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Saturday, January 12, 2019

The "collectors" used on the original 1937 SC 4-6-0

One thing I had never seen were pre-1939 versions of the instructions for the Scale-Craft 4-6-0. Recently I obtained most of the  original 1937 instructions, including the full page drawings for the tender.

There are a number of changes, with the most notable being the "collector" under the tender. It has two wipers on it to contact the rails. Another collector was to be placed on the locomotive. There were no wires to the wheels at all!

This close up shows the drawing of the collector and that the date in October of 1937. I have a pair of the collectors and it is tempting to put them on a model to see how well they work. The holes in the collector line up perfectly with the holes cast in the frame.

I had noted them applied to the locomotive previously (see this article), but not the tender. This photo from the 1937 S-C catalog only shows the collectors ("wipers") under the cab of the locomotive, but not on the tender as seen in the drawings. Looking at the actual collectors, I can see how there are holes in the locomotive frame to line up with the application of these collectors.

So what do they look like? Here are a pair of them. Clearly the original S-C idea was that you would have better operation on such small scale models with the sprung collectors touching the rail than just with contact from the wheels.

By 1939 though, they reevaluated that and they were gone from the design. One more thing to add to the expense and complication of building the model I suppose. And, of course, not prototypical and visually distracting.

I posted about these on the American OO Scale Railroading Facebook group and it seems very confirmed that these were standard with the early S-C sets and for the earliest production. I'd still like to see the main drawings for the locomotive that are actually 1937 drawings and not updated in 1939 or later, they would clarify things even more. With a final footnote that the directions are pretty different in 1937 as well, it is interesting to see how they modified and updated the model and the directions over the years.

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