Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas hiatus

[Christmas tree delivery on the Elizabeth Valley RR, or maybe the Eagleroost & Koontree RR :-) Photo by E. L. Moore]

This will be the last post before Christmas. I'll be back sometime after, or early in the new year. Thank you for dropping by and spending some of your time here. It's much appreciated, and I have particularly enjoyed all the conversations that have taken place. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

And before the apartment shell . . .

. . . . and even before the Fortran building, my aunt's house was on the land where the post office is. When the Farland brothers came around and offered to buy her and her neighbour's place, she took the money and bought a condo down south. She'd been trying for years to sell, but there weren't any takers. It was a nice house, and I've got good memories of the times I visited, but she'd had enough of the city and wanted to leave. Can't blame her.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Adventures of E. L. Moore, Train Photographer

That photographer was E. L. Moore's HO-scale avatar, and it appeared in many of his pictures. Here are a few snippets of the intrepid photographer from his HO scale adventures.
 On top of a snow plow.
Documenting coaling up.
Photographing the latest in fashion at Grizzly Flats station . . .
. . . as well as the local bankers.
On the scene of a brawl outside the Red Eye Saloon.
Maybe that should be the Black Eye Saloon.
Looks like somebody is going to throw some water or something else on the tussle?
Clearing goats at Goat Pass.
Risky business.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fast Film


Buckle up! The title is true.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

E. L. Moore's Canal Boats

[A beautiful summer's day cruising down the canal on E. L. Moore's canal boats. Photo published with permission of Model Railroader magazine / Model Railroader.com]

This is the 4th in the series of 'lost' E. L. Moore articles. Mr. Moore submitted A Pair of Canal Boats to Model Railroader magazine in March 1969, and it was immediately purchased by editor Bill Rau for $75.

In the late '60s E. L. Moore was pursuing some nautical projects. His major one appeared in two parts in the January and February '68 issues of Railroad Model Craftsmanadd a Harbor to your Pike, Part 1 - Tug Boats; and add a Harbor to your Pike, Part 2 - Barge, Wharf, & Sail Loft. The harbour project was one of his big diorama projects that was on the same scale as Cole Mfg Co., HOJPOJ Mfg. Co., and the short line terminal. I was fortunate to see a tug boat and the sail loft from the harbour project at the 2015 meet-up.

In October '69, Railroad Model Craftsman published his Nova Scotian Lighthouse article, which Mr. Moore submitted in January of that year. So, the canal boats were built and written up at the tail end his  'Nautical Period' :-) and the manuscript gives of a sense of how it concluded. 
Boats on trial run. Water is simulated with cellophane. Teams are by Aristocraft.

A Pair of Canal Boats
by E. L. MOORE
Photos by the author


Published with permission of Model Railroader magazine / Model Railroader.com

Some time ago I received a carte blanche commission from a friend and fellow railroader, Bart Crosby, to build two canal boats which sometime in the future are to ply the canals of his pike which is in process of construction. The only specification was that they were to be about 35' long. Other than that, the rest was up to me; as much or as little detail as I cared to put into them. One was to be a freighter and for this I had a photograph of an Erie Canal model to work from. The only hitch being that it was some 80' long and so had to be scaled down to size, 36' long, 10' beam and 5 1/2' freeboard as it turned out. For the passenger craft, I had the cover from an old Railroad Magazine to work from, this showing the rear portion of a boat as it was passing under a bridge.
  
The results you see here. Within a couple of weeks, the boats were off the skids and given a test run on my private canal, photographed and shipped. The passenger craft so took my fancy that I built a second one for myself, incorporating some refinements and shortcuts in construction.
19th century ladies add to charm of scene, a freighter and passenger craft passing on a canal.

The boats are easily built, the hull of each substantially to the same measurements. As for cost, if it could be computed, I think an estimate of 50 cents for the two would be adequate.

Anyway, here is a list of materials, in HO.

12" 1/8" x 3" balsa (decks, spacers)
8" 1/32" x 4" balsa (hull sides, strakes)
3" 1/32" x 3 1/2" scribed sheathing, 1/32" spacing
1 1/2" 1/16" x 3 1/2" scribed sheathing, 1/32" spacing
12" 1/32" x 1'16" stripwood
12" 1/32 x 3/32" stripwood
8" 1/32 x 1/8" stripwood
24" .020" x 1/32" stripwood
2 1/2" square inches acetate
4" 1/16" dowel or round toothpicks

No special tools are required. Most of the cutting was done with a razor blade and smoothing with nail sanding boards.

The first thing needed is a cardboard pattern, two in fact; one for the top (as shown by solid outside lines in Fig. 1) and another for the bottom or waterline, which is shown by inner dotted lines. The patterns are suitable for both boats.
We shall first describe the construction of the freighter and then, since both hulls are substantially the same, note only the differences as compared with the passenger craft.

Lay your patterns on the 1/8" x 3" balsa and mark outlines. The top piece, when sanded, should be 8 1/2' wide x 35' long. The bottom one is 8' and 34' as seen in profile in Fig. 2. We shall need to give the top piece some sheer or, in plain horse language, make the top swaybacked. A chisel is nice for the rough cutting or you can use coarse sandpaper wrapped around a stick. Note in Fig 2, when finished, the central portion is about half the thickness of the ends. Finish off with fine sandpaper, then scribe 3/32" divisions the length of the deck and then stain. I used wash of raw sienna and brown oils in turpentine.

Before joining the top and bottom pieces with spacers of 1/8" balsa as shown, it is advisable to cut out out the cargo hatches, each opening being 4 1/2' x 7 1/2'. The small ladder hatch, opening aft, is 2' x 4'. Assemble, cementing forward and aft spacers of heights indicated, then adding the center one which should be a slide fit. Next, blunt the prow of both pieces with sandpaper, then fit on the stem post, which is 6 3/2' long, of 1/16" x 3/32" stripwood or balsa.  
  
