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Friday, January 22, 2010

Early OO Manufacturer: LIMCO

One recent eBay purchase was the full year of 1937 of Model Craftsman. In the first issue, January, I hit pay dirt and found a very clear, small ad for LIMCO, the Long Island Scale Model Company.

The subtitle of this post is, “have you seen this model?” I have never seen one, but I bet someone out there has one that they have wondered, “what is this?” This photo is from the advertisement of their PRR MU coach. The photo is small but you can clearly see the drive shaft drives the left truck. The ad copy reads,
An Exact Scale Die Cast Reproduction of the P.R.R. 64 Foot Motor Cars
The complete, powered kit sold for $19.75 and a trailer was also offered along with a 64’ “Die Cast Steam Coach” and “our new fully equalized and sprung, roller bearing type, passenger trucks.”

These were all produced at least to the point of a pilot model or three. Any out there?

Limco also produced a catalog of which I have a Xerox in my files. From that we learn that you could purchase a finished car of this MP54 MU coach for $41.50. They at that time produced a reefer with printed card sides for WFE, wood body, cast details, and equalized Arch bar trucks This car, if any are out there, is extremely rare. Other later advertising I have seen indicates that they offered also a box car and a tank car of uncertain construction details [see UPDATE for the tank car].

This pair of trucks should be the Limco design, it is equalized and arch bar, and very rarely seen. The one on the right (painted) is upright, and the other truck is turned over. The sideframes and bolster are die cast separately and held together with screws. This particular truck has late Scale-Craft wheelsets in it.

In addition to those kits they offered other parts. Besides track materials and 6 wheel passenger trucks that were die cast, the list below indicates that they must have had at least a plan to produce a steam locomotive:

Air pump, bronze
Booster, bronze
Boiler, cast aluminum
Cylinders, bronze
Deck plate and air pump bracket
Drivers, bronze, machined or unmachined
Pilot, bronze
Smoke box front, bronze
Tender truck frames, bronze
Trailer truck pivot bar, bronze
Valve gear bracket

So far as I can tell Limco was active from about 1936-38. Maybe we don’t need to resort to milk cartons to find what Limco is out there still but if you have any treasure it and I would love to hear more about it.

UPDATE: More on the tank car in this article, with photos. And also a reproduction of the side of one of the MU cars may be seen here.

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