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

Sunday, April 24, 2011

1937, a Big Year for OO: Part I, the Nason 4-6-4 in Trade Topics and More

In late 1936 Nason introduced their NYC 4-6-4 kit in OO gauge. It would be highlighted in a brief item in "Trade Topics" in the January, 1937 issue of The Model Railroader.
New catalog of Nason Railways of Mount Vernon, N.Y., shows an OO gauge line including an NYC Hudson steam type loco, PRR P-5 electric loco, passenger and freight cars as well as miscellaneous car, locomotive and track parts. From a photo the Hudson looks like a first rate cast boiler job. Kit is $27.00. This is the first OO steam type loco since OO Gauge Model Co. went out of business, and OO gaugers are advised to find out about it.
I would very much like to see this catalog, which according to their advertising went through two printings in 1937. If any reader has a copy they could scan I would like to come back to that in another article. This Nason advertisement was the lone OO advertisement in the issue.

Reference is also made above to the OO Gauge Model Co.; for more on this company and their very early OO models, which were advertised in MR as late as early 1936 but clearly were now unavailable, see this article.

The Model Craftsman gave more overall coverage to OO in their January, 1937 issue. The series of construction articles by E. B. Hansbury, Jr. continued with an installment on building an OO gauge automobile car, an article that included nice scale drawings of the model in addition to the finished car. The photo is a bit dark but the car looks pretty sharp. The model according to the text is hand lettered and it looks to be on Nason trucks. 

Speaking of Nason again, their advertisement in MC, reproduced below, was much bigger than their ad in MR at the beginning of this article and featured a photo of the Hudson model; the ad was a repeat of one seen in the December, 1936 issue as well. On the whole Model Craftsman has more OO advertising, perhaps because it was more New York centric in their outlook and all the active makers were there. Thus in this January issue we also have advertising from OO manufacturer Limco and also Fixen and Hobby Craft Stores had ads which pushed Nason and Limco OO items.

The hidden gem in this issue is a letter to the editor from Harold Darr of Berwyn, PA. He sent this photo which they printed very small of his 4-8-4 which I will let him describe.
Since I have become a regular reader of the Model Craftsman, I have developed an interest in OO model railroads and I am building a layout in that gauge. I have noticed, however, that though you have printed many fine articles on rolling stock, nothing has been written about motive power for this gauge. 
 I am enclosing a photograph of an OO gauge Northern Pacific 4-8-4-type locomotive which I thought might be of interest. Would you care to have the plans for publication? This model was made without the use of castings for any part, not even the drive wheels. For all of its length this model will go through a three foot radius curve with ease—this being the minimum curve used on my layout. 
This model gives a fine speed with considerable pulling power and makes a fine locomotive for the first locomotive on a miniature railroad for the reason that it can be used appropriately with the fastest passenger express or the heaviest freight, as the prototype is a dual service locomotive similar to the Timken or Pocono types. 
Some interesting insights into the time. There were some builders out there working in OO and a growing market for these train models. When we return to 1937 the topic will be several other new models in American OO.

Continue to Part II of 1937 Series

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