Friday, March 9, 2012


[Photograph by Michael Leddy. Click for a larger view.]

This sign (on the side of a tractor-trailer) reminds me of the Italian cookies I have known from childhood as stripes.

Do these stripes map out what’s packed in the trailer? Breaker one-nine, breaker one-nine, can someone explain these stripes?

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

The stripes and colors are the visual equivalent of other sorts of bar code. Some bar code involve only stripes, others stripes and colors, and others many breaks in the stripes, whether in black and white or in more levels of information. While a black and white reader only need read "on and off," a color reader needs more sophisticated scanning, but also the additional complexity can carry greater detail. It's the subtle difference between a chorus of "Happy Birthday" and "Ulysses." Many railroad cars are now marked with these colored stripes, if you look a little. The panels are easily made and replaced, and the amount of information for each individual car (or panel) is much denser and compact that a simple black-white bar code. Hope this helps (says the draftee who lived in those barracks and still loathes the abbreviation, LBJ, for the draft which grabbed me.)

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Anon. I’ve never noticed these on railroad cars, but I’ll look for them the next time I’m stopped at a crossing.