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Saturday, September 7, 2013

American OO for 1948: Part II, Douglass Scale-Craft

The years 1947-49 would see a dramatic drop in advertising for OO gauge products, and the most widely advertised of those OO lines was Scale-Craft. In 1948 Douglass Scale-Craft ran no ads in Model Craftsman but they did advertise directly four times in Model Railroader:

  • January – OO power truck
  • February – OO 4-8-4 
  • March – O gauge car kits
  • April – Paint on sale, “to reduce our stocks”

No further advertising is to be found from Douglass Scale-Craft directly. Of the four ads, I think the 4-8-4 ad is the most interesting, it was their last full page ad and this model does not show up in dealer listings. It was to have been available by April of 1947, but it seems like only now was it actually ready. Maybe. This locomotive clearly has the new stamped steel frame, the big spotting feature to tell apart the pre-war and post-war versions (more here). The “welded steel” tender is a nice way of saying there is no rivet detail, but still it is a real nice model in “the ideal home gauge.” Eventually it was produced for sure, and if you want to jump ahead a bit, the new model was the subject of probably the last review (1950) of an OO gauge product published in Model Railroader. And note the price! $69.50 was a bit of a sum compared to the $39.75 the model listed for in the 1940 catalog, for example. The photo in this 1948 ad being based on the same photo as in pre-war advertising.

As already noted, dealers listed Scale-Craft items regularly, and this kept the line in front of the readers of both magazines. I think the Corr’s ad (located in Washington, D.C., “Nation’s Hobby Supply”) from the December issue of Model Craftsman probably reflects pretty accurately what they actually had on their shelves to sell. The scan is a small portion of a full-page ad, and note they don’t have any OO locomotives listed at all. Other dealers seem to have the 0-6-0 and 4-6-0 in stock, along with the flat, tank, and hopper cars as well. The box car sold in this time frame appears to be the 50’ car.

The common thread of dealer listings was that OO was only a fraction of all the items listed and OO was more expensive than HO. S-C I believe was struggling with slow sales, but not all the OO news was bad, as there were actually a few new products in the lines of smaller makers, the topic when this series continues.

Continue in 1948 Series

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