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

Saturday, July 5, 2014

American OO in 1954-55. Part III: The First Schorr Brass Imports

For those who are only familiar with Lionel and Scale-Craft OO, one of the more startling things to learn is that there were some great Japanese brass imports in American OO. Brass imports were starting to come in in other gauges (especially HO) and a man had an idea. Described by his son Ed as “a die-hard 00'er till the end” (there is more background in this article), Fred Schorr knew from his marketing of his F-3 model that there was a demand, and he ultimately invested quite a bit of time and money to develop an extremely interesting line of OO brass models. The groundwork must have been done in prior years, but in terms of the model railroad pubic these models came out in 1955.

The first Schorr ad seen in our timeframe this time is in RMC in March of 1954, the “Everything for OO gauge” ad that has been seen before. The next month, April, he changed the ad to this one, and the interesting products to note are the Dalman trucks (Nason or M.P. Davis products) and arch bar trucks (could be Kemtron?).

That ad ran for a while, off and on, in RMC. Then in January of 1955 a new ad ran that mentions they have four and six wheel gearboxes. I believe the latter must be intended for powering the M. P. Davis E-7 model (more on this model here). That ad ran periodically.

Finally, in September of 1955 we get the big news of the year, the first advertisement for the Schorr RDC cars. This was covered more fully in the November issue of RMC in Dispatcher’s Report. The editors note that “…there is a constant parade of new products being made in all gauges. OO gauge fans are now receiving delivery of full scale Budd rail cars.” And in December we see this item.
OO gauge has a flock of new kits, these being released by Fred E. Schorr, Jr. His Budd RDC-1 now has a companion RDC-2 and 3. These are all brass with clean and clear detail and power trucks are available. The kits are in the custom built class. Also coming are all-brass triple hopper and high sided gondola cars, completed and assembled. Others are to come ….
Those two freight cars I can totally understand importing early on, there had never been a triple hopper on the market and none of the gondolas to that point were great products (more on the gondola comparison here). But why an RDC? It was though an extremely up to date model and I am glad to own one of these great models (mine may be seen in this article).

When the series returns we have a few more old and new products to look at.

Continue in 1954-55 series

No comments: