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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

1937, a Big Year for OO: Part II, Three “Firsts” by Mid-Year

With a market for American OO clearly established, by the middle of 1937 three new models of types not previously manufactured in OO were on the market.

First up was a tank car model by Limco, first mentioned in The Model Craftsman in February of 1937. This I model has already been featured in American OO Today with early advertising here and also an example of this very rare model may be seen here. It was the first tank car produced in OO.

The March issue of The Model Railroader has an interesting item included in the article by Robert LeMassena on the NYSME show. Besides noting that “The OO gauge Little Island RR. has been rejuvenated with new additions” he also has this item on a new manufacturer.
Continental Models of Brooklyn displays OO gauge equipment. One interesting locomotive to be seen there is a cross between a Reading and a Pennsy. Either kits or finished models are sold by the company.
My guess is this is the first mention of Star-Continental Models. Their first advertisement I have noted is in the April, 1937 issue of The Model Railroader where their new 4-4-2 was also reviewed. The review is quoted in this prior article, and it was advertised with this advertisement with a photo in the May issue. Click on the photo for a better view. As noted in my longer article on this model, the model is not quite a PRR E-6--it is actually a freelance version of PRR K-4/K-5 Pacific, but built as an Atlantic. This was the only model produced by Star-Continental and was by 1940 produced by Nason.

The final model I would like to feature in this installment was another first, a flat car. This model was first mentioned by Nason in this advertisement from the July 1937 issue of The Model Craftsman, with the photo that ends this article being scanned from their 1939 catalog.

This is the first flat car that was produced in OO. According to the 1939 catalog,
The sides are letterd for Chicago and Northwestern or Baltimore & Ohio and are complete with rivet detail. A bronze underframe is furnished to give the car weight. The stake pockets are stamped and formed brass and require no drilling as the holes for fastening to the car side are stamped in. Flat Dimetal end beams and ASSEMBLED trucks are provided. The kit also includes milled and wood floor, stamped brass brake wheel, formed steps and grab irons, all necessary wood and machine screws, and complete construction drawings.
Note the third rail in the foreground of the photo. The final note is I have never to this date seen one of these except for one that might have been this car that passed through eBay a couple years ago. It should be an easy model to spot and was produced for a while so there really should be some out there. If anyone has one and can supply a photo I would be happy to follow up further on this model.

When we return to this series a focus will be on the actual market share OO had in 1937.

Continue to Part III of 1937 Series

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