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

Friday, July 25, 2014

American OO for 56-57: Part II, More Schorr Brass Imports

The really interesting new products of these years are all Schorr. His Ma and Pa 2-8-0 was first advertised in the March 56 issue of RMC and then, in August we see the first listing for his 4-6-0 model as well. Both ads are seen below.

It must have helped a bit that RMC was based in New Jersey and that area was the hotbed of American OO activity, as Fred Schorr gets specific mention in the RMC September 56 “Dispatcher’s Report” column, where they note that there is “more new OO equipment lately than there has been in over ten years.” See his ad in this issue as well as it is the first to mention his caboose, which must also be a new model for 1956.

One extremely interesting document that made its way to me is a price sheet which must date to 1957, based on the models listed and not listed (the RS-2 being first advertised in 1958, for example). It consists of one page of text, and works through the models in the line at that time. It begins,
The 2-8-0 Maryland and Pennsylvania Locomotive in “00” gauge 4 MM. scale is a very proud little locomotive. No. 26 of the Maryland & Pennsylvania, Baldwin built in 1912. Detail you have never seen before and the tender is equipped with the best you have ever seen in arch-bar trucks in any gauge. Built up painted and ready to run 12 volt DC. 2 rail, $45.00.
After that are a group of testimonials, the most interesting one being from J. B. Foster, owner of a competing firm, the Guild of the Iron Horse. He says “Honestly, I think she is one of the cutest little consolidations I ever saw, just smells of the backwoods branch line and old time railroading. Those arch-bar trucks are what ‘00’ has needed these many years. They are detail and perfection.” Other comments confirm that “Both the 2-8-0 and 4-6-0 are swell items.” Continuing with the rest of the line,
And so it goes with all replies. Not one single kick. The same applies to the new 50 ton hoppers with Bettendorf trucks $4.00 eash, and those Bettendorf trucks sold out so fast I am now waiting for more of them along with the new arch-bar trucks. $1.35 a pair in lots of 6 pair.
And that 4-6-0 camel back. It’s a beauty for one that likes the type. Only a few of these left at $42.50.
And those RDC cars No. 1, 2 and 3 are still in demand that I am 6 weeks behind on deliveries. Still $19.95 less power but ready for the track with trucks. Power trucks for the RDC cars with Pitman DC 71A motor $18.00.
That old style wood caboose, (Central of Vermont) built up in brass and painted RED with arch bar trucks $6.95.
70 Ton triple pocket hoppers, less paint, and couplers, with Bettendorf trucks $4.00, built up in brass with the high rounded ends.
High side gondola cars built up in brass, less paint and couplers, but with those famous Bettendorf trucks $3.50.
The flyer ends with a survey of sorts to ask customers what models they might be interested in. In particular he was floating the idea of a NYC 4-6-0 model, Budd streamline cars, and streamliner trucks. Of those, only the trucks made the market, seen in this article which has a few more notes from his son Ed Schorr on these imports.

To close, apparently a second run of camel back 4-6-0 models were imported in 1961. The black and white photo of that model above is not only the model seen in the 1956 advertising, it is also one Schorr sent out in 1961 to promote that run (clearly marked as such on the reverse). Click on the photo for a better view of the model. I don’t own one of these and would not have any idea how to tell the two runs apart (if there is a way), but if a reader has several you might want to look them over and see what you can tell, I would be happy to share that.

Quite a good number of Schorr models were imported in this timeframe. But here was even more on the market these years, and when the series continues it will look at other products.

Continue to Part III of 56-57 Series

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