We're now ready to add the sides to the hull. For these I cut three 6' wide strips ACROSS the grain from a 4" wide piece of 1/32" balsa. With the hull on a flat surface, fit one of the strips to the bow stem snugly, which will require a slight diagonal cut. Smear glue (I used Elmer's white glue) along rounded portions of both bow and stern and let dry. This fills the end grain pores and makes for better holding. Now another coat alongside stem and curve of bow and, starting at stem, hold this portion of the side (about an inch) in contact until the cement sets. The rest is easy sailing. Add cement along side as far as strip extends and hold this tight, stroking side from bow to stern to make sure of good contact. A short strip is then needed to finish out side to stern where it is to be trimmed flush.

Before tackling the other side, get a piece of 1/16" stripwood about an inch long and 1/8" wide and bend in the middle without breaking in two. Place this as a height gauge against the completed side, on the deck at the bow. Using a razor blade from the outside, cut through, moving the stripwood gauge as you goand you will have curving bulwarks at the uniform 1' above the deck line the length of the side. Remove any excess from the bottom at the bow curve and sand the railing smooth, then complete the other side in a like manner.
This shows partially completed models, spacers in freighters and cabin with but one side on.

For the stern, cut a strip of 1/32" balsa, fit and cement it in place flush with the sides. Fig 4 shows additional trim for decorative effect with can be added, although it would be well to paint the hull first and then add trim in a contrasting color.
  
Before painting hull however, I scribed 1' divisions, starting at the bottom with a razor blade to simulate planking. I painted the hull using 3 coats of Floquil boxcar red, then added the dark green trim at the stern and prepainted green for the bulwark rail and rubbing strakes. For these latter, a bow and stern, where they must bend and are liable to chip, I cemented my 1/32" balsa to band paper, then cut the 1/16" wide strips ACROSS the grain. I painted the inside of the bulwarks a dark gray.
  
Around each cargo hatch, a combing is added of 1/32" x 1/8" stripwood. Around the ladder hatch (which needs a ladder), a combing of 1/32" x 1/16". The ladder hatch has a fixed cover of 1/32" scribed sheathing, but the cargo hatches have rounded sliding covers fitted over them as shown in Fig 3A. The covers were given a coat of faced green and the combing matches the deck. Between the cargo hatches I set in a skylight in a shallow opening, first laying in a strip of dark blue paper, then adding the 2' x 4' acetate.
  
The rudder (or the part of one which would normally show above the waterline), rudder post and tiller arm are shown in Fig 5. For the shaft, I used 1/16" dowel (or round toothpick would do), slipping it through a drilled hole that goes almost vertically inside the stern. I cut a slit about 1/16" x 3/16" at the bottom as in Fig 4 and here the bit of rudder of 1/32" stripwood is attached to the flattened side of the rudder post. At deck level, I drilled an .020" hole through the post and inserted the point of a lill about 1/8" in length which allows the post to turn but keeps it from dropping lower. I drilled an .035" hole near the top of post, fashioned a flat toothpick to fit and cemented it in place as a tiller arm. Moving the tiller arm thus turns the rudder.
  
To complete the boat, we need a couple of towing bits for the bow and a cleat for the stern rail. I turned the bits from 1/8" dowel, making each 1/2" long with a 1/16" body and a knob at top, painted them a rusty black and inserted them in holes in the deck at the bow, about 1/4" apart. Reason tells me these should be on the starboard bow since most towing illustrations show the horses and boat on the right side of the canal, but my Erie model showed them on the port bow. I fashioned the cleat from 1/16" stripwood.
  
While we're at it, let's have a neatly coiled spare two line in the bow. Here's how: Cut 4 pieces of 1/8" balsa, each about 3/4" square. Cement two together, then the other pair.  Find centers and drill 1/8" holes through both pairs. Slip these on an inch long piece of 1/8" dowel. Cut off 12" of white button thread, wet with starch and secure one end to center, then push pieces of balsa together until only thickness of thread separates them. Wind thread carefully and set aside until dry. Now slip balsa squares apart, remove coiled thread and cement in position on deck and stain with solution used to stain deck. For a straight towline, cement a loop in one end, starch and supend with a weight attached.
That finishes the freighter and now to the passenger craft. Using the same patterns, cut two pieces of decking as before. Cut two hatch openings, each 2' x 5' as shown in Fig 6 and add 1/32" x 1/16" stripwood combings around each.  And of course, scribe and stain top deck. Assemble, noting that spacers in this hull are positioned so that top of fore and aft ones form the top step of ladders in hatches. Note also that these spacers are of lower height than those used in previous hull, thus giving a lower deck height as may be seen by comparing Fig 7 with Fig 2. Add steps of ladders below deck level in hatches.
  
Cut and apply sides of same size and in same manner as for previous hull, but in trimming top sides of hulls, use a piece of 2' wide stripwood. Note, too, that stern of this craft has a rounded top.
  
To all intents, the inside cabin deck is the lower balsa strip, giving the passengers theoretically 8' of headroom and to that end, I painted the top deck where it is to be enclosed a dark brown, making it almost invisible when viewed from outside. I painted the inside bulwarks a cream, one part Floquil white to one part yellow, tow coats, and the outside hull three coats of tuscan red and caboose red, equal parts, then the bulwark rail and rubbing strakes and rear trim a dark green, green and yellow equal parts.
This shows completed boats with fenders of pipe cleaners and hatch uncovered on freighter. Window trim on passenger craft is shown in less complicated form in another photograph.

With rudder and tiller in place as previously instructed, we can go on to the cabin. One end is shown in Fig 9. This is of 1/32" scribed sheathing, 1/32" spacing, cemented to 3/32" or 1/8" balsa, then cut to shape as shown, notching out the area designated by dotted lines so as to leave space here for windowed sides. Also cut another identically shaped piece from plain balsa for the middle as may be seen in photograph of boats under construction. I cut an area from the center of this form to permit an uninterrupted view through the cabin. Doorway openings 2' x 4 1/2' need to be cut in the ends to straddle the hatches.
  
The cabin sides, which include the windows, are 4' x 18' strips of 1/32" scribed sheathing, 1/32" spacing, cemented to bond paper to prevent splitting while window opening are cut out. The window openings are 2' x 2 1/2' with 1 1/4' space between each, or 5 scribed spaces, which is easier to measure, each window opening being 8 scribed spaces in width. The sides were painted a cream color with the edges of window openings a green.
  
