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

Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa Claus OO Special: Blow-Smoke, Part VI

Scale-Craft continued publication of their Blow-Smoke newsletter with Volume 2, No. 2 for the Fall of 1939. In his opening editorial Elliott Donnelley pushed their new line of structure kits, writing,
On a trip west recently, I found something that I’ve been looking for ever since I took over American Model Engineers, Inc., back in 1936. It’s a good set of model buildings that are, first, authentic in design; second, easy to build and third, low in price.
These kits were produced by Maxwell Hobby Shops of Oakland, CA, in wood. The line included in O and what Maxwell called HO/OO an old grist mill and water wheel, switch tower and tool shed, express office, freight and passenger station, Q P bar, roundhouse (brick, 4 stall, with turntable), log cabin, old Dutch windmill, freight sheds (SP), rural station, Otis trading post, pioneer store, school house, gold nugget dance hall (2 story, brick), modern store, cottage, barn, church, mine. These I mentioned in this prior post as well.

Personally I think the really interesting items are the train sets, presented in this issue of Blow-Smoke with these photos. I described these sets in this prior post which remains one of the more popular pages on the site. Introduced in 1937, these sets have to be among the rarest things ever marketed in American OO; I know of no complete sets in the master carton as seen in the photos reproduced here (which are pre-photoshop creations, both combining two differently scaled views of the sets). They described them as follows:
The SCALE CRAFT “Santa Claus Special” “OO” two-rail train sets will prove exceedingly interesting not only to the novice but to the model railroader who wants additional equipment at bargain prices. The Passenger train set, illustrated above, consists of a complete locomotive kit, a baggage car kit and two passenger car kits. The freight set below consists of kits for the locomotive, a box car, a hopper car, a tank car and caboose. In addition, each set includes sixteen sections of assembled curved track and four sections of assembled straight track, forming an oval of 52” x 72”. The locomotives are powered with a 12 volt Universal motor. You may have your choice of any one of our three following locomotives; K20 ten-wheeler, K1571 Atlantic or K1585 4-6-4 tank. These are illustrated in our general catalog on pages 58 and 59. Furthermore, you may have your choice of any of the decalcomanias listed. The kits consist of die cast parts which will insure complete detail and which are entirely drilled, machined and ready to assemble. Also, the necessary paint and decalcomanias are included.

Special Price--$29.95 per set
$41.55 Completely Assembled
Order now so you won’t be disappointed!
One other note from this issue, Elliott Donnelley offered a price warning.
As you doubtless know, the European war has skyrocketed metal prices and other material costs which in our case has caused increases of costs of supplies as high as 60% in some instances. In addition, labor costs have risen and taxes, too, are higher….

Therefore, on January 1st, 1940, we will announce a new price schedule which will show increases in many of our prices, but I assure you every increase will be kept as small as practical under existing conditions. I am making this announcement now so that everyone who is contemplating purchasing any equipment will have time to act before the price increases go into effect.
Happy today would be the OO gauge collector to find a factory assembled Scale-Craft train set in the original box under the Christmas tree! Be sure to click on the photos for a closer view of these important early American OO products. [Updated 2012].

Continue in Blow-Smoke series

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