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

Saturday, June 11, 2011

OO in 1938, more than Lionel: Part I, Models by Howard Winther

For this look at American OO in 1938 I would like to start with one element of the big picture--that being there were people building fine models and layouts in OO. In particular the February issue of The Model Railroader featured a full page of photos from the Bergen & Essex layout of Howard Winther. His layout had been featured already in The Model Maker and in The Model Railroader, his models are still in the family today (see this tag for more articles featuring them and scroll down), and today we have a great treat, photos of models as published in 1938 and the same models today.

First up is this Erie G-5 10 wheeler. According to Ted Winther, “I think it was his pride and joy.” Then or now this is an impressive scratchbuilt model. The photos really tell all, and click on any of them for a better view.





Next up is this scene with his 0-4-0 (which may be seen here today) and an outside braced C&NW boxcar. This car is riding on his home made trucks but has I believe a Nason brake cylinder visible and has decal lettering (the rest of the equipment featured today having been hand lettered).


The next photo in the MR spread, which I will skip, is of five of his locomotives all lined up (all scratchbuilt) and finally we have this view of his Atlantic locomotive and a combine. The combine as it exists today follows, yet another stunning vintage model. Very hard to believe this model is not only as old as it is but also that it is in such great condition.



But wait, we are not done with Winther for this issue as he also had an article in this same February, 1938 issue on how to make passenger car sides from Aluminum. This Erie RPO combine would seem to be made in with sides constructed in the manner he describes.

Finally, I believe Winther models are to be seen in a report in this same issue on the history of the layout of the New York Society of Model Engineers. There is a track plan of the original Little Island RR (ca. 1932-33) and three of the locomotive models next to it look to be Winther models.

When we return we will look at the New York show for 1938. But to close up this series for now, I won’t be able to post the next installment of this series for a few months and would add that I have enjoyed looking over 1938 to prepare this part of the series, there are a number of new products out and I am learning new things. New products were in fact coming out almost monthly. At the same time however the big picture is not so good--HO was where the action was at to be sure. But that did not stop some dedicated manufacturers and modelers from making a go for it in American OO.

Continue to Part II of 1938 Series

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