Early Steam Locomotive Pictures from Mark Twain Hobby Collection

Wabash Steam Locos  circa 1905 in the yards around Union Station

Wabash Steam Locos circa 1905 in the yards around Union Station

Good afternoon all,

I am posting today some images of trains around the St Louis area circa 1904-05. These images come from a group of glass plate photographic negatives that Mark Twain Hobby Center has in it’s collection (also spelled accumulation). These were scanned on an Epson scanner. Each negative is 4 x 5 inches and show some wear and tear from the last 100 plus years. The date that I am using is based upon one image of a rare experimental locomotive that was used by the Pennsylvania Railroad for a couple of years. It was in the St Louis area and exhibited at the Louisiana Exposition of 1904 leaving the area in 1905 at the conclusion of the world’s fair. Click on the image at the top of this post and it will take you to the Flickr site where you can see all of the images.

Each negative is shown as it would have been printed. From all indications the railroads represented are MKT (Missouri Kansas Texas), Cotton Belt (St Louis Southwestern), Wabash, Pennsylvania Railroad,  CB&Q (Chicago Burlington & Quincy), Frisco (St Louis San Francisco Railroad). There are a few unidentified locos as well. There are also a couple of images of street scenes in the City of St Louis. This group of negatives came to us a number of years ago following the passing of another long time hobby store owner in St Louis, Bill Henze. While cleaning out a box of things that came from Bill’s estate these negatives were noticed. Bill was a collector (and seller) of all things trains, it was in his blood. Bill owned Henze Hobbies with his wife Thelma for nearly 45 – 50 years. Thelma would typically work the day shift while Bill held down his regular job and he would join her in the evenings and on Saturdays.

I hope that you enjoy these as much as we do. As a side note Mark Twain Hobby Center is de-acquisitioning a number of items from our collection due to space limitations and we have placed a lot of photo images out for sale in the store as well as some time tables.  Please take the time to stop by and see what we have.

Keep on railroading,




A Comparison of the Heli-Max 1SQ and Traxxas QR-1


The Heli-Max 1SQ and the Traxxas QR-1 are the latest in quad rotor helicopters. Because of the quad rotor design, they are considered fairly easy for the beginner to fly. Both are palm sized, the 1SQ being slightly larger and are both ready to fly, including extra rotor blades, a USB port type charger and battery. The QR-1 includes an extra battery, as well.

The Traxxas QR-1 is the easier of the two to fly, out of the box. Controls are toned down by comparison to the 1SQ initially, which gives the beginner a little more time to react and adjust. After experience is gained, the controller can be changed to expert flight mode, which is much faster and more responsive. This allows flying back and front flip’s and barrel rolls. The LED lights do add cool factor, and it is nice that there are many body and blade color choices allowing for customization.

The Heli-Max 1SQ has the hotter setup out of the box. Where Traxxas has two flight modes, normal and expert, Heli-Max has adjustable rates from 30 (mild) to 40 (hot). Set at 38 from the factory, this allows stepping up how aggressive it will fly in smaller steps, as opposed to one big step. Also, the 1SQ is AnyLink compatible, which means it can be used with after market radio manufacturer’s transmitter’s, such as, Futaba, Spektrum, JR and Hitec. Since the 1SQ is AnyLink adaptable it is available in a TX-R version that is less expensive since you will be providing your own transmitter.


Both helicopter’s include a set of instructions going over operation, as well as explaining how to adjust flight modes or rates. Because we guarantee all RC items to break, both include exploded view diagrams and corresponding part numbers that allow for fast and accurate parts replacement. Fixing either quad is a simple task requiring a Philips screw driver, included with both kits. The one exception would be that on the Traxxas QR-1, motor replacement’s will require soldering skills, that may better left to the hobby shop’s to replace.

-Darren Vancour
(Manager, Mark Twain Hobby)