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

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Picard Novelty Co.

The Picard Novelty Co. produced OO scale bodies from 1940-after 1947 in Westerly, Rhode Island. In the period their line of wood body parts were known for consistent quality and production did not stop during WWII. Perhaps because of this, these body kits seem quite common in OO collections today, assembled or unassembled.

The boxcar (or reefer) body kits were shipped with an wooden under frame and a roof walk. The line included boxcars with plain or scribed sides from 36 to 50 feet long with an overhang or receded roof, a similar wagon-top boxcar, and an express reefer. They also produced a gondola, a cement hopper, a twin hopper, and a quad hopper [see update].

The car in the photo I made some years back from one of their scribed side kits. It came out well! Instead of the stock frame I used a spare Eastern frame. I have a couple more of these in progress that will be modernized more, they will be equipped with Selley cast ends and Selley doors.

UPDATE: Just purchased/received an item I had an eye out for, a Picard cement hopper. While the boxcar kits seem to be quite common, the other models they made are not often seen. This particular one was nicely built up with reefer hatches, stamped brass ladder stock, and Nason trucks. It lacks some detail but the overall effect of the car when neatly assembled is quite good, it is a welcome addition to the collection.

In the photo with the cement hopper are the floor and one side of the quad hopper kit showing the familiar stamped marking of the maker. I also have a kit for the twin hopper of the same design.

UPDATE II: Welcome Train Collectors Quarterly readers who have searched for Picard Bodies based on the listing in "Who Done It?" part 107. For a complete rundown on Picard production please see my longer post on the topic, The story behind picard bodies. For all of my posts related to Picard please click on the Picard label below.

UPDATE III: And see this article for a better example of the Picard cement hopper.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your work on this site. I have many HO Picard bodies and parts. I even have a car in a oringinal package. It is a brown paper wrapper with a Picard label sealing it shut. Is this correct or did they actually have boxes? Do you know did they sell more OO or HO?

Steve Anderson

Unknown said...

Yes the e bay has more kits i paid $15 for 3 o scale in mint condition ill get his name for u