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

Friday, July 31, 2009

Midlin History in Railroad Magazine

On the OO list the question came up what magazines other than Model Railroader had OO info in them. Besides Model Craftsman/Railroad Model Craftsman (which appears to have been somewhat more supportive of minority gauges—there were a couple OO firms that only advertised there) there are at least four other titles to watch for. One of those is Railroad Magazine.

This was not a model railroad magazine but actually had some limited OO related content. Bill Chapin put together a list of 16 different OO scale plans that were published in Railroad Magazine between 1940 and 47 (mostly of locomotives), and gave me also a copy of a short article on page 56 of the September, 1940 issue on Midlin track. It has two photos, one of a worker assembling track on a machine that looks like the base of an old fashioned treadle sewing machine, and also a photo of Chemidlin himself. The text reads (the caps are original):
Fred J. Chemidlin of Scotch Plains, N.J., Grew Tired of Forcing Home Midget Track Spikes With Long-Nosed Pliers. So He Designed a New Type of Spikeless Track Assembly. Two Parallel Groves Are Cut to Gage Width in a Cross Grained Strip of Wood, and These Grooves Then Receive the Base Web of Specially Designed Rails. As the Strip is Fed into the Machine Shown in Our Lower Illustration, a Knife Cam Splits It into Tie-Width Sections Which Are Mechanically Kicked Apart to Correct Spacing. Top Photo Shows Chemidlin Assembling a Switch by Hand.
The best copy I have is his Xerox version, hence the low quality of the photo but the text also describes the process pretty vividly. I have more info on Midlin track (introduced in 1939) and two photos of the product in this prior post.

UPDATE: An overview of OO gauge features in Railroad Magazine may be found here.

No comments: