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

Friday, September 13, 2013

1939 Lionel "OO" Advertisement from Railroad Magazine

Recently received from Dick Kuehnemund was a scan of an advertisement for Lionel OO that ran in Railroad Magazine. Note the fine print at the bottom to that effect.

The advertisement is not dated but is nearly identical to the one Lionel ran in the March, 1939 issue of The Model Craftsman. A highlight of part of that ad may be seen in this article [the "knee-action wheels"], where I also note that the same ad ran also on the back cover of April, 1939 issue of The Model Builder [link here].

In all three contexts this is a great ad. Engineered for experts, these were not toy trains! The new Lionel OO models were "built for scale roads -- like yours" and could "be equipped easily for outside 3rd rail or two-rail operation." Lionel was casting the net pretty wide to aim for some sales in the growing scale model train market, and I find it very interesting that in this initial advertising the idea of converting these models for outside third rail was put right out there. But that was the most common method in their part of the world, Nason Railways products to that date were all 3-rail (outside) and the NYSME OO layout was also outside third rail.

The highlight images are interesting choices but emphasize in different ways the quality of the product, these scans being snipped from an image of the version published in The Model Builder. The draw-bar pull illustration combines with the ad text (which emphasizes the 20-to-1 motor ratio and worm gear) to show this is a serious model that will run well for years! As to power again, I love this line, "Try it in a tug-of-war with any other model and you'll see!" That would be an interesting thing to set up today.

Finally the trucks. They were a lot better looking than what Scale-Craft had out and were certainly worth a look, the [more] accurate design certainly being something to crow about.

As they conclude in the ad, see the OO Hudson and you will be sold. "Pick it up. Examine it closely. It will win your instant admiration." Thank you Dick for sharing.

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