Saturday, February 13, 2016

E. L. Moore, TV star

Sometime in 1971 an episode of the local television show, Carolina Camera, aired with a segment featuring E. L. Moore according to this letter he wrote to H. H. Carstens.

July 13, 1971

H. H. Carstens, Editor,
Railroad Model Craftsman,
Ramsey, N. J.

Most Honorable Sir:

Hey man, you-all got something you’re not using and I could use, namely CUSTOM FEED MILL that I sent along about the middle of last year, so here’s a buck for postage. It ain’t doing you no good down deep in your files, and I might be able to make some use of it.

You-all got all the best of it in a feature Carolina Camera did on me for TV. On account of I had AHM’s kit models of the Journal Building, the Schaeffer Brewery and Grusom Casket Company prominently displayed. Your mag hogged it all over Model Railroader which they didn’t even show. They spent a whole afternoon shooting models and displays plus a little interview. Hunsoever, I didn’t need the publicity and it ain’t likely it’ll raise your circulation another hunnerd thousand.

Pete Van Dore of AHM writ me some time back -- sent me a bunch of kits to distribute to friends among which were the three mentioned of mine. Says too he’s giving instructions to put my name on the box of the one in the works now “Ma’s Place”. Also requested I do a specific thing for them, like maybe a powder plant with the side blown off. So I obliged him. Y’know you bastards reviewed the kit, Ramsey Journal Building, without even giving me credit for the thing -- ain’t you the purity things!

Well, keep you shirttail tucked in and your zipper flapped shut . . . . 

signed E. L. Moore

E. L. Moore
525 Oakland Ave., Apt 3
Charlotte, N. C. 28204

There’s a couple of fascinating points in the letter. First, apparently, E. L. Moore got his 15-minutes of TV fame on Carolina Camera.

Carolina Camera was a local interest television show focused on stories about people and places in the Carolinas produced by WBTV in Charlotte that ran from 1970 to some time in the early 1990’s. It was revived in 2010, but cancelled again in 2014. There is a youtube channel with many videos from the early years, and some here at The Southern Weekend but no segment on E. L. Moore.

I’ve tried to contact the station, but no word back. This will be a great segment to see if it can be found. 

And then there’s that hint of a model E. L. Moore designed exclusively for AHM. All the AHM kits - and their latter day versions - were based on particular Railroad Model Craftsman articles. The only thing that might come close is a rare variant on the Molasses Mine that was labelled as some sort of explosives plant - basically, I think it was just the Mine kit with different signs. I’ve misplaced the link to a photo and need to find it again. But, there’s the intriguing, “So I obliged him”, hopefully hinting that there is at least a design out there somewhere for this project.

To get a flavour of segments, check out this one from Carolina Camera called Model Boat Man.


  1. Do manufacturers do this anymore? I detest 'the hobby is dying, let's all wring our hands' threads on the various fora, though it seems from the latest one at MRH folks still like to wring their hands as much as ever. But I will say there is perhaps a great opportunity being missed if kit manufacturers aren't looking to what modelers are doing as inspiration for their next structure. Maybe I just don't run in the right circles. Sure glad to hang out here and be inspired from time to time.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Galen. I focus on what I'm interested in, and I'm glad that you and others find it interesting. I don't think a lot of navel gazing and hand wringing is interesting. I appreciate everyone who's dropped by and read the posts and left comments!