At this point it will be necessary to make the windows, one strip of which you see in Fig 10. I laid these out in detail with a sharp pointed pencil on a white card, taped my acetate over this, rubbed the surface lightly with pumice (kitchen cleanser or talc will do), then using black drawing ink, ruler and steel pen point, inked in the strip. If all goes well, the windows should mate up perfectly with the opening, to which they are now cemented and then the side is fitted into the notched ends and the middle form of the cabin.
  
Now we come to the window trim and you'll note a difference here in the photographs of the two passenger craft. The trim on the last built one is in line with the drawing, Fig 8, and much simplified. Two prepained green .020" x 1/32" pieces of stripwood, each 17' long, are cemented to the side, one below and the other above the row of windows, then vertical prepained green strips edge each window and a 17 1/2' piece of 1/32" x 3/32" stripwood, painted cream, with slight circular indentations above each window, is added. And that's it.
  
The cabin roof or upper deck is 8' x 18 1/2', of 1/16" scribed sheathing, the edges painted green and the deck stained. I added stanchions of 1/16" dowel (or toothpicks) turning these on a motor tool with a file. This can also be done using a hand drill, placing it in a vise and with someone to turn the handle. Two coats of cream paint here. For the railing, I used 1/32" x 1/16" stripwood, painted green.
A second model of the passenger craft as built by the author shows a more simplified window trim detail entailing less time and giving a neater appearance.

Up from each side of the hatchway are sides of scribed sheathing painted green. The ladders, which are of 1/32" x 3/32" stripwood, are built, then positioned. Sides are green with a green .020" x 1/32" railing fitted on.
  
Appropriate decals from a list of ships and port names may be obtained from Model Shipways of Bogata, N.J. at 5 cents each or you can get special small letters (about 1/32") from Champion Decal Co. Regular decal alphabet letters are a bit on the large side for these small boats.
  
The canal you see is not a permanent thing, but could well be. The banks are of corrugated board painted with texture paint and colored with oils in turpentine. The far bank is built up using additional thicknesses of corrugated board and with texture paint thickened to use as a modeling clay and with rocks added. For the base or riverbed, I used another strip of corrugated board pianted a medium blue with lighter blue streaks blending in. Over this, a sheet of blue cellophane and over this, a sheet of plain cellophane. This gives a wavy, watery look, unobtainable with plastics. There's just one hitch: it's difficult to obtain cellophane these days.
  
The teams used are by Aristocraft; good plodding teams.


Happy boating!

Epilogue

Mr. Moore notes in the article that he built a couple of the passenger craft, and at the 2015 meet-up I saw he built another canal boat, the Long Beach, that isn't described in the text. That one was built for his friend Fred Kelley in 1971, so it looks like E. L. Moore's boat building didn't completely end in '69. Maybe there are other boats out there still to be found.

When I first saw E. L. Moore's file copy of the canal boats manuscript, it had the cardboard templates still paper clipped to the first page. The clip was rusted in place, so it may not have been disturbed since the manuscript was filed away all those years ago.

A couple of additional photos of the canal boats found in E. L. Moore's files can be seen here.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Before the post office . . .

... there was this shell. The Farland brothers were putting up buildings everywhere around town a few years ago. They were building this retro apartment where the post office is now. Rumour has it they were trying to pull a fast one on the taxman and suddenly left the country one night when they got wind the feds were about to do an early morning raid on their hq. That shell stood there for nearly 2 years before those same feds demolished it and built a post office.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Build a 1900's Foundry the E. L. Moore way

[A Charlotte foundry established in 1900 and the subject E. L. Moore's third unpublished Model Railroader article, Build a 1900's Foundry. Photo published with permission of Model Railroader magazine / Model Railroader.com]

This is the third in the series of 'lost' E. L. Moore articles. The first two, the Crossroads Store and the Village School, were interesting, but they are relatively minor additions to Mr. Moore's legacy. Cole Mfg. Co. on the other hand is a major work. This project is similar in scope to the HOJPOJ Mfg. Co. , the Brick Enginehouse, and the short line terminal facility. And like the HOJPOJ building, the prototype was located in Charlotte, North Carolina, so we're getting a small history lesson in manufacturing companies that we still operating in Charlotte during E. L. Moore's lifetime. 
[The article was also accompanied by a number of prototype photos shot by E. L. Moore like this one  Most are in rough shape and hopefully will be the subject of a future post. But the sign in this one makes it clear: this company was Established 1900. Photo published with permission of Model Railroader magazine / Model Railroader.com]

The manuscript submitted in June 1967 was originally titled Established 1900, and since I had no photos of the model until I saw this article, I wondered why it was so named. Well, it's obvious now, that's what's lettered on the prototype's main sign underneath Cole Mfg. Co. 


Build a 1900's Foundry
Based on a factory in Charlotte, N. C.

By E. L. Moore

Published with permission of Model Railroader magazine /
As seen from the overhead bridge where the highway rises above the Seaboard tracks, two structures stand out strikingly from a group which comprises the Cole Manufacturing Company. They've been makers of agricultural implements since the early part of the century. To the right is the foundry with its curving track running form the siding up past ancient heaps of scrap and into central yawning doors and which-- in evenings past-- sometimes emitted an eerie glow when molten metal was being poured. To the left is the companion piece, the heating plant, with its fanlight windows and chunky brick stack. Here is a scene which I doubt has greatly changed in over half a century. My guided tour through the foundry coincided with the final pouring of iron in the old structure; the changing world has pressured the building of a new modern foundry close by to replace the old one.

It was these two fore-ground buildings that I, not long ago, decided to model. As seen in the resultant photographs, the foundry, along with its landscaped front, occupies an area 5 1/2" x 9 1/2" while the smaller heating plant requires only a 3" x 4" space. The cost totals a mere $3 for all materials and equipment used.

It is plain that these two structures cannot constitute an entire plant. A heating plant such as this calls for other buildings.  I first photographed the two foreground structures with such odds and ends of other buildings as I had on hand, but they could hardly have been called authentic. So I quickly modeled two new background structures, one of which passes for the combination administration and warehouse building and another which is an elongated version of the heating and might pass for a machine shop. I called a halt here and these four combined cover an area 11" x 13 1/2" including the siding which passes through the middle. At least, new, there is some valid excuse for my two foreground pieces and the total cost has risen not more than 75 cents as these were built of balsa and covered with brick paper.

