Saturday, June 11, 2016

E. L. Moore and the preamble to the RMC Paper Mill controversy

[The RMC Paper Company was one of the models I was lucky to see at last year's meet-up.]

You may recall that soon after the publication of E. L. Moore's RMC Paper Company in the April '74 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman, a 'controversy' erupted in RMC's letters column about the viability of such a small paper plant. I wrote about it in E. L. Moore and The Great Selective Compression Controversy of '74.

It turns out well before Mr. Moore submitted the article to RMC in November '73, he wrote a long letter in September '73 to then RMC editor Tony Koester, pitching the project and touching on the size issue that later became a problem.

September 23, 1973

Hi Tony . . . . . . 

Yours of the 19th concerning paper shortage. What paper shortage? Congressional Record and transcripts of Watergate Merry-Go-Round are not seemingly suffering.

About paper mills -- just what would constitute a logical mill model? I doubt there has ever been a paper mill in existence that could logically be scaled down small enough for anything but a club pike. They're much like cotton mills . . .  all big.

After World War 1 I worked briefly in a ten acre edition of one. And here, with a favorable (?) wind we're able to smell the huge sprawling Bowater plant forty miles away.

Paper mills look a lot like cotton mills -- usually built of brick, tall smoke stacks, and lotsa windows none of which you can see out of. They are largely distinguished from cotton mills by their smell, although ecological advances may have, in many cases, eliminated much of the odor by now. Paraphrasing a popular TV commercial: "They do a lot more than just smell bad -- they also eat the finish off your car."

And the smell seems to be such that it is even filtered down to many of the publications one finds on the newstands today. You say some of the weaker magazines are in real trouble. Well, it is one man's opinion (mine) that fifty percent of the present crop could be eliminated and a pronounced clearing of pollution would result.

So I wouldn't guarantee a model I might offer would be logical. But like all paper mills I've seen it would be built of brick, have lotsa windows and tall smoke stacks (what more can you ask?) and would be small enough (which in itself is illogical) to fit most pikes. 8 x 8 inches, to be exact, could be built for less than four bucks and in about two weeks of evenings.

Enclosed is a sample product from the mill in question if and when it is finished. Try it!

On the other hand, the by-products or outer bark of rhubarb logs would possibly solve the paper shortage -- had you have a rhubarb plant all ready to go.

NOW FOR THE KICK-OFF! The plant from enclosed drawings is already built . . .  except for the rear that would have to go around the stacks in order to make it a reasonable facsimile of a paper mill -- my version. As it stand it is . . . . of all things, the city incinerator and I've been wondering what to use it for.

signed E. L. Moore

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

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