EJ&E caboose #532, Eola, Illinois, January 15, 1966, photo by Chuck Zeiler. I was 17 when I shot this photo, but it reminds me of my pre-teen years, and I only knew of three caboose types. I grew up in West Chicago, Illinois, and became familiar with the caboose designs of the CB&Q, C&NW, and the EJ&E. My impressions were:
The CB&Q design was like a Wisconsin cabin on wheels, that is, it was a cozy cottage. I traveled briefly in the CB&Q Waycar (as cabooses were known on the Q), and it was a muffled rumble, but the smells were what made a Q waycar: it was a combination of coal heat, brake shoes, and coffee on the stove.
The C&NW car was a cold, steel, bay window cabooses that were not inviting, even though the crews were friendly.
But the EJ&E cabooses were the Cadillacs of cabooses in my neighborhood. I recall a clean burning heater and a refrigerator, I believe they were propane powered, but in any case, the EJ&E caboose impressed me the most as an eight year old railfan.