The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Page Scale Models

In my recent post on car sides I mentioned there were several other makers that produced OO gauge cars with printed sides besides the more commonly seen sides/models of Champion, Eastern, Famoco, Nason, and Scale-Rail.

UPDATED 2011: Initially, all the info I had on the Page Model Company (Page Scale Models) of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, was contained on this instruction sheet. Bill Chapin had this sheet (only) and allowed me to Xerox it some years back. Click on it for a larger version.

From it we can glean the details that the body must have been a solid wood block and that printed car sides and ends were glued on.

While I was always pretty sure it was a pre-war firm, after years of looking, in 2011 I finally tracked down a Page advertisement in the December, 1938 issue of The Model Craftsman. That ad may be seen in this article.

Also I was able to examine photos from Dick Gresham of a pair of Page kits that were sold on eBay. Comparing these cars to the kit shown in this photo was interesting. I had thought that this kit was by Nason (it was sold to me as such, but without instructions). Actually, it is Page. But read on.

What is especially confusing is the sides are identical to those of the Eazy-Bilt cars of Nason, which Nason had added into their line by late 1935. The box in the photo is actually marked Page Model Company under the pasted on label that shows it is a Erie boxcar kit. The Page marking seems to have been intentionally pasted over, later. I think this kit was actually sold as Nason back in the day, after they quit trying to market these as Page.

Page really did not last long. My guess as of now is it was a brief attempt to put out a lower cost version of the Nason cars [see comment #4, below], but it did not work out and Nason sold what residual stock was left from the attempt, such as this kit.

Be watching for another update or article on this--I don't believe this relationship has been noted previously, and there are certainly variations in details of the Eazy-Bilt cars as well to note in more depth. (The built up car in this photo and more details on the Nason Eazy-Bilt boxcar kits may be found in this post).

UPDATE 2013: And welcome to the Train Collectors Quarterly readers who did a Google search for the Page Model Company and found this article after seeing the Page 00 gauge cars in Part 122 of the "Who Done It?" series, published in their January, 2013 issue. As a text search this article is presently on the fifth page of results, but as an image search the instruction sheet here is right at the top! See this new article for more photos and information on the Page Model Company.

4 comments:

Phil said...

Could Page have been related to the Westbrook co. I had several O scale Westbrook car kits at one time. They were also from Hasbrouck Hights NJ. And they built up in a similar way.

John Ericson said...

Not certain, but it is something to look into.

Steve Neubaum said...

Some old issues of Model Railroader magazine show the O scale Westbrook kits as by "Bob Peare". No idea how or if that fits in anywhere, as I know fairly little about Westbrook (Other than having a bunch of their O scale cars myself).

John Ericson said...

I feel very confident that Page has nothing at all to do with Westbrook. A lot of OO models have similar construction details to O scale cars (and locomotives) of the time.

The key here is that Page kits have Nason parts in them and were later sold as Nason by Nason. I believe Nason was trying to make buyers think there was a new OO line out that was slightly cheaper, giving the impression that there was more variety and activity in the OO market than there really was. It was in short a marketing scheme that did not work.

While I am commenting, these are fairly rare kits. During WWII there was so little new to buy; many kits that were around such as these Page kits were in fact built up. The majority of the OO kits I see around still are post-war.

As to Bob Peare, he does have an OO connection as he did sell #6 switches in OO in the post-war era. See: http://americanoo.blogspot.com/2008/10/scale-craft-at-kemtron-end-of-line.html for a brief note on this.