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

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Sand Cast OO Track Gauge [Pratts]

Here is another mystery item, sent in by Wayne Harland, a track gauge for American OO.

While it looks a bit like a religious relic, this is vintage OO for sure, sand cast in bronze. As Wayne relates, this gauge “slips over the rails and maintains perfect spacing for straights and curves.”

As to the question of a maker, Nason comes to mind as they were a big maker of sand cast items. And their catalogs do list a track gauge, but it is actually listed as being made of wood. Wayne reports this was with some Nason and Famoco items, and the early version of their GG-1 was sand cast; unfortunately, while I can find listings of a track layer and number 6 switches, I have not yet found a listing of a Famoco track gauge.

I also note the “extra” bar off to one end. I would be curious if this was there to use to place and adjust the height of an outside third rail?

It has the look of a factory produced item. Whoever made it, it has an artistic, vintage look and patina for sure. Thanks to Wayne for sharing this interesting vintage item.

UPDATE: I believe this is an example of the track gauge introduced in 1939 by Pratts. See this article for more. On their product the extra bar was for the third rail, as I guessed.

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