We are mainly concerned with the foreground structures and it is on these that I shall go into considerable detail as to construction. The others, which were completed in a couple of evenings, will be dealt with briefly later.

Here then, are the materials required to build the foundry in HO. The front landscaping and the heating plant materials will be listed as we come to them.

11" Northeastern red brick (sheets are 3 1/2" x 12")
12" 1/16" x 4" balsa
11" 1/8" x 3" balsa (or 5 1/2" 1/8" x 6")
7"  NE corrugated siding .040 thick,  .040 spacing
7"  1/32" x 1/8" stripwood
14" 1/32" x 3/32" stripwood
48" 1/32" x 1/16" stripwood
10 sq. inches of frosted acetate

I began by preparing the bricksheet. Using Carters tempera colors (available at variety stores), I daubed yellow and red on a glass and mixed in some green. Then with a small piece of sponge compressed between forefingers and thumb, I touched the colors lightly, then patted the brick surface, breaking up the mortar lines and generally dirtying up the virginal look of the pattern. A nice thing about this is that if you don't like the result or get it on too heavy, you can wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth. As a final touch, I added some black to the mixture and, using a stiff round bristle brush, stippled this on lightly wherever I found places missed by the sponge. 
Since the building is 40' x 40', I cut out four sides, each 11' x 40' and beveled the ends. Beveling, if you haven't had much practice, can be tedious. Beveling, laying out and cutting window openings, etc., is of course, done on the back of the brick sheet. To get a 45 degree angle, I make a light cut with my razor blade about 1/16" (which is the thickness of the sheet) from and parallel with the end of the piece, then holding my blade at an angle, I cut through-- in two or three slices. Finish with a fine sanding board. The slower method is to use a file or coarse sanding board. Sure, now and then I have to doctor up a bad cut. Now with a pencil and ruler, lay out the window and door opening locations. The bottoms of all window openings, by the way, are  uniformly 3' from the lower edge of the wall. All window openings are 3' x 5' including the 1 1/2' rounded top, which is best routed out with a round rat tail file. Some, it will be noted, are bricked up; these need merely be outlined on the brick surface with an awl or scribe, then cleaned with wet cotton on a stick and will look bright and new. The placement of windows other than these shown in the drawing may be seen in the Kit Photo. These are not too critical other than that they appear in pairs, generally.  The partially bricked up pair of windows mark the location of the sand bin. Good quality clean sand is a necessary item in foundry mold making. I built a trough back of these and shoveled in some sand (balsa sawdust) which shows in the openings. In one photograph, you'll see my man shoveling sand out of a gondola into a chute leading to one of these windows. Actually, the only sand I've seen unloaded at the plant came in a boxcar and was unloaded with a scoop lift truck.
Kit photo showing foundry before assembly -- providing a view of three sides not shown in drawing.

The front central door opening is 4' up, 6 1/2' wide and 8' high, the top of which extends above the brick and into the pieced on siding. Which means you'll need to cement a triangular piece of 1/16" clapboard siding (painted green) 21' wide and 3' high at the apex, onto the brick wall at the front. Note that the doors, of 1/32" scribed sheathing, are only 7' tall, the front. Note that the doors, of 1/32" scribed sheathing, are only 7' tall, thus allowing the track to be later shoved up through this intervening space. The other front door opening is 4' x 6 1/2', as is the back door. The fanlight adds another 2' to this. The large door opening out onto the siding is 5' x 7' and may be used with or without a platform.

Two brick ledges extend all the way around the building, the lower one with its top at 3', in an almost unbroken line at the bottoms of the windows, and the other with its top at 7', joining the arches that surmount each window and door.  For this, I took a sheet of light cardboard, about .020 thick, and painted it with the following mixture, matching as closely as possible the brick color: 1 part Floquil yellow, 1 part tuscan red, 5 parts caboose red, 1 part white, measuring these by the brushful. When thoroughly dry, I ruled across with pen and white ink at 1/16" wide for the ledges. The brick arches, as shown in Figure 1 (A), were laid out on the same stock with compass and pencil, lines ruled with white ink, then cut out, using a razor blade for the inner curves and scissors for the outer. After installing, I went over the inked lines with a fine pointed brush and yellow ochre water color to tone down the whites. The I ran along the tops of the ledges and arches with pen and brown ink to give the appearance which of an accumulation of dirt over the years.  
HOn3 railcar loaded on a standard gauge car and being pushed along siding.

The window openings are not cased but are painted red and as for the window stops (against which the windows rest), I cemented file card stock to the inner surface of the walls, lapping the window openings about 1/32". As for the windows themselves, I used frosted acetate, which transmits light but not details, which pretty much compares with the dirt encrusted prototype windows. I laid these out in detail with pencil on white cardstock, taped the acetate to this, dull side up and inked it as shown in (B) Figure 1. You'll need a total of 15 windows, 9 for the foundry and 6 for the heating plant, with some extra fanlights to go above the doors. Then there are the clerestory windows which we will come to presently.

I installed the windows, dull side out, after messing them up a bit on the inner surface with splotches of water color. I punctured a couple for good measure. Needless to say, my windows are in much better shape than the prototype where many of the fanlights have been covered with sheet metal. After installation I slipped a prepainted red .020 x 1/32" bit of stripwood in horizontally as a separator where the lower window and fanlight join. .020 x 1/16" stripwood was used above the doors for the same purpose.

