Thursday, October 22, 2015

E. L. Moore's Apple Cider Mill

[E. L. Moore's Apple Cider Mill; J. Collier collection]

The very next article written by E. L. Moore that appeared in Railroad Model Craftsman after the Spratt and Kean Meat Packing Plant was his Apple Cider Mill build that was published in the September 1966 issue.
This is a good example of what I'd call his backwoods buildings. I'd also say that these buildings are among his best, and that he's a master at this type of structure. Those two cabins, which are also from the J. Collier collection, I posted about back in the spring are also in this group. The attention to detail on those, and on this mill, is excellent. And I'd say lovingly applied.
Debra always asks me which E. L. Moore buildings were built according to memories of places from his childhood. Honestly, I can't always say for certain. We speculated that Ma's Place was one, but in the preamble to the mill's construction article, Mr. Moore reminisces on how an apple cider mill figured in his childhood adventures. He doesn't mention a specific prototype in the article, but I'd guess that this one is built from a memory of an actual place known to him.
This model isn't completely built from balsa. The walls are Northeastern brand capped siding and clapboard siding, although it appears to be some distressed.
You can see that that the boiler room is built up from clapboard siding.
The roof on the the other hand is made from 1/16 inch balsa.
The main building's roof is detachable and is constructed in typical E. L. Moore fashion using triangular balsa gussets as roof trusses.
Mr. Moore used nonpareils to simulate apples - my mother used them all the time to decorate cakes - and tea leaves to simulate the remains of the apples after milling. All that has been eaten away by bugs. You can see the raw balsa where the 'apples' used to be. The interior machinery is simple and nicely done.


  1. Another fascinating post. These structures are among my favourites, too- although I was surprised to see that it was detailed internally. Lovely to see the all-wood construction, not a bit of Evergreen styrene anywhere!

    1. Thanks Iain. I think ELM’s backwoods series of models are not well known, and are under appreciated. I didn’t give them much attention either compared to his projects I first encountered back in the ‘70s. I thought too highly of myself and figured I knew what a typical ELM model was. I realized I was dead wrong once I came across these. He could build in a number of styles, and these backwoods examples illustrate that his work could mingle with the craftsman builds of many of today’s modellers. Also, I’m hoping that I can try and identify which of his projects are based on ‘personal prototypes’, which I think this one is.