My, How Time Flies at Mark Twain Hobby Center

My, how time flies. Dan McEntee, our longest part timer (32 years) stopped by yesterday and showed me the first Mark Twain Hobby Center newsletter. It was dated November 1980. Since it was only 2 pages I thought that it would fit into this post. What is really interesting are the products and prices from 33 years ago. One great example was the Lindberg Blue Devil Destroyer plastic model kit. Back then we had it on special for $17.99. Now they retail at $129.95 with a street price of about $80.00. Or how about the Kraft 6 channel sport series radio with servos and receiver for $235.00. Those were the days.

One other thing that you don’t see much of any longer is the fact that I typed this newsletter on an electric typewriter. I know, some of you that are quite young are asking what is an electric typewriter. Heck, sometimes we didn’t even use correcting fluid, we just typed right over the mistake.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy going back a few years in time.

Dennis

PS Don’t expect these prices to be valid today. (That’s a disclaimer)old newsletter

old newsletter-1


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,

Dennis

 


Fall Sale

Well, here we go again. Friday, Saturday and Sunday (November 16,17 and 18) only. Mark Twain Hobby Center will be having a 20% OFF whatever you can carry to the register sale. So load your carts into your car and come on in. Just as a reminder this sale does not include gift cards, lay-aways, consignment or used items or special orders of our Ebay store. However, anything else that does not fall into those categories is on sale, even stuff that would normally not be discountable.

This is our way of saying thank you to all of our valued customers and friends.

Mark Twain Hobby Center 20 percent off sale

Mark Twain Hobby Center 20% OFF sale


New Train Photos Added to Our Online Collection

This morning I have added a number of new train and trolley photos to our online Flickr collection. The original slides, with the exception of 4, were taken by Al Kalmbach, the founder of Kalmbach Publishing in Wisconsin. Kalmbach publishing is the producer of Trains magazine and Model Railroader magazine. Blackhawk films out of Davenport Iowa duplicated the original slides and sold them to collectors. Kalmbach photographed these primarily during the 50’s and early 60’s.

We have several thousand slides and photos in our collection and as time permits I will add them online.

Trolley Photo

Trolley photo from our collection of train photos

Happy viewing,

Dennis


Norfolk Southern’s St. Louis District: NKP 765, Part 1 – YouTube

 

Here is a very nice video of the Nickleplate 765 Berkshire loco that came through on the Norfolk Southern lines this past weekend for Employee Appreciation events. The still photo in this post is from the St Louis Post Dispatch article.

Norfolk Southern’s St. Louis District: NKP 765, Part 1 – YouTube.

Enjoy,

Dennis


Saint Louis Union Station

The-East-Approach-Union Station -St Louis Missouri 1895

Photo of the east approach to Union Station in St Louis Missouri. Taken in 1895.

As we continue to go through the railroad associated images in our collection for scanning, I have posted some from the St. Louis Union Station. Although many of you have seen them before most don’t really know the history of this structure. First things first, here is a link to the images that we have. They are from a booklet or portfolio that was given out at the dedication of the station in 1895. Most of the images were taken prior to the station opening to allow the pictures to show the grandeur of the building without people. Here is the link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marktwainhobby/sets/72157631309759030/

As I looked for a history of the station, the best one that was found was on the Wikipedia site. The credit goes to them for the following bio:

“The station opened on September 1, 1894, and was owned by the  Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis.  Designed by Theodore Link,it included three main areas: the Headhouse, the Midway and the 11.5-acre Train Shed. The headhouse originally housed a hotel, a restaurant, passenger waiting rooms and railroad ticketing offices. It featured a gold-leafed Grand Hall, Romanesque arches, a 65-foot barrel-vaulted ceiling and stained-glass windows. The Clock tower is 280 feet high.

Union Station’s headhouse and midway are constructed of Indiana limestone and initially included 42 tracks under its vast trainshed terminating in the stub-end terminal.

At its height, the station combined the St. Louis passenger services of 22 railroads, the most of any single terminal in the world. At its opening, it was the world’s largest and busiest railroad station and its trainshed was the largest roof span in the world. In 1903, the station was expanded to accommodate visitors to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

In the 1940s, it handled 100,000 passengers a day. The famous photograph of Harry S. Truman holding aloft the erroneousChicago Tribune headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman,” was shot at the station as Truman headed back to Washington, DC from Independence, Missouri after the 1948 Presidential election.

As airliners became the preferred mode of long-distance travel and railroad passenger services declined in the 1950s and 1960s, the massive station became obsolete and too expensive to maintain for its original purpose. With the takeover of national rail passenger service by Amtrak in 1971, passenger train service to St. Louis was reduced to only three trains a day. Amtrak stopped using Union Station on October 31, 1978; the six trains daily did not justify such a large facility. The last to leave Union Station was a Chicago-bound Inter-American. Passenger service shifted to an “Amshack” one block east, now the site of the Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center .”

We hope that you continue to enjoy our images.
Dennis


Train Pictures from Our Collection

Alton and Southern Railroad Steam Loco #16

Alton and Southern Railroad #16 Mikado locomotive. One of 7 Mikados that the A&S Railroad had in their stable of locomotives.

As most of you know we have developed a new website for www.hobby1.com . Our old website had a link to some images from our train photo collection (accumulation) and we added to that link additional images as we had time. We since the old website is no longer available I have begun to place the photos up on a Flickr site for the store. Here is a link to that site:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marktwainhobby/sets/

Eventually, I will get all of this under control and learn how to put buttons up for things like this. And we will be adding additional images from the collection on a regular basis now. So take a minute and enjoy some of these.

By the way, for all of our RC and Model customers, we have not forgotten you. We are working on some posts that will have an interest for you.
Dennis