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

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fixen and Early Nason

One of the first suppliers of OO gauge was The Fixen Line of Richmond Hill, NY. Ed Morlok some years back gave me a copy of their price sheet. It is three pages long with pages dated 12/1/34, 12/5/34, and 12/19/34, and they state that they are “agents for Nason Railways.”

The first page notes to “make all checks, money orders, etc., payable to E Fickeissen” and later notes make all checks payable to E. Fickeisson or H. Goret. The page presented here is the first page; click on it for a larger view.

Within the price sheets they are not always clear who the maker is of the listed item. Certainly the first listed item is Nason, the P5A model. These were not cheap! The “Craftsman Kit” was $32 and was only rough castings, a “Workbench Kit” was $37 where at least the wheels were machined and finished, a “Simplified Construction” kit ready for assembly was $62, and a completed locomotive would cost you $75! Makes those eBay prices today sound pretty good.

For passenger equipment they had the original Nason sand cast passenger cars; the Pullman, coach, coach-baggage, and express. At the bottom of this page they also list “blueprints.” This caught my attention as I have was told by Ed Morlok that Fixen acquired the Thuillgrim toolings but did not develop the line, and the original product advertised by Thuillgrim partner Harry Thuillez was blueprints for the PRR D76B dining car back in 1930. Alas, the blueprints in the Fixen listing seem to just be the instructions for the Nason models.

The last page features “small lifelike figures of American types correctly made for OO gauge.” These would seem to be of their own manufacture. The full list was:

X-1 Engineer or fireman, standing
X-2 Engineer or fireman, walking
X-3 Laborer or switchman, standing
X-4 Laborer or switchman, walking
X-5 Conductor, standing
X-6 Conductor, walking
X-7 Pullman porter, standing
X-8 Pullman porter, walking
X-9 Red cap, standing
X-10 Red cap, walking
X-11 Red cap, standing
X-12 Red cap, walking
X-13 Man in business suit, standing
X-14 Man in business suit, walking
X-15 Woman, standing, short coat
X-16 Woman, standing, long coat
X-17 Whistle posts

Fixen advertised intermittently in Model Craftsman and Model Railroader between 1934 and 36. I don’t have a complete magazine collection in that era but the figures seem to be one of the principal products mentioned in the advertisements I have access to. The Fixen Line did not last long but was an interesting early advocate of OO gauge and another element of the early, New York based American OO scene.

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