You can now assemble the four walls around a floor of 1/8" balsa, 39' x 39'. While the prototype has a dirt floor, the balsa is here to give rigidity and promote squareness in the model.
I'll admit I wouldn't know the formula for figuring out the dimensions of the hip roofed slopes, but I give you in (C) Figure 1. I found my dimensions by trial and error. For the roof I used 1/16" balsa, beginning here with four pieces, each 13 1/2' x 43', then cutting triangles from the ends, ending up with a 20' top edge, 43' at the bottom. Bevel the underside of the ends very slightly by sanding and then cement the four pieces together with their bottoms resting on a flat surface. When dry, it's a good idea to strengthen the roof by running a line of cement down the joints on the underside.  The front portion of the roof, as in Figure 1, will require a bit of altering. First, cut out the section at the bottom outline in dotted lines. Then from a piece of 1/32" balsa 7 1/2' x 13 1/2', make a cut diagonally across. This will provide the two halves of the gable roof, beveling the rear edges and placing them along lines shown by dashes and cementing in place. When the roof is complete (I left mine removable), I added the roof covering. I cut facial tissue a little larger than each side section and with enough to lap under at the eaves, then ran a line of white glue around the edges and under the eaves. When dry, I painted with dark gray railroad colors, then ruled in lines 2' apart with pen and brown ink to simulate seams.

Next, sand the top so that the edges of the balsa are flat. The clerestory windows which will sit here are four pieces of frosted acetate, ruled and inked, each 4' x 20', sandwiched between green prepainted stripwood. 1/32" x 1/16" at the top and bottom, with 1/32" x 1/8" at ends and 1/32" x 3/32" for window divisions. Two sides have 5 windows each while the front and rear each contain 4 windows and an exhaust fan. Actually, the one fan in the front would be sufficient. The circular opening for this may be roughed out with a paper punch, then smoothed with a small file. The fans I cut from acetate with a razor blade, smoothed the edges with a file and fastened in place with cement, then given a coat of aluminum paint followed by a wash of rust. You can use diluted Floquil rust if you like. I used a wash of brown and raw sienna oils in turpentine for this purpose.  But don't - for a single moment - take your eyes off them while cutting these out or they'll disappear as if by magic. When the four sides are finished, bevel the ends and cement together, then cement to the top of the roof to form a 20' x 20' clerestory.
HOn3 rail car being loaded on standard gauge rail car for trip down siding.  Gondola of sand in position for unloading.

For the roof, check with (D) in the roof drawings which shows the dimensions of sides and ends.  This calls for corrugated siding. Again, bevel the under edges very slightly and cement together. Then run a line of glue down the joists on the inside. When dry, put in position and cement down. Paint with aluminum and stain with a wash of rust. You'll notice a certain amount of gook has fallen both here and on the roof below, which can be simulated with a darker gray paint. 

Now for the protruding cupola, which in my ignorance I would have called a stack, and which is, in the prototype, an extension of the cupola below which I would have termed the furnace. Since this is at variance with a railroader's idea of a cupola, maybe I'd better use the two words in conjunction. I made this from a length of balsa, 2' square, rounding the edges until I could twist it through a 1/2" hole drilled in my workbench. I cemented a wrap of paper around it and sliced one end to conform with the roof slope, leaving it 5' long. At the top I gave a few extra wraps of 1/16" wide paper and at the bottom, wrapped a paper apron around it. The peaked cap at the top is made from a 3' diameter circle of paper as shown at the right of the clerestory, like a pie with a small piece cut out. Lap this over and cement it and there you are. While this is actually supported on a little tip of a round toothpick pushed into the top of the balsa, I cemented tiny strips about 1/64" x 3/32" of acetate around the outside and these appear to be supporting it. I stuck a bit of turned toothpick in the top and gave the whole a coat of aluminum and a wash of rust. Cement this in place so that its lower edge is 7' from the eaves. And down below let's not forget the wooden canopy of 1/32" scribed sheathing, 3 1/2' x 6', to be put up over the door with a couple of braces to hold it.

The effect is particularly striking if the foundry is lighted so I mounted a pea lamp socket in a piece of balsa and set it in the middle of the floor, the leads running out beneath. I set up a shield of bright yellow paper about 8í high in a half circle in front of it and to this, fastened a bit of cedar cigar wrapper. When lighted, this gives a realistic flame-streaked appearance as viewed through the open front doors. A similar socket with screw base bulb is to be installed in the heating plant and the two are hooked up in a series.
The front landscaping area unadorned, with the two railcars converted from Selley handcar kits.

THE FRONT LANDSCAPING

For this, you'll need:

4" x 6" piece of 1/8' plywood or balsa
12" of code 70 rail or smaller
2 Selley handcar kits

For the base of this I used a piece of 1/8" plywood, 28' x 40'. Had this not been handy, I would have settled for 1/8" balsa which would have done as well. As may be seen in the photograph, I built up the ascending gradient of the trackbed using hard balsa or various thicknesses and sizes, to a final elevation where it enters the foundry, of about 6'. I used code 70 rail (although an even smaller rail would have ben better), sinking this in 1/32î grooves  worked out, cementing with Pliobond. I made my track HOn3 instead of the standard gauge of the plant as it carries out the effect better. I roughed up the surface of the plywood, smoothed out a path, then went over it with texture paint, laying it on thick where required but generally giving it only a couple of coats. After this came a wash of brownish earth stain, brown and raw sienna oils in turps, planted a few weeds around, added some spots of grass and accumulated enough junk to distribute in strategic spots. Bits of wire, chain, oil drums, broken up plastic couplers, broken up truck side frames, bits of twisted foil and some rhinestone settings, provided much of it. A certain percentage of scrap is mixed with the pig iron ingots. A pile of the latter is usually lying beside the track where they have been unloaded from a gondola. These are wheeled up and dumped into the cupola furnace, then a certain amount of what I took to be crushed stone (limestone) goes in as a flux.

Practically the only expense here is for the two Selley handcar kits which cost me a dollar. I dismantled both, narrowed one frame with a file to HOn3, a quite simple procedure, then built a box to go on it, 5' x 8' x 3' high and cemented a load of scrap in it. This car is used to carry scrap, pig iron and limestone up the grade and into the foundry and perhaps to carry the slag out later. One afternoon I spent an amusing 15 minutes watching two colored lads maneuvering a heavily loaded car up the grade. Muscle and sweat prevailed to a certain point, then one of them blocked the rear wheels and hooked a cable to the front while the other went up through the doors to set the winch in motion. It had to be pulled very slowly and the cable persisted in hanging up on one of the doors. To keep the car from being derailed, one of the lads had to jab his crowbar into the trackbed and try to hold the cable over to the inside of the track, just as my lads are doing in one of the photographs.

