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

Friday, September 20, 2013

American OO for 1948: Part III, Smaller Makers Keep Things Rolling

While a fairly slow year, there were two significant, new items in OO for 1948.

First up alphabetically is Eastern; their new gondola car (more here) was a bright spot in the OO world for 1948. A steady advertiser in MR, they ran a teaser ad on the new car in the March issue and introduced the new product in the April issue. This was a good product (the best gondola kit offered in OO—all the different cars are discussed in this article), and their small line of freight cars would be on the market for years and years. My overview of Eastern production is here.

The other new item for 1948 was the SW-1 model by Super Scale, first advertised in the April issue of MR as seen in this article. This was available in multiple scales; multiple views of an example of this copper (brass) model in OO scale as built up by Carl Appel may be seen in this article. (With one of those views below as well). I have a copy Super Scale of price sheets dated 2/8/48, and besides the "EMC 600 HP Diesel" (the SW-1) they also list three more models being available in OO, models I have never seen and possibly not produced, but who knows? The three models are a Baldwin sloping back tender, a NYC 3 Power loco (GE) and a NYC T3 Terminal Electirc loco. Perhaps there are examples out there?

Moving on to other firms, the Famoco GG-1 listed pretty often in advertising for sale by mail order firms. Among their last advertisements is one featuring their Famoco Flash newsletter and discount prices for kits in the May issue of MR. The flyer itself may be seen in this article, and actually the prices are more like close-out prices in reality. The last direct advertisement ran by Famoco related to OO was in the July 1948 issue of MR. Looking ahead, by 1950 they were a HO manufacturer and out of the OO market, although some items still show up in listings that I take by then to be old stock.

Another classic OO line was Picard. They advertised little but the line was still available. The line was fading into model railroad history, though, and I believe their last advertisement may be found in the November, 1948 issue of MR. See this article for more on the firm.

It also should be noted there was plenty of track material on the market to build a layout of any size easily. Tru-Scale, Midlin, Mac Johnston, and Bob Peare “Trackmaster” had products on the market. New in 1948 were the Trackmaster products for OO, described more here. OO switches in particular, they I believe had some crossover market in the time as On3 was becoming a player in the hobby and the track guage was (and is) the same as OO.

Finally, Jerry White advertised custom building in all scales including OO. This article has a scan one of his ads from 1948 and he clearly did make some great models in OO around this timeframe (such as seen in this article).

UPDATE: Mentioned above is Mac Johnston, and this is his OO product. The points are marked with his logo and also his name, making clear which turnouts were his handiwork.

To close this look at 1948 the series will continue with a look at some models by H. R. Treat with other final notes on the year.

Continue in 1948 Series

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