Hi all, I've got an O scale brass locomotive that I think my Dad
purchased in the late 50s or early 60s. It looks to be an interurban
freight loco, but beyond that I'm stuck. The only marking is "Japan"
stamped on the motor. I've done a fair amount of searching online but
I haven't come up with much. If anyone can help with a manufacturer,
model number, whatever, I'd really appreciate it. I've posted a photo
of it here -
Thanks in advance for any light you might shed on this.
Ralph in NH
This may be little more than a guess. In the 50's an NYC based
corporation, International Models, offered a line of O guage (I'm not
sure whether they were true O scale) models in both two and three rail
variants. I believe one of these was an interurban type freight motor.
I am personally unaware of any other brass, three rail model of this
type dating from that era. I hope this is of some help. Thank you.
PS Many of this compay's offerings, both in O and HO, were sold as
brass kits. How times change.
Browsing back through some old Model Railroader magazines, I found an
International Models, Inc. ad on page 68 of the February 1951 issue. It has
a line drawing side and end elevation drawing of the prototype and the
"85-Ton South Shore Line Electric in O Gauge
Page 73 of the Model Railroader Cyclopedia (5th Edition) gave us the
inspiration for this O-Scale model of the 85-Ton South Shore Line Electric.
We've reproduced it in typically authentic International fashion . . . right
to every detail. Heavy gauge brass construction with all details already on
the body (pantograph - pole, etc.). Usual superbly detailed underframe,
ready to attach with just a screwdriver . . . and the same powerful AC/DC
motor as used in our Pacific. For those who know International's values we
need say no more - to those who don't, you're in for a happy money-saving
Complete for only .............................................$19.50"
Note that International did not assign a model number to this loco - just
'South Shore Line Electric'. I believe I once read that the idea of selling
the model with the frame separate so that the buyer had to screw the parts
together had to do with import duties - if the model were completely
assembled in Japan, it would have been categorized as a toy and been subject
to higher duties.
The prototype for this model was the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend
Railroad 1000 class Baldwin-Westinghouse steeple-cab freight motors. CSS&SB
numbers 1001 through 1010 were built by B-W in 1926 & 28 and were rated at
80 Ton. These units had the typical MCB-style drop-equalizer trucks that
are apparently on your model, although it's a little hard to tell from your
top-view photo of the trucks. CSS&SB numbers 1011 to 1013 were built in
1930 by General Electric to a copy of the B-W design and were rated at 85
Ton, so these later units would seem to be the prototype for your model.
However GE sold the RR on an odd "inverted equalizer" truck where the
equalizer bar bulged up in the middle to pass over the top of the brake
cylinder. Maybe International's "right to every detail" claim was a bit of