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

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Pair of Vintage OO Gauge Motors

Looking at the car bottom photos of the 1934 MU car by Temple Nieter featured in the previous post I thought I had a similar motor around.

I don’t know the maker of this motor. It looks somewhat less primitive than the Nieter motor, which if it is as described in his 1934 article should be a Mantua motor. It is very similar from the bottom but is probably larger. It is too large to be used in HO but would work in OO or larger models.

Looking at this photo from the side we have a much better idea what the Nieter motor must also look like. There is a rugged simplicity to this old motor that almost borders on some type of folk art. It is an interesting artifact at a minimum, and perhaps someday it will run again, who knows? One of the brushes is missing and the holder for it that is visible is tipped somewhat in the photo. Anyone have ideas as to the maker?

This other old motor I take to be Nason--at least it fits on a frame I have for a Nason or Star-Continental 4-4-2 perfectly. Overall it is smaller than the motor above and I believe somewhat newer. Like the motor above it is not per-mag and has wires that connect to the brushes and to the coil on top. Those are all presently connected (more or less) to a rectifier. The rectifier visually does not look exactly like the one in the Scale-Craft catalog described in this earlier post on Scale-Craft motors, but is similar, likely by another maker, used to set up the motor for DC operation.

Whatever model this was in originally the builder mounted the rectifier in the body of the locomotive judging from the length of the wires. A “project” motor for sure but it is all there and it should be possible to get this one running as well.

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