Friday, October 30, 2015

E. L. Moore's Major Hoople's Brick Warehouse

[E. L. Moore's Major Hoople's Brick Warehouse; J. Collier collection]

As I pushed back from one of Ma Spumoni's delectable spaghetti dinners I let spill a remark that I had contracted to build a brick warehouse down by the tracks on the old Peterson property.
... No more kitewood bricks [JDL: No doubt a reference to the total balsa construction used on the Small MFG. Plant]. Why man, I've got too [sic] carloads of Mr. Northeastern's brick down on the siding now....
... Uncle Charley had already dug out his treasured photograph album, saying just what type warehouse I wanted to build ....
... that is the old Hoople warehouse that stood down below the depot when I was a young buck....
... Old Major Hoople, God rest his flinty soul, built it back in '98 [JDL: That's 1898]...
... The major's warehouse must have been a pretty big one, and had to be scaled down to a more suitable size to fit the existing space...
... While I might admire a nice pretty complexion on a girl - well, on a warehouse built in 1898, even with face-liftings and steam baths, why it just ain't in the cards...
..."You want it to look just like the Major's old building, is that it?"...
... He grabbed a sixteen pound sledgehammer and took half a dozen steps down beside the platform. WHAMMO! ....
[JDL: Check out the article for the exciting conclusion!]

Major Hoople’s Brick Warehouse appeared in the September ’65 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman and was the next E. L. Moore article published in that magazine after the Small MFG. Plant. Hoople’s is a Moorian classic: a well constructed, low-cost and useful build for many a model railroad, combined with one of his signature classic stories woven throughout. Story-wise he outdoes himself on this one with Uncle Charley, George and all getting involved with the weathering – with hilarious results fully documented in an accompanying photo :-) Those quotes shown above are a taste of what went on.

I must admit that the ‘Major Hoople’ who this building is named after reminded me of the Major Hoople in the old comic strip, Our Boarding House. I wonder if E. L. Moore was a fan?
Packed along with this model were several HO-scale cotton bales. When we were photographing the model we thought the bales were an accessory and lined them up on the loading dock. The Hoople article makes no mention of them, but their construction is described in the HOJPOJ article. Turns out one of the things the HOJPOJ factory produced was a complete line of SNORT 'n' SNORE mattresses :-) requiring car loads of cotton. Construction of the bales is ingenious: a piece of balsa block carefully wrapped with a slice of cotton batten wound with a little wire over top. There’s also a small pin sticking out of the block that allows the bales to be stood-up thumb-tack fashion on a wooden loading dock.

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