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

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More on Oscar Andresen, Pioneer OO Gauger

The name of Oscar Andresen is one still remembered in American OO circles, as not only was he a producer of rare, very early and very detailed OO models (see this post) but also his layout was featured twice in early issues of Model Railroader magazine, specifically in the May 1935 and February 1936 issues.

In the earlier article I posted I quoted memories of Andresen relayed by Temple Nieter. Through the wonders of the Internet I heard from Andresen's granddaughter Barbara who supplied a short biography and a number of new photos. It has always struck me that the photos in these articles were retouched by an artist in those days long before Photoshop. Turns out they were very likely retouched by Andresen himself. Besides his interest in model trains Oscar Andresen was also an avid photographer and artist. All these interests combined in the photos published in Model Railroader.

The first photo in this post is an example of one as published in Model Railroader, and the second is one is the version just forwarded. It is most interesting to compare the two, as it is un-retouched. He painted in the overhead wire and enhanced various details in the published version.

Barbara also provided the following biography which fills in many details. The memories provided in the earlier article from Temple Nieter are fascinating but a bit fuzzy; I am glad to be able to set the record clearer of this pioneer OO gauger.
Oscar Adolf Andresen was born October 10, 1890 in Stenkjer Norway. He became a US Naturalized citizen and made a living as a photoengraver. His parents were Norwegian immigrants Nils Martinus Andreassen and Leonora Dorthea Lindkvist, both tailors. He was an avid photographer, an artist, and was interested in architecture and model building of all types.

He and Anna Karoline Dempsey were married October 8, 1922. They traveled and raised their family, a son, Robert Edward Andresen and a daughter, Edith Loraine Andresen. Oscar had many interests and talents. I’ve been told of his great sense of humor and charming wit. He left this world far too early, dying October 6, 1957. I was only 3 at the time and never had the chance to know him.

Gone but definitely not forgotten because he left behind glimpses of himself within his many paintings, drawings and photographs, including sample photos of his model trains. Fortunately for his five grandchildren and great-grandchildren I am documenting his story for the family archives.
UPDATE: For more on his layout from 1934 see this article.

UPDATE II: For more on his layout and products from 1935 see this article.

1 comment:

BarbaraL said...

Thank you for including Oscar in your Blog. We are looking forward to discovering more family information as we research our history on the internet. From three of Oscar's grandchildren: Barbara "Andresen" Lochridge, Carolyn "Andresen" Bury, and Terence Robert Andresen.