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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hoffman’s OO Gondola and Refrigerator Cars

In the installment of the 1938 series posted yesterday the original Hoffman’s advertisement may be seen (with a photo of a built up gondola car), and I noted there that I had three examples of these OO kits produced by the Philadelphia firm of Hoffmann’s.

First we have the boxes. They were complete kits as shipped out, with trucks and paint. These kits today are all lacking their original trucks but all still have their original bottles of paint. I only have one set of the bottles out in the photos below, but most of them are probably still usable and have liquid inside. And as always, click on any of the photos for a better view.

This is the Reading gondola kit. This car would really stand out from the crowd, if you have one built up. The sides are printed cardboard and in this case are a bit stained. There are more loose parts in the box (nails and such, plus wood strip for the vertical posts on the sides) but these die case sprung couplers and brake cylinder seen in this photo are unique parts not duplicated in any other line. Also note the frame, which is different than the frame with the reefer kits I have.

Next up is the ARLX reefer. This one lacks the frame but has more small parts in the box not seen here. The sides are again unique and not copied from the products of another OO line. Also note the wood body is set up differently than that of other OO lines.

Finally we get to the FGEX reefer. This one, like the other reefer, has an empty folder that would have contained a pair of trucks. Note the frame too; it is different than the frame with the Gondola. One of these built up should be pretty easy to spot; there are a number of unique details.

This last scan is of the instruction sheet for the reefer. It is clear enough to get the job done but you would have to have been a fine craftsman to make one of these really look sharp. I don’t have the gondola instruction sheet.

In my earlier post on Hoffman's there is another kit seen, this one with the trucks which I report there are sprung trucks. It would be interesting to see a better photo of these but it would appear that their trucks would have been the first type of sprung truck offered in American OO. I wonder it the trucks in this article are actually Hoffman's? They do closely resemble the ones in the photo in my earlier post.

If you have more examples of Hoffman I would be happy to post more information on this uncommon and early American OO line.

UPDATE: See this article for another Hoffmans truck.

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