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U18B

Posted - 2010 January 12 :  7:55:23 PM  Show Profile
Well, we discussed this for ten pages before, but there was some mis-information. And some people will not read long threads.

So I wanted to sort of start over, summarizing what we found out and add some new information I discovered.



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U18B

Posted - 2010 January 12 :  7:56:55 PM  Show Profile

There were variations of small trains.
There were a couple of companies making small push toys in the 50s: Trix, Lone Star.
Individual modelers date back before 1960, I found out, working in small scales. 2 mm society goes way back.

Someone even pointed out that small trains were even modeled back in the 20's somehow. I don't remember the specifics.

And even today, different people considerer N Scale different proportions-- though most consider it 1:160. So picking a 50th Anniversary can indeed get a little complicated.

But something happened around 1960 that links an unbroken thread with today, no matter how you cut all the other stuff.
1) self-powered locomotives with electric motors
2) running on 9 mm track
3) mass produced (not an individual modeler)

Those three things all came together in 1960 and as such, we have the 50 Anniversary of N Gauge.

It wasn't the Anniversary of N Scale, since the trains that were produced that year were both larger and smaller than 1:160. But we can still call it N Gauge today (even if they didn't call it that back then).

DATES

Now, let's talk about dates.

Stephan (U36B) posted a wonderful article from the magazine Miba. It is dated November and it talks about the toy fair in Nuremburg, Germany.



Well, in all discussions about Arnold and Lone Star, the assumption has been that the dating of the Arnold introduction has been November of 1960.

But clearly, that can't be correct. It takes time to put out a fancy glossy magazine. In my mind, the toy fair must have been in the summer-- still giving the win to Lone Star (which appeared earlier in the year).

However, I was just looking on an auction site that we can't provide links to, and saw a passenger car commemorating the 2009 Toy Fair in Nurnburg in February.

I thought—What?! Well then, when could the fair have been in 1960? So I went looking for more information. Of course the Fair itself has a site with some history.

But according to the Fair's history page
http://www.spielwarenmesse-eg.de/index.php?id=2056&L=1
The Nurnburg Toy Fair, was held for the first time in 1950, in March of that year.
According to Wikipedia, Marklin was a early driving force (not surprising).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_International_Toy_Fair

Obviously, sometime between that first year and later years, the date shifted to February where it has been held ever since.

Now, what date was it held in 1960 (when Arnold was showing off the V200)? I don't know. Possibly in February, maybe still in March.

But if that's the case, then that means it becomes more of a neck and neck race in the Who's First category between Arnold in Germany and Lone Star in England.

By the way, here is a totally useless bit of trivia- but here is a copy of the Nurnburg Toy Fair trade catalog for that year. Can you guess what was making it big by that time?

http://www.brickfetish.com/catalogs/misc/nurnberg_1960.html







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U18B

Posted - 2010 January 12 :  7:58:55 PM  Show Profile
Lone Star's Date

OK, one way or another, we've narrowed Arnold's date now to February or the first week or so of March 1960 (and NOT November). I don't think that's uncertain anymore. We're within 5 weeks or so.


When it comes to Lone Star's Date, we have a couple of pieces of information.

We have verbal information. Scott Treaster personally spoke to members of the family that owned the Lone Star Company in England, and that person told him March of 1960 was the intro date.

Also, for years, collectors have used the year 1960 (or in some cases later—erroneously) as the year Lone Star powered trains were introduced.

And then we have this interesting image of a newspaper kind of a publication that Scott was sent.
He moved this image. Sorry Scott. I re-posted it since you moved it.






This is a report of a toy fair in Brighton and London England where Lone Star had a running layout. The date of the publication is March 1960 and the text says the photo was taken 6 days after the close. Now what we don't know is the exact date of the show. And we don't know how much lead time was required for this newspaper-type of publication.

Here is the actual text of the paper as best I can make it out.



Lead Article With Photo of Lone Star Layout as a whole

Once again we are pleased to present our up-to-the-minute report of the Toy Fairs at Brighton and London only six days after their close. This, no mean feat, has involved a great deal of co-operation on the part of manufacturers, and we are very grateful indeed, for we know how much our readers appreciate this opportunity of learning so quickly what is to be expected in the next twelve months so that they can plan their personal programmes accordingly. It certainly looks as if the 1960s will be really wonderful for railway modellers; at all events they have started with a bang. Hitherto we have had many welcome additions to the range of products available, but they have, in the main, been extensions of existing lines rather than something entirely new. This year, however, we (get/got?) a complete commercial miniature system, a range of easy to assemble coach kits and flexible track, which is virtually unbreakable. We know that this will cause excitement, as many readers have particularly asked for these things. We would conclude this preamble by reminding readers as always that the products mentioned in the next few pages are mostly not yet in production, and that where a delivery date is given it is at best a tentative one and should be regarded as he earliest possible time by which they will be available.



Next Article, Front Page (below the fold, as it were) Photo of Lone Star Baby Deltoid loco and two euro passenger cars.


