company in 1946, George, Sr., became Curator of Plant Fossils at the Field Museum of Natural History (later, Chicago Natural History Museum).  George Langford, Sr., also participated actively in the archeology of prehistoric Illinois, first on the Kankakee River in 1919 and then at the Fisher Mound and village site and the Adler Indian Mounds between 1925 and 1929, as well as conserving the remains of a mastodon found in Kendall County, Illinois, in 1910.  At the conclusion of his salvage work at the Fisher site and the Adler mounds, George, Sr. wrote an essay describing his work and its impacts and also making an impassioned plea for the preservation of the remaining sites in Illinois (such as Dan Dickson's) using the state-owned sites in Ohio as positive examples.  George, Sr., also authored three novels published by Boni and Liveright: Pic, the Weapon Maker (1920), Kutnar, Son of Pic (1921), Stories of the First American Animals (1923); one published by Liveright Corp.: Senrac, The Lion Man (1954); and one, serialized in American Boy Magazine: The Mammoth Man (1922).
Notes by George III:  The photographs from which these images were made are contact prints from eight by ten inch negatives made with a large format view camera.  The photographer is unknown;  it was probably not George Langford, Sr., as my grandfather had long since lost his left arm in an accident with the rolling mill seen in these images.  That accident occurred before his marriage to my grandmother, Sidney Holmes (Langford), and before the birth of my father, George Langford, Jr.  The accompanying high resolution of the images in this picture book cannot be reproduced on the Internet without dividing the images into managable portions as I have done here.  There are many details available in the images which can only be viewed comfortably by the substantial enlargement made possible by the digital scanner.  The images below are mere thumbnails; the larger images are reachable by clicking on the appropriate links alongside the images. 

I am unsure of the precise location of the plant that you see here, except that during a visit to Joliet in 2002 I stood in front of a building, now housing the Police Department of Joliet, that was the Joliet Prison (not the State Penitentiary known as Stateville) at the time these pictures were taken.  When I stood facing that building's left front corner, the McKenna site would have been directly behind my back.  The twin towers of a large school and a Joliet church can be seen just to the right of center on the skyline of Image 2 below.  George Langford, Jr., drew a map of his best recollection of the locations of the McKenna offices and plant in Joliet late in his lifetime.  The office was located at the corner of Abe Street and East Jackson Street; it might be that building that can be seen at the extreme left rear of Image 1 below, because George, Sr., describes it as having a tile roof in his history of the McKenna Company.  Use Mapquest to study the local streets and railroads; here is a composite of Image 1 and Image 2.  These two pictures were probably taken from the East Jackson Street viaduct, looking northwest.  See also this image of Joliet, taken from the air by George Langford, Jr., in 1917, showing the school seen above along with the McKenna Process Company plant and the much larger Elgin, Joliet & Eastern railroad yards next to the plant. In April, 2005, the former McKenna yard is just rubble, but the McKenna office building on East Jackson Street at Abe Street still remains.  The former Bates Machine Company plant is right across Jackson from the McKenna office building.

The Yard Overall - viewed from the southeast
Image 1. Rail rerolling plant viewed from the southeast.  
rail storage yard is in the foreground; the rolling
is in the background.
Details scanned from the original print:
a. Overall
Foreground Rails
Men Grading Rails
More Men in Background
e. Panoramic view
Unloading Operations
g. Magnetic Crane Unloading Incoming Rails
h. Men Handling Incoming Rails
Note: The links above will take you to an intermediate
"thumbnails" page, from which you can link to larger
images. Click the link at top of that page to return here.
Yard - viewed from the southeast
Image 2. Rail rerolling plant viewed from the southeast.
This is a continuation (right side) of the preceding picture.
Details scanned from the original print:
a. Overall At Right
b. Men Grading Rails At Shed
c. Some More Men Grading Rails
d. Men Working Behind Coal Pile
e. Panorama of Men Working
f. Self-Propelled Steam Crane & Coal Buckets

g. Joliet Church & House on Skyline (at right rear)

Another view of the plant, taken from the air about 1917.
This image was not in the original book; however, you will
be able to see the magnetic-hoist crane in the image below.
Image 3. Unloading old rails with locomotive crane and 
Here is a snapshot made by George, Jr. about 1917.
Rail unloading & storage yard; rolling mill in the background.
Image 4. Rail unloading and storage yard viewed from 
the east.
Rolling mill in background (right).

