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

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why read old train magazines

I love old magazines. When I first started out in OO part of what drove me was simple curiosity about these old models in this unusual scale. Who made them? Why are they so uncommon today? I was lucky right in that time frame to be able to trade some more recent magazines to a local N scaler for a good size pile of the older, small format issues of Model Railroader.

With those I did something very important that I only now see what it did for me. I made notes on loose leaf paper about each issue, of which this is an example. I wrote down what was advertised in each issue and notes about any article related to OO. Those notes expanded as I was able to pick up more period magazines at train shows over the years. I still have those notes and turn to them often as I now keep them in the folders with the issue they reference.

A friend recently recommended reading The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle and Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, which I did this summer in relation to thinking over some things in my teaching. These are very interesting books, read them if they sound at all interesting to you, but the point to highlight in relation to OO gauge and reading old magazines and taking notes on them is that it built up an initial knowledge of OO really effectively and was the basis for me for an overall framework for understanding OO on many levels.

I still love going back to those back issues. I have been selling a few duplicate issues on eBay recently, actually there are to my mind a lot of bargains out there in old magazines, they are going cheap. I guess people don’t read them as much these days which is unfortunate. Reading about OO here in this blog is a start but if you are interested in OO and the history of model railroading for sure be building up a collection of period magazines and skim/read them all, they will help fuel your curiosity and provide a lot of great primary information on these great trains.

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