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

Friday, August 14, 2009

An Overview of OO Gauge in Railroad Magazine, 1940-47

Following up on the post on Midlin OO gauge in Railroad Magazine,I recently obtained three issues that are great examples of OO coverage in this classic magazine.

First, I should note that there is no current publication quite like Railroad Magazine, at least on trains. It was a popular “pulp” magazine and besides articles on prototype trains and some model railroad features a thrust of the publication was railroad fiction, stories of railroading of the past and their present day.

Themes were developed in multiple articles in any given issue. So for example in the December, 1941 issue a theme was the caboose and one of the articles in this issue was on building an Erie bobber caboose. The plan with the article is scaled just a bit over OO, and the article reads a bit like fiction. From it you can tell how to build one but it is not clear that the unnamed author had actually built one exactly as described.

A theme in the January, 1942 issue is PRR electric locomotives. In relation to that we get a real OO gauge feature, “Build a High-Speed Freight Motor” by Henry B. Comstock. He is listed as “Associate Editor, Railroad Magazine” and was obviously a real OO enthusiast. With photos, illustrations, and text he describes how to build from scratch a Modified P-5a (for more on P-5a history, see this post). The body was made from five pieces of maple, this photo showing the completed model. Plans are included for the OO version of this model in this seven page feature article, the only essential commercial parts needed being the motor, gears, and wheels.

According to information received from William Chapin, Railroad Magazine featured OO projects in a number of issues from 1940-47. One of the last OO gauge features is on The Cincinnatian, subtitled “Build an OO Gage Model of America’s Newest Streamlined Steam Train,” found in the June 1947 issue, by “The Nutsplitter.” It is not a detailed article but is OO oriented and is again a part of a series of articles related to this train. The beginning of the article may be seen below.

After 1947 they still had model railroad features, but as a popular circulation magazine they moved these features toward more popular gauges, in particular HO.

UPDATE 2013: In addition to updating the title, to keep the information together in one article below is the full list that was put together by William Chapin:

5-40  C&O 4-6-2
9-40  F. J. Chemidlin (Midlin track)
12-41  caboose, 4 wheel
1-42  PRR P-5a
8-42  ATSF 4-8-4
7-43  PRR horse car
2-44  PRR 4-6-2, pt. 1
8-44  PRR 4-6-2, pt. 2
9-44  N&W 2-6-6-4
2-45  PRR 6-8-6
8-45  N&W 4-8-4
9-45  hospital car
2-46  Rodgers 4-4-0
4-46  NYNH&H 2-C-C-2
5-46  PRR 2-10-4
6-47  B&O 4-6-2 "Cincinnitian" & train
7-47  PRR 2-10-4 (reprint of 4-46?)

No comments: