American Aggregates 'critter' No. 738 at Oxford MI on July 17th, 1948. This image attracted barely a glance for 2 years on my former web site and suddenly it became heavily viewed (June 2010) courtesy of a posting on the Ry-ops-industrialSIG Yahoo e-group. The text, courtesy of Dennis Storzek, Big Rock, IL, is as follows;
American Aggregates, now there is a company that used to have some interesting motive power at their various pits around Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Back in the thirties, when the midwest interurban system was in its death throes, AA bought a bunch of interurban box motors; the things that look like self propelled baggage cars. They'd slip a skid mounted diesel generator set into the carbody, wire it to the existing electrical gear, and have an instant locomotive. The engineer (motorman?) just throttled up the gen-set, then ran the thing with the trolley controller. After having problems with some of the early conversions sagging under the weight of the large engine and generator, later conversions were shortened by cutting a chunk out of the middle and splicing the body back together. Each loco was unique; most had some sort of louvers installed in at least one of the former baggage doors for airflow through the radiator. They kept their interurban pilots and radial couplers. The last ones likely died in the early sixties; some have been acquired by museums for their parts.
Thank you, Dennis, for the clarification. For what it's worth, I bought this image as 'an original negative' on ebay but I'm pretty sure it's a copy from a print.
[Mike Morant collection]