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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

American OO in 1950. Part IV, Articles and Layouts

By 1950 there was not a lot of American OO coverage in the magazines. However, two items stand out from the year.

First up is this photo of the great Norfolk and Ohio layout of Carl Appel. The main article on this layout (here) is one of the better traffic articles on this site, and in the September issue of Model Railroader we find this additional photo of the layout. The caption reads,
One of the scenic wonders of model railroading is Carl Appel’s OO gauge Norfolk & Ohio layout in Allentown, Pa. Colored photo murals on the walls realistically simulate an infinite horizon. Foreground details blend subtly into the background. “Water” in foreground is glossy green paint.
What a fine scenic setting for that Lionel OO Hudson. And if you have the issue it is worth also a quick look as another OO layout is found in the same issue in Trackside Photos, the layout of Verne Jenkins of Tacoma, Wash.

The big article of the year has the simple title “OO Articulated,” and ran in the November issue of MR. By Dr. S. L. Casper of Quincy, Ill., the article subtitle reads “This beautiful engine was constructed chiefly from HO gauge commercial parts by a resourceful OO gauger who succeeded in making HO gauge his biggest asset.” The article begins,
As a long suffering but confirmed OO gauger, I have often felt like a hungry, penniless waif gazing longingly through the window of a lavish bakery when I visited hobby shops and inspected the varied and excellent HO locomotive kits. But rather than change gauges I decided to make up a OO gauge locomotive kit by utilizing HO gauge loco parts.
As shown in the accompanying photographs, I tried out something big to test my construction theory, namely a Union Pacific Challenger….
He used published plans but also credits OO gauger Jim Trout of Los Angeles for additional “snapshots of the prototype,” noting too that “it was his superb workmanship in the construction of various Santa Fe locomotives in OO guage that prompted me to being construction of this articulated project.”

In short what he did was elongate a Scale-Craft 4-8-4 boiler and work out a drive using Varney 72” drivers and other parts. The article is a great read and for me reminds me again that I have a group of steam locomotive projects to work out drives for, I hope to get back to those with a block of time this summer.

To close out this brief look at 1950 I would also note that the MR club directory in their June issue lists four different OO clubs in New Jersey. Even with articles and advertising tapering off there were some very active OO gaugers out there, and as this series continues into the 1950s we will look at a number of those individuals and the products they brought to the market.

Return to beginning of 1950 series

Continue to 1951-52 series 

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