December 16, 2011

Back to the future

Last week I mentioned that I had received the Model Railroader 75-year collection DVD set. I had trouble getting the disks to install on my iMac, but after two calls to Kalmbach Customer Service, a replacement set of disks, which were probably unnecessary, purchasing an upgrade to my Max OS, which was also unnecessary and not suggested by Kalmbach, and a software patch that Kalmbach emailed to me, I was able to get the disks to load.

Wow, I am glad I did. Going back 75 years makes me realize what a rich history this hobby has. I am frequently surprised at how sophisticated these early model railroaders were. They also were not afraid to scratch build. An article from a soldier stationed in Central America during WWII describes how he made a locomotive using watch springs,  a home made soldering iron and a hammer and scrap metal. Never will I complain again about having to scratch build things. Actually I like scratch building and rarely complain about it.

Now read this passage from MR and guess what year it was written.  Hint, it is not Tony Koester's latest Trains of Thought column or an Ian Rice design book, but it is every bit as sophisticated.

The compilation of all the plans that MR published alone makes this set worthwhile. But I am really enjoying the old issues too. By the way, the excerpt was written by C.R. Garbett in an article called "Stage Set Scenery", December 1938.

Speaking of the future, Duncan McCree, of Frog Juicer fame, sent me this youtube clip. He filmed it at the Dead Rails Society.


  1. Is this collection keyword searchable? I've really been waffling on whether to drop the $200 on it or not...

  2. Yes, it allows keyword, title and author searches. You can also do a full text search, but that includes ads, so you get a lot of extra hits.