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

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Moale OO Traction Models

First, a news item already posted to the OO list; the OO portion of the collection of the late Ed Morlok is going to be auctioned this coming weekend by Maurer! The auction list is here

It is the largest auction of its type in some years. Looking at the list it says in bold "NO INTERNET BIDDING FOR THIS AUCTION" so I am totally out of luck way out west. Any of you near Spring City, PA need to try to be there on Saturday the 9th with many very interesting items in the list, probably a number of bargains. [But UPDATE: I am told you can place phone bids the previous night].

I know all the traction models on the list caught the eye of more than one person. I visited Ed in the late 1980s and he had a small layout and quite a few cars from a Commander Moale. At the time I took this photo of two of the cars. One is what I would call a city trolley and the other an interurban. Both are nicely scratch built. The trolley I can't make out the lettering and the interurban looks to be West Jersey and Seashore.

Phil R. on the OO list thought that he had seen photos of cars by Moale in a late 1940s issue of Model Railroader and he was correct! I was able to track down a photo of two more of his cars in the October, 1947 issue of The Model Railroader, which I believe to be the earliest published photo of the cars. In the "Picture Parade" column under the heading "Juice Train" we read, "This neat OO gauge equipment was built by Commander Edward Moale, Army-Navy Club, Washington, D. C., for his Stone Hill RR., now in storage." In this photo you will find a very similar interurban (lettered differently) and a coach/baggage trailer on a layout with overhead wire.

The same builder most thoroughly covered in this article, found via the Model Train Magazine Index:

Over 60 "OO" Scale Cars
Traction & Models, October 1975 page 20

Especially now it would be really handy to track down a copy of that article. [UPDATE: Text from this article and related photos may be found here]. And good luck to any bidders who can attend the Morlok OO auction, it should be amazing.

UPDATE: A photo of the Moale trolley layout was also published in the "Your Nabors Pike" photo section in the February, 1956 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.There we learn that,
Cmdr. Edward S. Moale, U.S.N., Ret., started building his collection of OO gauge street car models in 1936. Today he has 62, all scratch built using blue prints he picked up in various cities in which he was stationed. The Moale layout has 5 scale miles of track, most of it trolley wire; some 3rd rail track for his SIRT and BMT cars. The careful visitor will notice a few discrepancies, such as running PRT and Panama cars on standard gauge track. The Cmdr. now lives in Washington, D.C.
UPDATE II: See this article for Part II of the story on the Moale trolley and interurban models.

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