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

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Surprising 1937 Star-Continental Find

Star-Contiental Models of Brooklyn, NY introduced their OO scale 4-4-2 model in 1937. As noted in my longer article on this model, "The model is not quite a PRR E-6--it is actually a freelance version of PRR K-4/K-5 Pacific, but built as an Atlantic." The model was later (1939-WWII) produced by Nason Railways.

In a group of papers that arrived this week was an instruction sheet, the first page only, for of one of four sections of the Nason version of this 4-4-2. What Nason did was drop their name in on the instruction sheet, but otherwise they are the original Star-Continental instructions, dated 1/16/37.

Next to my bed on a night stand I had put up what I thought to be sort of a random, novelty train printing block, as a display item. Then I noticed it looked familiar, like an illustration I had just seen. Getting out that sheet again, it was the same, it is of the same locomotive illustration as on that instruction sheet, complete with numbers and a bit of text. The numbers matched the key on that page, but the print itself was a different size.

Having a hunch, I got out my file for Star-Continental and it turns out that the printing block I have is the illustration on page 4 of their 1937 catalog. At least I think so! It matches perfectly except that it is just a bit off in length, about 10 mm shorter than my Xerox copy of the 1937 catalog. I am thinking it is old Xerox (probably 20 years old) and the image was stretched by the machine.

The first image in this article is the printing block compared to the Xerox print of the catalog, and the second image is the printing block itself, but a reverse image of the scan so that it looks like the print. Click on it for a better view.

How I got this block I have no idea. It came with some OO trains and parts, and some chain of ownership took it from Brooklyn in 1937 to Arizona in 2013. I am very happy to have seen the connection! A very rare, one-of piece of American OO history.

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