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

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

American OO circus cars

Recently I have had a series of posts on Myron P. Davis. Besides the big, bronze locomotives, among his other Cussewago Valley post-war products in OO were several cars including two types of circus cars.

Dick G. has again supplied some great photos. Before describing them, I have a question. Why do model makers produce products to sell? On some level it has to be because they want that item, and they believe that others will want it too. Profit may not be the primary motive. Sure, they hope to not lose money, but, in the end, it is something they want.

This has to be the case with M. P. Davis on these cars. The first photo is of two of the Cussewago Valley 70' cast aluminum circus flat cars. Dick comments “I have three of these flat cars, but none of the circus items. These flat cars have Nason 3-rail trucks, and some unusual stamped brass couplers that I haven't seen before.”

Also we have these interesting photos of parts for Cussewago Valley 70' cast aluminum stock car sides and roof. Dick comments “I have two pairs of sides and two roofs, but no ends or bottoms. These aluminum castings are very crude. I could make a bottom from wood or aluminum. The ends would be a little more difficult to make.”

Davis had these cast for him in batches and there are others of these cars around but certainly they are uncommon. If you have any of these they are a find, and it is especially interesting to see the built up cars in the top photo. Thank you again Dick for sharing.

One final item, for those wondering, the below is so far as I know the complete line of Myron P. Davis/Cussewago Valley freight cars, all items to keep your eye peeled for:

Box car, 40' (Nason)
Caboose, streamline
Flat car, 70' (circus)
Stock car, 70' (circus)
Tank car, pregnant whale
Tank car, triple dome, 19,000 gallon
Wrecking crane, Brown, 250 ton

UPDATE 2015: What became the main M. P. Davis article is here. I was also recently able to purchase one of the circus flat cars, identical to the ones in the photo that begins this article but painted orange, and matching the circus stock car in this article. As it came to me it has one complete and one incomplete Nason 3-rail truck like on the cars seen in the two articles, and the same unusual couplers. Must have been built by the same builder. In Google Images it is not a hard search to find prototype photos of both of these models, the real cars did and do exist.

Pondering the rebuild of the car I have. I don't think these ever operated outside of a circus train, so that does limit the usefulness of a lone circus flat car, but I would like to get some lettering on it, painted trucks, and couplers someday.

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