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History of model engineers

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Jamie Taylor17/02/2020 11:19:05
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Hi

I'm researching model locomotive engineering and I am looking for a bit of advice. Is there a good general introduction to the scene's history? I'm also looking for some history about some notable makers, especially Harry Powell, Louis Raper, Ron Martin and David Aitkin. Also, could someone point me in the direction of a searchable index of Model Engineer magazine? I'd love to hear from any historians of the hobby!

JasonB17/02/2020 13:08:22
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I tend to use this index, hopefully one of the loco fans can help with the builders.

IanT17/02/2020 13:56:36
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Obviously, the early editions of Model Engineer will be extremely useful to you.

I would also suggest that you also look at the work of Henry Greenly - his monthly publication "Model Railways & Locomotive Magazine" (which ceased publication n 1916) is an interesting chronicle of (mostly) his progress but doesn't tend to reflect others peoples work in this field quite so much.

However, you mention ME's like Harry Powell, who certainly produced wonderful (museum quality) work but I'm not sure was a pioneer quite like Crebbin for instance. So perhaps you are seeking 'notable' engineers, rather than just the early ones...

My own favourite ME Loco builder is CM Keiller by the way but there's no shortage of others to admire - just depends on what aspect you are trying to research I think...

Regards,

IanT

Jamie Taylor17/02/2020 14:05:52
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Thank you. Yes, very much I'm looking for information on notable model engineers. I've found David Curwen's fantastic book but have struggled a little otherwise.

Frances IoM17/02/2020 14:26:50
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I presume you have approached the archivist at SMEE - see Neil's editorial in MEW 291 (I'm not looking forward to see how much my subs rise next year to pay for this paean of praise and appearance of certain blue overall figures on the front cover)

Edited By Frances IoM on 17/02/2020 14:27:47

Jamie Taylor17/02/2020 14:41:34
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Thank you for the help with the index. This looks really useful!

Jamie Taylor17/02/2020 14:42:28
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I have not. Please excuse my ignorance but what does SMEE stand for?

Frances IoM17/02/2020 14:57:47
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Society of Model and Experimental Engineers - try www.sm-ee.co.uk - next meeting next Sat 21st come along you will be made welcome.
JasonB17/02/2020 15:09:42
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Frances, I hope your fees will stay the same as there were no back handers involvedwink 2

As I mentioned in my article at least 3/4" of the photos that both Neil and myself took were both of items on the SMEE stand, they obviously just had a good selection of items that cought our eyes and for me had the most interesting models at the show.

Nick Clarke 317/02/2020 16:36:02
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I love reading old copies of model engineering magazines, particularly Model Engineer.

Some names to research include not only the Henry Greenly mentioned already, but LBSC, Geo. Gentry, H.E. White, A.Turpin, Martin Evans, Don Young, Keith Wilson, J. Austen-Walton  and for his pioneering 1831, Edgar T. Westbury - This is apart from articles by builders who describe their own locos that might include A W G Tucker, Roy Amsbury, (Uncle Jim) Crebbin and J. Bradbury Winter to name just a tiny few.

If you are looking for how locos are built you need to remember that in the 1920s and 30s 2 1/2" gauge was by far the most popular and many of the designs of that time, even for larger gauges, tend to reflect that. Indeed you might say that some of the designers working in that period were slow to incorporate modern developments in their later designs at all.

Looking at the letters pages you will find arguments going on issue after issue that are not only pointless to look back on today, but which I doubt any editor of today would permit, and these could spread over onto regular contributors pages and editorials as well. Best avoided!!

 

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 17/02/2020 16:37:24

Howard Lewis17/02/2020 16:58:56
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Not one of the early Model Engineers, but during the 40s and 50s, LBSC was a builder of many types of locos, and he described their construction and operation in the M E s of the time.

Howard

Norman Billingham17/02/2020 17:04:06
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If you contact SMEE you may be able to get hold of a copy of "100 years of Model Engineering" - a history of the Society published by SMEE in 1998 - many of the people you mention were members.

The Society has also recently published a book by Roger Backhouse on Jim Crebbin - readily available

Edited By Norman Billingham on 17/02/2020 17:06:17

Nick Clarke 317/02/2020 20:58:50
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And (I had forgotten) if you click on the 'Features' tab at the top of this page and choose 'Magazine Reprints' there is a lot that might interest you right here!

Nick Clarke 317/02/2020 21:01:37
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Posted by Howard Lewis on 17/02/2020 16:58:56:

Not one of the early Model Engineers, but during the 40s and 50s, LBSC was a builder of many types of locos, and he described their construction and operation in the M E s of the time.

Howard

A regular contributor from 1925 until 1959 or thereabouts and then again for a year or so in the mid sixties until his death.

While idiosyncratic and opinionated he was one of the great authors whose writings probably got more locomotives built than any other. 

He can often be a good, if not great, read - but in my personal opinion he is probably best remembered for his writings rather than for the locos he built himself.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 17/02/2020 21:05:34

Jamie Taylor18/02/2020 18:48:31
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17 forum posts

Thank you for that. The features section looks very interesting.

Thank you for the link to SMEE. I'll try and get hold of the 100 years history.

I'm curious to find out a bit more about LBSC. I'm looking forward to reading more about Henry Greenly on the train to London tomorrow.

Bill Chugg18/02/2020 19:40:26
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Brian Hollingsworth wrote a book entitled

LBSC his life and locomotives.

Bill

Amended to say it comes in the Biography category so may be worth a look. 

Edited By Bill Chugg on 18/02/2020 20:02:32

Roderick Jenkins18/02/2020 20:53:27
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The whole model engineering thing as a popular hobby was really started by Percival Marshall, who founded both the Model Engineer Magazine and the Model Engineer Exhibition. His relationship with Bassett-Lowke and Greenly probably instigated the popularity of man hauling model locos. Names worth researching. Have fun!

Rod

Nick Clarke 318/02/2020 23:39:35
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Posted by Bill Chugg on 18/02/2020 19:40:26:

Brian Hollingsworth wrote a book entitled

LBSC his life and locomotives.

Bill

Amended to say it comes in the Biography category so may be worth a look.

Edited By Bill Chugg on 18/02/2020 20:02:32

Camden Miniature Steam will sell you an electronic copy, but there are some later corrections to it here **LINK**

Bill Chugg19/02/2020 08:37:29
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Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 18/02/2020 23:39:35:

Camden Miniature Steam will sell you an electronic copy, but there are some later corrections to it here **LINK**

Thanks for posting the LINK - it does make interesting reading.

Bill

Jamie Taylor02/03/2020 12:56:52
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17 forum posts

Hello again.

The LBSC link is fascinating! Thank you.

Does anyone have experience of using the Model Engineer archive that is listed on the website? Do you get full access to the archive as a subscriber (i.e the ability to read back issues from 2001) or is this just for issues that you have purchased?

best

Jamie

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