The other car was stripped down, a wooden frame built on and two short rails cemented crosswise to the top. To bridge the gap from the end of the track to the car, I soldered two 8í rails to the proper gauge and when in position, these butt against the end of the track and lap inside those on the railcar. So now the HOn3 car is rolled onto the other and away we go down the siding to another part of the plant. But it has survived -- until now. Perhaps that is why a new foundry is replacing the old.
PLANT HEATING UNIT

Here's the list for this:

9 1/2" of brick sheet
8" of 1/16" x 4" balsa
3" of 1/8" x 4" balsa
6 windows from acetate listed under foundry

Prepare the brick sheet as previously instructed. This unit is 20' x 30' so cut two sides each 11' x 30' and two ends 11' x 20', beveling and proceeding with window opening, doors, ledges and arches as with the foundry. A Kit Photo shows the other three sides while another plan shows the front. At one end the two windows are bricked up except for the arched tops which are open for ventilation. In the rear is a 4' x 6' door similar to the one in front, also an opening in the wall with sliding doors, through which coal may be shoveled. The floor, of 1/8" balsa, is 19' x 29', sanded down to door sill level at the front as this door is fastened in an open position. A wood canopy needs to be installed over the front door.
Kit photo showing heating plant before assembly.

The hip roof is of 1/16" balsa, the dimensions of which you will gather from (A) in the drawings. Add tissue, paint and rule it.

The chimney, or brick stack, takes a little more doing. I made this 25 1/2' high merely because that is the width of the brick sheet, but allowed only 21' to protrude above the roof. Here you will need to cut four strips of brick, each 4 1/2' wide at the bottom and 3 1/2' at the top, these to be beveled, then assembled.  Good clean corners are essential here. It helps a bit to cement balsa strips to the inside as guides. Around the top I added 2 strips of cardboard used for ledges, the first one 3/32" wide, then one 1/16" wide. Dirty up the chimney and the higher you go, the dirtier.

Ventilators may be bought commercially from Suydam, but by making them myself I get the type I want and they cost nothing, so. . . . I shaped this one from balsa, beginning with a 1/2" square strip, tapering for 18" of the bottom, then rounding the remaining 30", finishing this to a blunt point.  Around the upper part I wrapped 1/16" wide paper until I had a diameter of 2 1/2'. Cut the bottom to straddle the roof, paint with aluminum and add wash of rust and there you are.
By connecting the lights of the two buildings in a series you get this effect -- pouring metal in the evening hours.

You'll need a big pile of coal in the rear, then a socket base in the middle of the floor with a circle of yellow paper around it to mellow the light. Connect it up in series with the foundry light, then ask your friends to sit down in front and look through the doors.  My daughter would sometimes sit her date down and turn on the lights --- and occasionally had a difficult time getting her date up and away again.


THE BACKGROUND BUILDINGS

For the two of these you will require:

18" 1/16" x 3" balsa
9"  1/16î x 4" balsa
17" 1/8" x 4" balsa
10 sq inches acetate
80 sq inches brick paper

As mentioned previously, the only reason for building these was to give some appearance of authenticity to the photographic scene and in most instances any buildings you may have might serve. However, since I'd drawn the plans of the combination warehouse and administration building, I shall give a brief resume of the construction processes involved and also of the other building which serves as a machine shop. These are "quickie" buildings and it took but two evenings to complete the two; in contrast to the week and a half for the foreground structures just described. The cost of these would be approximately 75 cents.
Our first building, as shown on this page is 25' x 40'. I used 1/16" x 3" balsa merely because this width could be used with no waste. I cut out the front as shown while the rear is 20' high at the sides, coming to a peak at 22'. The sides are 20' x 39', these fitting inside the ends. After covering with brick paper, I cut the window openings, all of which are 4' x 4 1/2', the one side with 3 and the other with 5 openings. The two in the rear are completely bricked up, leaving 10 windows, all of which have their upper portions bricked in. These bricked-in portions are made with a deeper shade of brick paper, trimmed to size with rounded tops. Two ledges encircle the building, the lower one with its top at 3 Ωí and the upper one at 14'. Arches are cut and mounted and the front door section is installed -- this is a 7' x 9' piece of clear acetate with 1/32" square stripwood prepainted green, cemented to it and with file cards doors attached.
The walls are assembled around 1/8" balsa floor, 24' x 39' and a balsa platform 7' x 17' x 3 1/2' high as in the plans and covered with brick paper. Above it is a corrugated canopy 8' x 18'.

The roof has only 1 1/2' pitch, the two sides of 1/8" balsa being each 11 1/2' x 38 1/2' and may be lifted off by the cooling unit which is 4 1/2' x 8' x 3 1/2' high, with vents in the ends and straddling the peak.

The other building which really needs no plans since it is merely an elongated version of the heating plant, is 20' x 40' and with a similar roof and two ventilators. The sidewalls are 11' x 39' of 1/16" balsa, fitting between the two 11' x 20' ends. These are covered with brick paper, ledges and arches over the windows added as in the heating plant.  There are two windows at each end and three pairs along one side, none on the other. The walls are assembled around a 1/8" balsa floor 19' x 39'. The roof sides, of 1/16" balsa, are 13' wide with a bottom length of 43' and a top edge of 23' and with the ends the same dimensions as shown for the heating plant.

For me, however, there's no pleasure in building a structure of this sort; no sense of satisfaction and accomplishment once it is done. Merely, shall we say, a sort of necessity.

Epilogue

I noticed a few familiar models in that diorama. The first building described in The Background Buildings section is this one that I saw at the 2015 meet-up. That model also appeared as a background building in the HOJPOJ Mfg. Co, diorama. And the second building in The Background Buildings is this one. I'm glad to finally see where it originated.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New post office on Ocean Blvd W

Last week Ken and I drove into the city to pick up some parts. There's a new post office on the way out of town, so we dropped by to mail some stuff as we left.
I gotta tell Ken to ditch the hat. This photo looks like he's contemplating performing a scene from the exorcist. 
We got there just before 9. It closed after we left.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

E. L. Moore's Village School article

[A one room school, the subject E. L. Moore's second unpublished Model Railroader article, Village School. Photo published with permission of Model Railroader magazine /
This is the second of the six 'lost' E. L. Moore articles that Model Railroader has graciously allowed to be posted here.
[My photo of E. L. Moore's Village School as seen at last year's meet-up.]

