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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The NYSME OO Layout in 1935 and Other Updates

Recently a group of vintage magazines were added to the collection, and that has filled in a few new details for me about OO in the 1930s. I have at least one new article on the way relating to late 33/34 in OO and there have been several updates to existing articles, in particular a major update to part I of the 1935 series. Besides some great quotes from The Model Railroader relating to the battle of the gauges we also find this illustration below.

This was published in the February, 1935 issue of The Model Craftsman in a feature article plugging the upcoming Seventh Annual Show of the New York Society of Model Engineers. The second paragraph reads,
Starting with the smallest track, the center table in the main room will have a complete 00-gauge system and this rolling stock will be in continuous operation during the Show. This almost microscopic scale has made great strides in the last few years. Both the locomotives and cars are now fully equal in performance to those in the larger scales.
Click on it for a better view. Let's say you went to the NYSME show in 1935. Microscopic or not, you would certainly have noticed the OO layout shortly after walking in the door! It is a island type layout and it makes perfect sense that it would be called in later sources the Little Island Railroad. I hope to have more on this layout in the future.

Items like this get at also why I started the historical series of articles that is ongoing now. This layout being at such a visible location in such an important club in NYC certainly impacted the development American OO and was certainly a part of what led to the OO lines of Scale-Craft and Lionel. The average collector today, if they think of OO at all, thinks that it was a scale developed by Lionel. Readers of this site know that to not be the case, and the more I closely read these vintage sources the clearer it all becomes. Keep checking back as I work forward through the years.

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