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Overall
b. Detail of Men Working
c. CloseUp Men Working
d. Men Handling Rails Near Rolling Mill

Note the smokestacks of the steam boilers at right
rear. They can also be seen in Image 6 & in Image 7.
Arranging rails for inspection & grading
Image 5. Grading old rails for rerolling.  After 
unloading, the rails are arranged for inspection.
This view is a continuation (right side)of the one

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Overall View
b. Detail View
c. Workman Standing At Right
d. Workman At Left Manipulating Rail

Rails graded according to head wear (A, B & C)
Image 6. Grading old rails for rerolling. The rails 
standing upright have been measured and graded
according to their degree of head wear, for rerolling
to A, B and C sections as marked at ends.

Details scanned from the original print:
a. Inspected&Graded Rails-Marked-A-B-C
b. Inspected&Graded Rails-Marked-A-B-C-Details
c. Inspected & Graded Rails - Marked - Three Each
A-B-C for Comparison with US Pat. No. 1,212,364
by George Langford, Sr.
d. The Three Workmen Overlooking Their Product

Note: It was quite important that the rails with differing
degrees of head wear be rolled in the appropriate roll
pass; the rail would curve dramatically if the head and
flange were not elongated exactly the same. The rails
actually elongated just enough to allow the cropping
of the ends containing the rail's original splice-bar
holes. See Image 13 below.
West end of rolling mill
Image 7. West (front) end of Rolling Mill showing 
chimneys and waste heat boilers. Coal
storage at
right. The end of one furnace and rail
machine are beneath the lean-to in center
of picture.

Details scanned from the original print:
a. West End Rolling Mill-Overall
b. Men & Used Mill Rolls
c. Men Working |
In the closeup views
d. Closeup of Men Working |
of the men working,
the car that transports each new load of rails can
be seen in front of the furnace, with the door
controller in the foreground, under the small roof.
Charging rails into the furnace
Image 8. Charging rails into the furnace.  
The workman is
raising the charging doors so that
the heat of rails
can be pushed into the furnace.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Charging Rails Into Furnace-Overall
b. Man At Door
c. Grading Marks on Rails

Note: The furnace heat (obtained by burning the coal
seen in the piles around the plant) was not wasted; the
exhaust from this furnace provided all the steam
necessary to operate the rolling mills seen in the images
below. By the time the first rails were hot enough to be
rolled, the necessary steam had been raised.
Drawing rail from the furnace
Image 9. Drawing rails from the furnace.  The hot 
rail is pulled out endwise upon a roller table, from
where, chain conveyors skid it transversely to the rolls.

Details scanned from the original print:
a. Drawing Rail From Furnace-Overall
b. Mill Stands & Hot Saw
c. Man at Furnace Door
d. Detail of Motor Drive
e. Detail Of Mill & Hot Rail
Note: The spacing between the two roll stands used in
this mill turned out to be critical. They were OK when
rails were 30 feet long, but when longer rails came into
use, the mill hands had to make sure that the two stands
were synchronized well enough that the rail could enter
the second mill before it exited the first one without
buckling or stalling both roll stands. This was partially
solved by taking a heavier reduction in the second pass.
Hot rail entering the rolls
Image 10. Hot rail entering the Leading Rolls.  
A workman is stooping at the furnace door to pull
out another rail.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Hot Rail Entering Rolls-Overall
b. Cropped View
c. Detail
d. US Patent No. 522,228 by Edward W. McKenna
US Patent No. 635,577 by Edward W. McKenna

The men tending the furnace did not have to handle the
rails by mean strength alone. Edward W. KcKenna thought
of that, as shown in his US Patents No. 522,228 and 635,577.

Hot rail receiving first pass
Image 11. Hot rail receiving its first pass in the 
Leading Rolls. From there it goes on through the
Finishing Rolls beyond.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Hot Rail Gets First Pass-Overall
b. Detail
c. Detail of Roll Stands
d. Detail of Men & Mill