Unlike the Crossroads Store, I did see this model at last year's meet-up. It was in good condition and it looks like all that was missing was the flagpole. But like Crossroads Store, the Village School article was one of those 14 articles Mr. Moore sold in 1961. This one was bought by Linn Westcott of Model Railroader on 12 July 1961 for $35US (about $278US in 2016 money!)
Country or village school of half a century ago... and there are a good many such schoolhouses still in use in rural areas today.

Village school

by E. L. Moore
photos by the author

Published with permission of Model Railroader magazine /

If your pike is the latest word in spit and chrome and diesels and all that, then this is hardly for you. The next generation of your population will undoubtedly be illiterates for there's one thing certain... even with all the present emphasis on education, you'll never be able to provide a modern sprawling school with or without its forty acre parking lot.
On the other hand, I bring hope for the inhabitants residing on the older period pikes. And their children, if any. I've gone back almost half a century and recreated the school that saw me through the eighth grade. This isn't the "little red schoolhouse" you've read about... that must have been in a still earlier era. Or perhaps white paint was extra plentiful in my section, for it was the invariable color of schoolhouses and churches and homes. Red was for barns.

Should you be more interested in the souls of your railroaders than in the grubby little minds of their children, then it is a simple matter to transform this schoolhouse into a church. Merely yank out the flagpole, put in a wide door where the window is, and place windows where the doors are, and instead of a stubby little roof over the belfry, build a steeple of say, fifteen feet, and there you have your house of worship.

This really began as a project on my drawing pad just to show my teen daughter what an old time school was like. She couldn't visualize a belfry.  I had to do this one from memory. At some time in the the intervening years, they've given the old bell (and belfry) the heave-ho and substituted nasty sounding little horns or buzzers. At one time, the 8:30 bell served its purpose well, warning those living a couple of miles away to begin trotting in order to arrive by the time the last bell sounded at nine o'clock. Later, when I began to think my school might have some merit as a pike structure, I found a building thirty by fifty feet dwarfed many of my other structures. So I scaled it down to eighteen by thirty-two feet which made the cloakrooms into mere closets and cut down on the seating arrangements. But no matter, we never had more than thirty pupils, but twice that number of desks.

And have you any idea how much schoolmarms were paid back then? On the first of each month, I carried to the teacher, my father being school treasurer, a check for $32. By a happy coincidence, my report card also appeared at about the same time.  There was a space provided for the parent's signature and I became very good at imitating my father's signature. So good that on finding some loose checks, I filled them in and passed them around to schoolmates. Which was a mistake but the resulting strapping probably nipped a promising forger's career in the bud.
As to the materials required, here's your list:

10" bevel siding, 1/16" thick, 3 1/2" wide
6" 1/8" sheet balsa (floor, foundation, flagpole, etc)
10" 1/16" sheet balsa (roof, partitions)
10" 1/32" sheet balsa (shingle overlay, porch planks)
Plus some scraps of sheetwood and stripwood

And for your convenience, here is a summary of the building steps. Should you not be interested in STEP THREE, why you can just skip it without missing a beat.

STEP ONE:    Floor and foundation
STEP TWO:    Walls, windows and doors
STEP THREE:  Detailing the interior
STEP FOUR:   Roof, belfry and chimney
STEP FIVE:   Platform or porch and flagpole

STEP ONE: Cut your floor from 1/8" balsa, 18' x 32' and scribe with number three pencil if you plan to work up the interior. Turn over and cement 1/8" square strips of balsa all around, thus giving you a foundation two feet deep. With your pencil, divide this into four horizontal divisions, then work in the individual brick. To give the effect of mortar between brick, rub with chalk dust or talcum.  So much for floor and foundation.

STEP TWO: My plans called for the side walls to be 13' high, but finding a width of siding to be just 25 1/2', I compromised, making the walls 12 3/4' x 32'. Both sides are alike, each containing four window openings, each 3' x 7'. My usual procedure would be to make the window openings 4' x 8', then frame them with 1/16" stripwood, giving a nice 6" trim all around. But in this instance, I tried something different, making shallow razor blade cuts into the beveled siding 1/16" out from the top and sides. I then pared away the bevelling, leaving a smooth surface trim around the windows. Only close inspection will show the difference, but it's as much work one way as the other.
The school, as arranged inside. The teacher is Juanita, Weston's red-headed Lady-in-the-Lake, now dressed in style.

The front and rear walls are 17' wide by 21 1/2' high at the peak, as seen in (B). The rear wall has no openings... all I did here was to cement a piece of 1/8" balsa, 3 scale feet wide, up the center to the peak, simulating the part of the chimney that rises from the foundation. The front wall has one window and two doors. I cemented a strip of 1/16" square stripwood to the lower edge of the front before cutting the door openings with my razor blade. The doors were made of 1/32" sheetwood, the panels indented with pencil, then after painting, brought out again with pencil and shaded. Pinheads serve as knobs.

I usually use commercial windows, but this called for a larger size than was available and so had to be made up. To minimize the amount of drawing required, I decided to frame each window with 1/32" square stripwood after cementing in a slightly projecting sill in the bottom of each opening. This trim was pushed back flush with the inside, and one piece was cemented across the center, dividing the lower and upper sections. This served as the outer framing of the sash and eliminated drawing anything but one vertical line and two horizontal lines on the used clear film which I had cut to size.  An ordinary pen and white ink did the job very cleanly. Before cementing the windows to the inside, paint both inside and outside walls. Either a light green or light blue is a good interior color.

Now, if you do NOT intend to display the working of your school to visitors, you can assemble the walls, adding a slender triangular strip to each corner for bracing and skip the next step, goin' on to STEP FOUR, right up there on the roof.

STEP THREE: This, to me, is one of the most fascinating phases of building. I like to show what is going on inside and I find my visitors appreciate the peep show revealed as I lift off the roof. 

