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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Blow-Smoke Final Issue, part 3: The End

Volume 3, Number 1 for Spring, 1941 was the final issue of Blow-Smoke, but at the time that was certainly not the plan. Elliott Donnelley explains in his editorial their original publication schedule and their plans for future issues of Blow-Smoke.
After a lapse of five or six months we are again publishing another issue of Blow-Smoke. When Blow-Smoke was first conceived, the idea was to publish it every two months. That turned out to be impractical; then it was changed to quarterly publication, and finally to one that was published whenever I had time. Starting with this issue it will resume its appearance on the quarterly basis, under the direction of K. M. Boyd, our new advertising manager. From this day forward, all I’m going to do is sit back and raise Cain if it isn’t out on time.
Next Donnelly addresses preparation for war and the international crisis. He notes that delays in shipments in raw materials “may be common happenings as time rolls on.” But he continues, “Right now, we are pretty well supplied, and able to give quick delivery on all catalog items. If you are considering expanding your layout, or other improvements, I suggest that you get your orders in at an early date.”

The big news of the editorial was the name change of the company. While we just think of it as “Scale-Craft,” in reality the official name and corporate status changed several times before WWII, as the following clarifies.
Names change—with fast moving times and conditions. The modern manufacturer must move with the times or go backward. He cannot stand still; and so—we move forward again.

Our name “Scale-Models,” since we dropped the word “Inc.”, has been somewhat ambiguous and confusing. As a result, we have decided to operate in the future under the name “Scale-Craft & Company, (Not Inc.).” This will take effect immediately, and by fall we hope to be in full swing under our new nom de plume.
This issue has probably more text than any other issue of Blow-Smoke, and includes a two page spread under the name “Boomer Al.” In the section under the heading “What price small gauge?” we find an article advocating for OO but without directly saying that HO models were too delicate and lightly made. But you can figure that out from the text. An example:
If you’re a price buyer and want cheap cars, take the kind they hand you and don’t complain if they break apart when derailed. You paid for them, and they’re your babies. In the same breath—if you want small, cheap, low powered locomotives to pull your light cars—you can have them. But when you have motor trouble, don’t blame the dealer. He sold you just what you wanted.

The middle spread of the issue is the photo contest, mentioned in the previous post. The other OO winner was Jack Zimmerman, and his photo shows an S-C 4-6-0, an S-C die cast boxcar, and a Nason boxcar running on two rail track.

The last section I will mention is on the International Brotherhood of Scale Model Railroad Builders, described in this prior post. As a bonus for joining you can get for free an official Scale-Craft tie clasp, seen in this last scan. Anyone have one out there? You have to contact a dealer to get one; the last page lists over 60 authorized dealers.

With that we reach the end of the series of posts from the Scale-Craft Blow-Smoke newsletter. It was a good effort toward marketing the line, and a valuable part of the history of Scale-Craft.

Return to beginning of Blow-Smoke series

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