The Magor Car Corporation

Signature Press
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October 12, 2018

The Magor Car Corp., located in Clifton, New Jersey, was a significant railcar builder throughout much of the twentieth century. It had its origins in a partnership founded in 1899 by Basil Magor and Robert Wonham, which led in 1902 to a manufacturing operation called the Wonham-Magor Engineering Works. In the first part of the century Magor concentrated on export railcars. Basil's brother Robert Magor, also became associated with the company, and in 1910 it became the Magor Car Co. It was incorporated in 1917 as the Magor Car Corp.; among its major stockholders was J.P. Morgan. In 1914 Magor's first freight cars for use on an American railroad were built. U.S. sales grew steadily thereafter, though export cars continued as the company's mainstay for some years. In 1918, Magor was among the many firms which built cars for the USRA as part of its effort to construct 100,000 standard freight cars. During World Wars I & II as well as during the Korean conflict Magor was called on for thousands of export cars for military needs, and was a principal builder of cars for Europe under the Marshall Plan. In 1959 Magor built its first aluminum-bodied covered hopper cars, the first such to be placed in U.S. revenue service. Magor's sale in 1964 to Fruehauf Corp. marked many changes, among which was the dissolution of the joint sales operation with National Steel Car Corp. of Canada. Declining railcar sales during the 1960s led to Magor's closure in 1973. Magor was an important builder of American freight cars. Its history is a significant part of United States railroad history. Car builder historian Ed Kaminski, author of "American Car & Foundry Company", has assembled a broad and intriguing perspective on this New Jersey company's history spanning its lifetime from 1899 to 1973. In addition to several hundred photos, nearly all of them never before published, advertising materials and catalog information make this a fascinating presentation.