OOO Train Sets Now: New DCMT System

There has long been a desire for some easy-to-obtain commercial OOO equipment, and when, two years ago, Die Casting Machine Tools Ltd. Introduced their 2 mm scale “Lone Star” series there was considerable interest, though as they were push-along toys the amateur's difficulties were not resolved. The makers have now developed a reliable working 2 mm scale system using some of their earlier range but incorporating three very nice modern diesels with automatic couplings, operating on 9 mm gauge two-rail plastic-based track with individual sleepers. They work on 12 volt D.C., and two-rail pick-up is employed. It is intended to market both complete train sets and individual items, the first of which are expected to be available this summer.

Our photographs illustrate two complete trains from which it will be seen that (its) present rolling stock is based on the previous productions. The locomotives are, however, completely new and are very new models indeed- remember that our illustrations are practically life size! The motor occupies most of the body, drives all the axles. (Due) to the eight-wheel drive and diecast body, there is plenty of adhesion while (?the?) works are easily accessible for maintenance. The track has a standard radius of (126?) which seems to rule out the possibility of (???)-elaborate layouts on card-tables. Instead advantage has been taken of (continued on next page)



Sorry-- I don't have the next page!


Now, there are a couple of things to think about and debate I guess.

First of all, the “preamble” could be viewed as speaking of the “next 12 months” and the 1960s as if the haven't happened yet. This might be an argument for wondering if this fair happened maybe in December of 1959.

But arguing the other side, if it was January or even February, I could see someone still talking about the whole year and the whole decade as if we were just getting started. We are there right now, and I still want to write 09 on my checks. It's hard to believe we are in the “teens” and we are well into January.

I also take seriously what the family member told Scott. It seems to me there is a big psychological difference between 59 and 60 that would be remembered. If that show was in the 50's, I think the family member would have remembered---Oh yeah Scott, we first showed those trains in 1959, but they didn't get released to the public until the summer of 1960.

But no one has ever asserted anything like that for all these years (that I have ever heard of). The family member remembered March. Maybe it was late February. Maybe it was the very first week of March. But I doubt it was 1959.

If all this is true, then Arnold and Lone Star BOTH introduced their trains in different parts of the world at right about the same time.







Edited by - U18B on 2010 January 12 8:42:30 PM

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U18B

Posted - 2010 January 12 :  8:01:16 PM  Show Profile
I also found a copy of the February 1964 issue of Model Railroader where "our hobby" was more or less introduced to the world in a big way (more than just the ads).

But I'll talk about that a little later.

Interesting.






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Charlie Vlk

Posted - 2010 January 12 :  10:01:39 PM  Show Profile
Even though I myself started in 1964 with Treble O I still say that in a close race such as the one we have between Lone Star and Arnold Rapido with the additional weight that England is carrying for NOT being "N Scale" the first place has to go to Germany. If anything, the 1959 Trix push toys inspired Arnold Rapido and Lone Star. The Aurora Postage Stamp 'Lil Donkey is from those early beginings.

Besides, Lone Star did not develop into anything beyond a curiosity whereas Arnold Rapido did have an extensive line and its contribution of the Rapido Coupler was significant and contributed to the early success of the scale.


Charlie Vlk



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U18B

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  01:21:18 AM  Show Profile
quote:

Besides, Lone Star did not develop into anything beyond a curiosity whereas Arnold Rapido did have an extensive line and its contribution of the Rapido Coupler was significant and contributed to the early success of the scale.
Charlie Vlk



I have an early 1st generation Arnold F9 I picked up off of Ebay. It barely ran when I got it.

Mark Spookshow rates these as a D.

However, I totally cleaned mine up-- possibly better than it was when it was new. What I mean by that is-- it conducts electricity through the frame. I assume the metal was "gun blued" - thus black and electrically conductive. But even though it was not rusty, there just had to be oxidation on it after 50 years.

Thus I disassembled the truck and sanded the truck mating surfaces down to the bare metal with old 400 or 600 grit wet/dry paper.

After everything was clean and renewed, this loco runs actually great! I would not rate it a D at all. Maybe a B or B minus. Yes, it runs like a bullet at 200 scale MPH (you just have to run it at half voltage), but it actually runs fairly smoothly for no flywheels, and it is fairly heavy. Personally, I know it runs better than a Life Like GP38 plastic frame- and that is not a D rated loco.






Edited by - U18B on 2010 January 13 01:24:14 AM

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Doug Gosha

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  01:49:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Doug Gosha's Homepage
I believe that Lone Star was distributed worldwide before Rapido. I still have to give the nod to Treble-O-Lectric.

And, the real beginnings were in 1957 with Lone Star's push toys that really were the inspirations of what became N scale.

Doug


Atlas First Generation Locomotives and Treble-O-Lectric - Click on Link
http://www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos

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daniel_leavitt2000

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  05:05:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit daniel_leavitt2000's Homepage
I want more info on the trix push toys... never heard of them before.

Goodbye and good luck.

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U18B

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  08:48:42 AM  Show Profile
Daniel, I was thinking the same thing. I don't think I've ever seen one.