Note the hot saw in the left background. It was
enveloped in sparks in Image 10.
Used rolls outside the rolling mill
Image 12. Leading Rolls being turned up in a lathe.  
They are
shown in the same position as when installed
in the mill.
There was no image present. The image of used
rolls at left was scanned from the lower left hand corner of
Image 7.
Note by George III: I still have the Starrett tools
used by George, Jr., during his employment at McKenna to
lay out the templates for gauging the machining of the
rolls used here.
Hot saw trimming rail end
Image 13. Hot Sawing.  After leaving the Finishing 
Rolls, the rerolled rail is sawed at both ends to remove
bolt-holes and make the finished rail of standard
(33 feet) length. A device, shown to the right of the
saw, re-cuts short rails (under 33 feet) and thereby
avoids the necessity for cold-sawing.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Hot Saw Trimming Rail Ends-Overall
b. Mechanism Details
c. Hand Forged Guard

Note: The hot saw works by heating the metal at the
edge of the saw so hot that it melts and is oxidized by
the oxygen in the air swept through the cut by the
rapidly rotating blade, much like an oxy-fuel cutting
Controlled cooling of the re-rolled rails
Image 14. After sawing, the rerolled rails are branded, 
hot straightened in cambering rolls and then run out
upon a cooling bed. This is the "critical" period and
care must be used that the hot rails do not touch each
other (rails at left). On reaching the "recalescence
point," they are turned completely over (rails at right).
This spacing and turning over insures even cooling,
thereby relieving internal strains and need for excessive

Details scanned from the original print:
a. Controlled Cooling Of Rerolled Rails-Overall
b. CloseUp with Hot Saw (in the left background)
Note the piles of cropped rail ends at the rear.

* There is a sudden change in density of the iron
while it changes its crystal structure and reheats itself.
Cooled rails ready for cold-straightening
Image 15. After spacing and turning over, the rerolled 
are cool enough to be moved on to the Finishing
to be cold-straightened, chipped and drilled.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Ready for Straightening & Drilling - Overall
b. Detail

Note: The mechanical details are not quite apparent
here, but there had to have been a way to move the
rails seen in the foreground closer to the viewer as
the additional completed rails accumulated in the
background. One can see some of that mechanism
in the immediate foreground.
Cold straightening in the gag press
Image 16. Cold-straightening with press and "gag."  
Straightener (right) moves the rail back and forth
under a reciprocating hammer while the Gagger
(center) inserts a "gag" (iron block with handle)
between hammer and rail, thereby deflecting and
straightening every bent portion of the rail.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Cold Straightening With Press & Gag - Overall
b. Detail of Gagger
c. Grease Bucket
d. Setup Detail
Cold straightening with press and hammer face
Image 17. Cold Straightening with press and hammer 
This is a new method which does away with the
"gag" by substituting a broad hammer face
delivers a distributed, instead of a concentrated,
upon the rail.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Overall image
b. Detail Of Straightener
c. Details Of Machine
d. Gears & Belts
Detail - Bates Machine Co. (also a Joliet firm)
f. Straighteners Face
g. Comparison with
U.S. Patent No. 1,314,877
by George Langford, Sr.
Drilling new bolt holes
Image 18. Drilling new bolt-holes. The drilling-machine
is set at the same angle as the rail lying upon its side.
This insures rapid and accurate drilling.

Details scanned from the original print:
  a. Drilling New Bolt Holes-Overall
b. Driller at Work
c. Driller's Face
d. Chain Binder
e. Compressed Air (or Water) Line
f. Machine Detail

Note: There were systems of supporting guides
(made from old rails) which allowed the rails to
be moved about without having to be bodily lifted.
Those can be seen here and in Image 16 & in Image 17.

Inspecting re-rolled rails
Image 19. Inspecting rerolled rails.  When finished, the 
are examined for length, quality and imperfections
straightening, chipping and drilling. Two men in the
background (left of center) are chipping and filing off
burrs made by the Hot Saws.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Inspecting Rerolled Rails-Overall
b. Closer View
c. Men at Work
d. Ends of the Rails

Note: The rail-drilling station is under the open-
roofed shelter
in the right background of this
Inspected rails and roller conveyor
Image 20. After inspection, the rerolled rails are
for length and quality by a roller conveyor
delivers them to the loading beds.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Inspected Rails & Roller Conveyor - Overall
b. Panorama
c. Workmen at Left
d. Workmen at Right

Loading yard from the west
Image 21. Loading yard viewed from the west. The
rerolled rails standing upright in the foreground are
awaiting inspection. Those piled beyond have been
accepted and sorted and are ready for loading.

Details scanned from the original print:
  a. Loading Yard From West - Overall
b. Inspectors - Panorama
 c. Drilling Holes in Rail Ends - Far Left
d. Inspected Rails

Inspected re-rolled rails made by the McKenna Process Company

Finished rails, ready for loading.

