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

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pittman: Maker of late Nason Motors, the DC-70, and More

Another document that came my way recently was a letter dated November 6, 1950 from Charles A. Pittman, Jr., to Myron Park Davis. M.P. Davis was trying to develop a line of OO locomotives at the time which I have described in prior posts, with this one linking to an article in the Train Collectors Quarterly on his products.

Locomotives need motors! Davis wrote to Pittman trying to track down a specific type of Nason motor. Davis is rumored to have been a silent partner in Nason and knew that Pittman had made the motor he was looking for which seems to have had a long shaft. Pittman replied,
Dear Sir:

In reply to your letter of November 1, the last record we have of producing motors for power trucks for Nason Railways was prior to the war, our type AC-21; tools for which have been destroyed. It is possible that you purchased some standard motors at a later date from our Distributor Sales Division at Kutztown, Pa. and, if so, these could still be supplied. Delivery on standard motors at this time would be fifteen to twenty weeks.

We are enclosing copy of our latest catalog. If you will indicate the type which you have used we can better tell you whether the motor can be furnished with a longer shaft.
After WWII motor styles did change. The classic Pittman motor I think of is the DC-70 and similar models, such as this one. It is a permanent magnet style and at 12 volts DC put out plenty of power. A lot of vintage OO models were upgraded to this and similar motors back in the day for better operation. This photo is a portion of a scanned image of a sales flyer on this motor from the HOSeeker website. For the full flyer this image is from click here.

UPDATE: As this article sees some traffic from people searching for background on vintage Pittman motors, see also this photo and bio of Charles A. Pittman, Jr., as published in the 1950 Model Railroad Equipment Corp. catalog. It is interesting that his personal interest was in trolley cars, while his motors would see the most use in locomotives first and then, in the 1960s, slot cars, where their high quality and powerful product dominated the market for a number of years.

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