You see Lone Star stuff all the time on ebay.

But not Trix.






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Brakie

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  09:16:40 AM  Show Profile
Ron,I am having trouble with triple 0 as the first N Scale..I brought this matter up at the club and a most excellent question came up.

Do we count the Trip 0 "glob"(think that Baldwin switcher) or should we count the first truemodels from Atlas since those got the most attention?


Larry
Summerset Ry.

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Doug Gosha

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  12:10:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Doug Gosha's Homepage
I have to disagree with Charlie re Lone Star being only a curiosity.

There was major distribution via Montgomery Ward and International Models here in the States.

Indeed, in the USA, Rapido was more the curiosity in those days.

Doug


Atlas First Generation Locomotives and Treble-O-Lectric - Click on Link
http://www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos

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U18B

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  12:16:09 PM  Show Profile
Larry, Great question.

You used the word "N Scale."

In the original 10 page thread, I said all these words mean about the same thing-- while Charlie VLK said no, words mean things.

After a lot of thinking and researching the history of our hobby all these weeks, I have come to agree with Charlie.

The current 50th Anniversary that is upon us is "N Gauge."

The adoption of 9 mm track, with self powered locomotives under mass production. That all happened 50 years ago-- 1960.

Lone Star was N Gauge in 1960 (9 mm track) but was OOO scale.

Arnold's first loco in 1960, the German V200 was also N Gauge (9 mm) but is was 1:200 scale.

Arnold, I believe is credited with N Scale (1:160) by the way, running on 9 mm N gauge track, being introduced about 1963? I think?

Would the Arnold F9 be the first American N scale locomotive (even if the trucks were not 100% prototypical)?

From Spookshow's site:







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Brakie

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  12:25:09 PM  Show Profile
Ron,First I just wanted to pass that question along..


Any ideas what should be done for N Scale's 50th?

Be nice if there was a big N Scale bash some where with manufacturers,a display of early N Scale,a operating vintage layout and so forth.


Larry
Summerset Ry.

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U18B

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  1:03:46 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Brakie

Ron,First I just wanted to pass that question along..


Any ideas what should be done for N Scale's 50th?

Be nice if there was a big N Scale bash some where with manufacturers,a display of early N Scale,a operating vintage layout and so forth.



That's a good question.

I'm not sure if anything is being done officially. I'm trying to do my part.

Obviously, the January AND February issues of MR are already out-- with nothing. The March issue will be at the presses as we speak. Who knows what will be in it.

I talked with Pam at N-Scale Magazine and told her about our discussions here. March-April was totally locked up as far as an article (sorry, she said) except for one thing - the editorial. She offered that to me if I could get it to her quickly-- which I did.

So The March editorial will mark the official 50th Anniversary of N gauge.

Personally, I have prepared decals and stickers for anybody that wants them that commemorates the two companies- Lone Star and Arnold.

You can print them on white decal paper (like Testors sold at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Michael's) or if you want something very temporary, you could print on peal and stick paper from Office Supply stores.

(By the way, no one has stepped forward with a link to host this file for me yet for the decals. The image below is just a jpeg, but I have a Word for Windows Office file that is to scale and prints perfectly (for me) right on Testor's decal paper. But I need some one to host the .DOC file and then provide a link.

Further, I would wish that the folks in Houston would do something at the convention this summer.








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U18B

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  1:14:00 PM  Show Profile
Since March is the consistent date that we can keep hitting reliably at this time (the German Toy Fair was in March in 1950- not sure when it was in 1960) and the London and Brighton exhibition was reported on fairly quickly in a newspaper-type publication of a March issue....

I'd like to propose that the First Sunday in March be designated as 50th Anniversary of N Gauge Sunday Night Foto Fun Night.

March the 7th.

Bring out your old stuff.

I'm planning on using my decals and placing a commemorative decal on a CSX locomotive.

Heck, you may have time to buy some old stuff off of TASWDMH.

Bring it out! Fix it up! Photograph it.






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Charlie Vlk

Posted - 2010 January 13 :  1:25:46 PM  Show Profile
The Arnold Rapido F7 (the metal bodied B&O unit with flat plate sideframe trucks Ron pictured above) had to have been undersized for N Scale....I don't have one so can't measure it to figure how what scale it was. It, along with the Baldwin Switcher and the Lone Star F7 and Baldwin 0-8-0 certainly were the first close to N North American prototype locomotives.
The first locomotives that for my money, fully qualify as N Scale would be the Atlas / Rivarossi E8, FM "C" Liner, and IHB 0-8-0. Atlas, then Con-Cor were the leaders pushing the N Scale envelope. MiniTrix and Arnold Rapido had good mechanisms for the day but had a twinge of toy in the execution of the body tooling (the exception would be the Walthers-comissioned Alco S-2).

1967 was a banner year for N Scale with Atlas, Aurora / MiniTrix, AHM, Con-Cor all getting into the N Scale market in a big way. It was the year that it became possible to actually build a North American railroad in N that would be equal to mid-entry level HO state-of-the-art of the time.

Charlie Vlk





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