Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Waldo Hoople's Vehicle

[Waldo Hoople poses with his Vehicle for E. L. Moore's Waldo Hoople: Father of Railroading that appeared in the July '76 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.]

This was the introductory photo to E. L. Moore's Waldo Hoople: Father of Railroading that appeared in the July 1976 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. Even though I spent a lot of time tweaking the scan, it's neither one of Mr. Moore's finest photos, nor one of his finest pieces of model building, but it does have a few things to say.
[Waldo Hoople's Vehicle bears a striking resemblance to Roland Emett's locomotives, especially Nellie, whose portrait was sourced from Emett's Domain: Trains, Trams and Englishmen.]

E. L. Moore's article is a story about Waldo Hoople, gentleman pig and chicken farmer and enterprising inventor in Revolutionary era America, and his Vehicle, a locomotive powered by the droppings of those pigs and chickens. It's all story, no construction project, and was clearly commissioned to be part of Railroad Model Craftsman's bicentennial issue. American bicentennial aside, Mr. Hoople's Vehicle looks a lot like one of Englishman Rowland Emett's locomotives, especially Nellie
[Major Hoople of Our Boarding House fame. The comic strip ran from 1921 to 1984.]

Speaking of uncanny resemblances, when I saw the name Waldo Hoople in the title, and the portly fellow standing by the locomotive, I immediately flashed back to Major Amos B. Hoople, the star of the old comic strip Our Boarding House. Waldo's tale is right up there with any tall tale the Major spun, although the fez was traded in for a fedora.

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