A second manuscript was also present in Grandfather's effects.  This one concerns the second half of his career with McKenna, during which he brought the McKenna Process Company back to its feet by its own bootstraps:

Bar Re-Forming

A "bar" is one of the two steel  "fish plates" or "angle" bars, bolted on each side to two abutting rail ends in a railroad track.  The track becomes rough and bumpy when the joint is much worn.  In December, 1924, the McKenna Company (i.e., George, Sr.) conceived the idea of "re-forming" or reshaping worn rail joint bars in closed dies under a power press.

The McKenna Process Company was originally organized in 1896 for the purpose of "renewing" or rerolling worn railroad rails, but finally this industry waned as Open Hearth steel came into more general use.  Another was needed to take its place.  The natural thing was to look further into the possibility of some as-yet untouched source of railroad material which might be reclaimed.

Railroads had practiced more or less the reshaping of worn rail joint bars in swages under s steam hammer.  The results were crude, and so this sort of work was not very popular.

In December, 1924, I had a talk with Mr. Cheney, Special Engineer of the C.B. & Q. Ry.
(the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, George, III) and secured permission to visit the C.B. & Q. shops at Galesburg, Illinois, where a particular method of reclaiming worn bars was being used.  Mr. D.H. Lentz, Jr., my assistant, went with me.

The method used at Galesburg was a milling down of the two worn contact surfaces of a bar, making a smaller bar with new contact surfaces to fit a smaller rail instead of to fit the same rail as I considered essential.  The process of milling was laborious, slow and costly.  It had no attractions for me.  But there was something else at the Galesburg shops that impressed me deeply: huge piles of worn steel bars classed as scrap which the C.B. & Q. Ry. was extremely anxious to salvage in some n
manner.  Here was opportunity for business of considerable magnitude.

George, Sr.'s patent drawing, showing the re-formed rail joint bar and the re-forming process:
U.U. Patent No. 1,659,776, Page 1
George, Sr.'s patent drawing, showing the press and die for re-forming the rail joint bar, including the important pin:
U.S. Patent No. 1,659,776 - Page 2

In about January, 1925, I secured authority from my directors to build a bar re-forming plant.  Press and die work was new to me, and so I made a deal with the E.W. Bliss Company of Brooklyn, New York, to do some trial re-forming with one of their big power presses at Brooklyn.  Mr. Haynes, Purchasing Agent of the C.B. & Q., agreed to furnish bars for my trials.

Meanwhile, we visited many railroads to get bar re-forming business.  Mr. Shaud, Chief Engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad, was among the first.  Our method of re-forming in closed dies under a powerful crank press aroused general interest.  With the information gained at Brooklyn, I designed and built a plant at Joliet, Illinois.  It was a small but well equipped plant.  We had a two row, gravity, continuous, oil-fired furnace; a 1,500-ton crank press, a large, oil-quenching tank; and numerous smaller machines to round out the main equipment.

We encountered plenty of grief when we finished building and began to operate.  It was just one thing after another, but we finally began to get the tonnage out.  There was no end of business until others stepped in and made the going tougher.

Piles of heavily rusted bars
Image 22 - Piles of heavily rusted C.B. & Q. 100-pound bars to be re-formed.

When we got our bar plant running, the C.B. & Q. Ry. sent us many bars that had been piled up for several years and which were deeply caked and pitted with rust.  Cleaning them up was a serious problem.

  a. Closeup view of the rusty splice bars.

Rattling heavily rusted bars - Detail of Workmen
Image 23 - Rattling heavily rusted bars.
The worn bars were often so rusted, or covered with oil and dirt, that we had to clean them in some way.  We tried this foundry rattler at first but soon gave up the practice in favor of grinding with emery wheels.  Grinding was the only way to smooth up corroded fittings.

Probably the worst diffuculty encountered in re-forming was the discovery in 1926 that many worn bars had cracks in the middle of their tops.  This would eventually cause breakage, and so we had to find and eliminate bars that had these cracks.
Welding the cracked splice bars
Image 24 - View showing welding of the cracked bars.

a. Detail of the welder's truck:

Closeup view of the welder's truck

The sign on the side of the truck reads, "Will County Welding Co., Electric and Acetylene Welding and Cutting, 366 So. Chicago St., Joliet, Ill., Phone 145."

