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Archive for December 11th, 2010

Badly lit picture of book.

… and how to build it”

If I still had access to second hand bookshops I’d be hopelessly addicted to old books about model railways, so when a book called “Cardboard rolling stock and how to build it’ (A comprehensive practical guide covering 4mm and 7mm construction”) came up up for grabs on the MTI forum I was lost. Not only was it old (original cost two shillings and sixpence, about 16p today), it was about building things of cardboard, and as long-suffering readers know, I’m getting increasingly obsessed by this. The owner was happy to send it from Utah in exchange for a wagon kit.

There’s no publishing date in the book, but it starts with instructions to make a coke wagon (that’s the fuel, not the drink) and a London, Midland and Scottish/Midland Railway eight ton open wagon, and refers to them as ‘typical wagons’ which dates it in the late 1940’s at the latest. The book is full of the black-and-white drawings of wagons and diagrams from a time when colour printing was an extravagance, and the last few pages are full of carefully written adverts for model-railway related products and card kits for locomotives: Messers. Hislop and Day of Edinburgh, for example announce that “We make Printing Blocks in line, Half tone and colour” while ‘Crois glue’ not only advertise their products but helpfully advise: “Users:- Send your glue problems to address below.” For more urgent orders, several firms give their telegram code and ‘RM Evans and co.’ of Plimlico Road, London suggest that you use the number 10 bus to reach their shop. No-one mentions car parking: happy days.

I will now get thoroughly mesmerised by the diagrams in this book and start envisioning all kinds of interesting construction projects, several of them may actually be built…

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