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Monday, June 18, 2012

OO Variety in 1941, Part V: Smaller OO Lines


A number of smaller OO lines were in business in 1941. First up in this review are makers that had lines that continued in production from previous years.

Starting alphabetically, E. H. Bessey advertised in Model Railroader that they had five kinds of OO car kits and also bridge kits. These models are notable for the lettering being printed directly on the wood car sides. The four types of old time reefers are described in this article and the boxcar may be seen here.

So far as I can tell Famoco ran no advertisements in 1941, but was clearly still available. Polks for example clearly carried this line, and in an ad first run in the February, 1941 issue of Model Railroader says they have a “new” 0-4-0T “Roundhouse Goat.” This was actually first produced in 1939, and this same wording about the “new” OO roundhouse goat may be found in their ad in December! They stretched the meaning of “new” a bit there. The Famoco overview article is here. For those interested in more on Polks, there is a nice series of photos of the Polks store on P. 66 of the January issue of The Model Craftsman.

J-C Models was not particularly visible in the hobby press. I believe however it was, like Famoco, still available as the company clearly survived into the post-war era, and ads are to be found, such as in the January issue of Model Railroader. The J-C overview article is here.

Model Lumber Co. continued to advertise new body kits in OO (see MR for January and March, 1941) but it is not clear from ads what they made. Their ad from December of 1940 may be seen in this prior article. UPDATE: See that article for a few more notes on their coach and combine kits in OO.

Also Picard advertised steadily in Model Railroader. These OO body kits were widely used in the period by OO gaugers. The Picard overview article is here.

Then we get to the topic of new lines in the OO market.

Champion had their new line of OO body kits out, first advertised in the May issue of MR. That ad and an overview of their extensive OO line of boxcar and reefer kits and printed car sides may be found here.

Hawk launched their OO line with an ad in the February, 1941 issue of The Model Railroader, priced right at .50 a car. That ad and an overview of their line of OO freight car bodies may be found in this article.

Also new to the OO market was Lee’s Mfg. Co. of Chicago, which in a very small ad in the December issue of MR proclaims to “OO Fans” that “This is the pickle car you have waited for. Dry kit complete with precision cut wood parts and hardware.” The dry kit sold for $1.00 less trucks and couplers. Anyone ever see one of these? And how many people really ever are waiting for a pickle car?

Mantua was a leading HO firm but had a line of OO track on fiber ties that was still out (described here), but also sold three brand new pieces of OO equipment in 1941; their Belle of 80s 4-4-0 locomotive and an old time Baggage car and coach. The 4-4-0 is described in this article, with a catalog photo. The baggage car is mentioned in the September issue of MR and this ad from the September, 1941 issue of MC, has more detail, with the baggage and coach in OO for $4.00, compared to HO at $3.50. Click on the photo to see the prices and other interesting text related to price changes.

Finally, Scale-Rail Industries had out an extensive new line of “Processed Car Sides” in OO and HO gauges. The first advertisement for the line was in the May, 1941 issue of Model Railroader, and may be seen in this overview article on Scale-Rail. There is also a review in Trade topics in the same issue, where they note that the “Hearlds and lettering look like the real thing.” Perhaps the best car side produced in OO, with a Picard body and some more parts these sides work up into great cars.

UPDATE: And another apparent 1941 product was the ATSF express reefer by Unique Miniatures (more here).

When the series for 1941 returns the topic will be track, buildings, and parts.

Continue in 1941 Series

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