There is no picture of the mechanism for charging bars in heats, although worn bars were being charged at the time through one of the furnace side doors
(image not present - George, III).  Pulling hot bars out of the furnace (another missing image) The bar is being drawn from the side of the furnace near the hot end.  The furnace was of the continous type, oil fired.  Bars were charged in at the cold end, as fast as they were drawn from the hot end.  Proper heating was about the most important of bar re-forming operations.  View of hot bar going into press (image missing) This was a 1,500-ton Toledo Crank Press, electrically driven.  When fully assembled, it weighed over, 200,000 pounds.  The heated, worn bar was completely re-formed with one stroke of the press.  Pins were incorporated in the dies to insure proper sizing of the bolt holes in the bar while being re-formed (see patent image - George, III). View of hot bar in dies (no image) This was the outlet side of the press.  The crosshead with upper die is about to descend upon the hot bar lying in the lower die.  Hot bar being reformed (no image)  Outlet side of the press.  The top die is shown descended upon the bar.  Hot bars going through Oil Quench (no image)  Quenching was the third major operation, following the ones of heating and pressing. The re-formed bar, still hot, dropped into the oil tank and was conveyed through the hot oil, which gave it hardness.  The quenching tank had oil circulating and water-cooling pumps to keep the quenching oil at the desired temperature.

Image 25 - Views of re-formed bars being piled for proper cooling
The re-formed bars, conveyed throught the hot oil, were dropped onto outside conveyors.  Although they look cool, they are too hot to handle, and the man has an iron hook at each end of the bar to lift it from the comveyor and stack it in the pile.
Hot bars, out of the oil, being stacked for proper cooling

Same process, but in the Winter
Hot bars being stacked for proper cooling

Hot bars stacked for proper cooling
Image 26 - Closeup view of a stack of re-formed bars.
Note by George, III:  The heat treatment used here is an approximation of isothermal transformation.  The intent was, first, to avoid as much as possible the formation of pro-eutectoid ferrtie (which weakened the steel) by initially quenching in hot oil and, second, to keep the bars hot while the relatively slow decomposition of the high-temperature austenite into bainite or pearlite was given time to take place within the slowly cooling stack.  It later turned out that Alexander Langford, great-great-grandson of George, Sr., became expert in the measurement of continuous cooling transformation curves during his employment at Foote Mineral Company in Exton, Pennsylvania, in the late 1970's.  Alex still has the ISA - ADAMEL LHOMARGY high-speed dilatometer as well as the Reichert metallograph that he used at Foote.
Re-formed bars ready for loading
Image 27 - Re-formed bars ready for loading.

a.  Detail of workman:
Reformed bars ready for loading - Detail of Workman
Straightening crooked bars after re-forming
Image 28 - View showing our method of straightening crooked bars after re-forming.

a. Closer view of the two workmen:

Closer view of the two workmen
Machining die with planer
Image 29 - View showing the machining of the dies.
Note by George, III:  It turns out that in my penchant for collecting old machine tools, I happened to end up with an 1870's Pratt & Whitney planer much like the planer shown at left.  The image below shows some of the tool-crib tokens used by the mill hands to account for company tools they were using.
McKenna Process Company tool-crib tokens

Image 30 - Bar at the top below was reformed without the use of pins for the holes, while the bar at the bottom was forged with pins in the die (as for the patent drawing) to keep the proper size of the bolt hole.
Pins versus No Pins in Bar-Re-Forming Die

Image 31 - This view shows the special type of hole put in by McKenna so that an oval shanked bolt may be used.  This hole was originally square.

Square-Hole Approximation Used by McKenna Process Company
Image 32 - US Patent No. 1,890,687 splice bar model
US Patent No. 1,890,687 McKenna Process Co, splice bar model
Image 33 - US Patent No. 2,034,046 splice bar model
US Patent No. 2,034,046 McKenna Process Co. splice bar model
Image 34 - Typical splice bar cross sections used by McKenna Process Company
Splice bar sections from McKenna Process Company
The models seen in Images 32 and 33 were used to demonstrate George Langford Sr.'s processing methods and design basis to prospective customers.

The splice bar cross sections at left are for rail that is puny by today's standards, about 100 pounds per yard, but considered quite heavy at the time the McKenna Company was operating.
C.B. & Q. = The Burlington RR.
PENNA. = The Pennsylvania RR.