In March of 1927 we find the first listing for OO parts in the form of not one but two classified advertisements by E. Alexander of New Rochelle, N.Y. The first:
Ready for Delivery “00” Gauge parts, cylinders, wheels, domes, chimneys, passenger and freight trucks, finished cars and locomotives built to order, etc. Send 2 cent stamp for list.And the second:
Model Railway Supplies, “00,”, “0” and 1 gauge finished locomotive parts, freight and passenger trucks. Separate list for each gauge. Write enclosing 2 cent stamp.Edwin P. Alexander (1905-1981) was posthumously inducted into the O Scale Hall of Fame in 2000; an overview of his model railroad work may be found here. In short he was very enthusiastic about model railroading for many years. In the previous issue, in February of 1927, he had an article on an automatic block signal system that was designed for use in No. 1 gauge, and in the next issue we find an even more interesting feature article. Due to the significance of this article I will quote it below in full, with the illustration (which may be clicked on for a larger view).
AN “00” GAUGE PASSENGER COACHThe one main thing to note is that this car, while he called it “00” in the title of the article with two zeros, was from the dimensions given clearly modern HO, 3.5 mm. scale.
By E. P. Alexander
The Pennsylvania P70 coach illustrated is correctly built to scale being 11 1/8” long (280 mm) and 1 3/8” wide (35 mm). The prototype is 80 ft. by 10 ft.
Underbody details are battery boxes (wood) and air reservoirs made from brass tubing held with staples. Steps (the only other difficult part if they are made to scale) are built up from sheet brass and wooden blocks. Air and steam pipes are wire with a small blob of solder on the ends to represent the connection. Trucks were English type modified to simulate American type.
The car is finished in lacquers and lined and lettered in oil colors. It will just negotiate the standard curves but when more are built, they will be shortened somewhat.
In the October, 1927 issue we find another article by Alexander, this one on a PRR DD-1 electric locomotive in OO (double O this time) scale which was clearly designated as “3.5 MM Scale.” At the end of the description he notes
The model has been commended by various railroad officials of the Pennsylvania Railroad and was mentioned in the Philadelphia Public Ledger. I suppose the novelty of such a small size working model explains much of the interest shown in it.
It would be quite interesting to actually see his 14 page catalog to know what exactly was for sale. I suspect much of it was imported from England. Whatever he sold it was a start. Small scale models had been featured in the leading model railroad related journal in the United States of that day and a line of products was for sale.
When we continue the focus will be on OO products in The Modelmaker from 1928-29, all of which appear to be 5/8” gauge.
Continue to Part III.