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

Friday, January 16, 2009

Amazing detail from Oscar Andresen, part 2

As already obvious from part 1, Oscar Andresen did some amazing things very early on in American OO.

His layout, the Mohawk Valley System, was briefly featured in Model Railroader in the February, 1936 issue on pages 36 and 37. The layout story does not do the models justice. The text says that other photos of the Mohawk Valley appeared in the May, 1935 issue of Model Railroader, an issue I don’t have access to.

These models were offered commercially on most likely a very limited basis. His advertisement in the February, 1936 issue of Model Railroader (page 54) read as follows:

“OO”
4MM
PASSENGER AND
FREIGHT CARS
-----------------------
ROCKHAVEN MODELS
84 Shade Street, Lexington, Mass.

I have not seen or located a Rockhaven flyer or catalog, but the models in these photos are representative, in the collection of Ed Morlok. These all show amazing detail for the period. Many items are etched with what are the names of his personal roads; Mohawk Valley, Echo Line, or Rock Haven. Also, the McKeen car in the first photo in part one is etched "The Three Musketeers." One of these built up and running would be stunning!

A complete list of models I know to exist includes:

Locomotives:
4-C+C-4 electric, CUT T-3a, etched zinc body
Tender, etched brass

Passenger:
Coach
Diner
Gas-mechanical, Mckeen car
MU electric, IC, passenger-baggage
Pullman

Freight:
Box car, 40', steel
Cement hopper
Flat car, 40'
Ore hopper, ribbed side
Ore hopper, plain side
Stock Car
Caboose

In many respects the photos speak for themselves. What can really be added?

No wonder Temple Nieter was so bitten by the OO bug with the help of Andresen back in 1931; these were stunning models in what was then a brand new scale.

Anyone out there have more examples of Andresen?

UPDATE: For more photos of early Andresen products and also photos of his layout in 1935 see this article.

Continue to Part III of Amazing Detail series

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