One of the first tasks is the paneling around the lower walls, a 3' strip that comes up even with the windows. Scribe this with rule and No. 3 pencil on the natural wood, then stain using diluted brown railroad color with the addition of some orange or yellow to lighten it, approximating oak stain.
Supposing we now go on to building the desks. This looks difficult but is really quite simple as each row of desks and seats has a single strip of sheetwood as a base as shown in drawing (A). It is 1/32" thick. Mark it off into thirteen 15" divisions, then make shallow notches which may be merely roughed out. Stain lightly but paint the notched edges black. Now, some 3/32" balsa, or cement 1/16" and 1/32" together into a strip 18" scale inches wide. Cut off six 12" blocks from this and cement them to the top of the desk strip as seen in the profile drawing of desks.  Paint the ends and one side of these little blocks black. Now cut 13 pieces of 1/32" sheetwood, each 15" x 2/12'. Cement these to the blocks, the backs of seats first, then the desk tops. Just that simple. And don't worry about your pupils not being able to get their knobby little knees under the desks. Next, turn the desk strip over and get some staples, the kind you use in a hand stapler, from the dime store, something I forgot to include in the bill of materials. These are exactly the right width, and using a dab of Goodyear Pliobond or something similar, stick them on at intervals as shown. I used double one fore and aft, with single ones between. Viewed from above, the black paint simulating shadows, you get the impression of individual desks. Up front is a longer and separate recitation bench made entirely of wood. Each class marched up and from this vantage point, recited, and were in turn grilled by teacher.
The problem of finding enough kids had me stumped for a little while, but I found one needn't be a sculptor or woodcarver in order to create half a dozen or more pupils. Get a piece of balsa, 1/8" thick and about two scale feet wide, long enough to hold in your hand nicely. Beginning at the top, rough out a head on a pair of shoulders, with a razor blade. Round it up a bit, then with a small round Swiss file, go around the base of the head and very soon you'll have a nicely shaped neck with a bobbed head of hair atop it. By rolling the file over the head, you can even get hair texture. Shape the face only slightly. You can't have everything and anyway, you'll be viewing them from the rear or side. Slim the shoulders down a bit, and the waist, then wield your paint brush. Make some blondes, some brunettes and maybe a redhead. So what if they're all girls; I like girls. So what if they're armless; could be they started chewing their fingernails and couldn't stop. But of course, you'll have to paint some blouses or sweaters as you go, although no flesh will be needed. As you finish one, cut her off at the waist and cement her into a seat, then you're ready to commence the next figure.
  
I was in a first class quandary at the prospect of finding and hiring a schoolmarm. In fact, except for Mrs. Spumoni, I didn't have a prospect. Even so, I gave Mrs. Spumoni the brushoff. 

Then I met up with this good looking redheaded dame who was either going to, or coming from a dip in the lake. When I broached the idea of teaching, she exclaimed, "But really, I haven't a stitch to wear!". I've heard that line handed out before, but she was really convincing. However, I airily promised to remedy the inadequacy of her wardrobe. I did, too, as you can see, with some tissue spotted with blue ink, and some blue thread for a belt.
  
"Now about the salary," I began, bearing in mind that $30 a month, in view of rising costs, was not exactly generous. So I proposed $35. I was quite unprepared when she threw up her hands-- er, well, not her hands, but she did throw up her voice. "What?" she screamed, "With the governor of North Carolina slapping on a food tax to raise $60 million for education, you want I should teach eight grades of runny nosed brats for a lousy $35?"
  
"I apologize," I said hastily.  "Let's bargain." So we did and she compromised for $350. And that's how I got a teacher.
  
Her desk is a little flat topped affair with a lid just right for inserting a lively frog. It stands on round toothpick legs. The chair is a boughten one and so is the stove. It is supposed to heat up the whole room but on really cold days, the kids have to congregate up close. The stovepipe (not shown) ran up almost to the ceiling, took a bend, then with the aid of sundry wires, went all the way to the back of the room and into the chimney. That organ over in the corner helped warm us on cold mornings, too. While the teacher played marches, we marched and thereby got our blood to circulating. Don't forget to put up a clock... shape with a razor blade, make the face of paper with a hand punch, then add a scratching of numbers and a couple of hands. The blackboards can be made of black paper or with paint. The lamp up front doesn't show up too well in the photograph, but it is made of beads, a round fat one and a slim one, with a sequin on the wall as a reflector.
  
As I mentioned earlier, the cloakrooms have had to be compressed into mere closets here, one side for the boys and one for the girls, and these should be fitted and cemented in after the walls are assembled. Which is as of now.

STEP FOUR: Now that you have the walls up, cut two pieces of 1/16" balsa for the roof, one 14 1/2' x 34 1/2', and the other 15' x 34 1/2', lay them up as shown in (B) and cement at the peak where they butt together. Now run three or four pins through up near the peak, remove the roof and turn it over and cement four triangular balsa blocks inside to make it rigid. The two end ones should be placed so that they come just inside the end walls. This is actually a subroof and the shingle overlay will go on later. You can make and attach the chimney now. It is made by cementing balsa together, and measures 2'x 2 1/2', straddles the peak and stands up 4' above. Mark out brick with pencil and paint.
  
The belfry is really the making of the schoolhouse. Without it, the structure looks like nothing but an elaborate dog house. So, on with the belfry. Here I used scraps of siding, inletting the ends into four upright balsa posts, each 1/8" square by 9' tall (the tops extending up into the roof as shown in the cutaway drawing). The belfry is 6' square, outside, and is easiest built as a separate unit, then cemented in place when ready.
  
Before going on to the roof, make the bell, which is carved from a left over portion of the chimney, 2' in diameter at the lip, and... well, shaped with knife and sandpaper until it looks like a bell. Make a curved support of wire as shown, or just hang it on an overhead beam with a touch of cement. Paint a dark gray.
  
Coming to the roof of the belfry, cut four triangular pieces of 1/16" balsa, size as shown. Set in a platform just above the bell so that you can center a square piece of balsa (1/8" or so), bringing the top end to a point. Pare the undersides of the top of each triangle, then set two opposing ones up as shown, and cement. Next, add the other two, fitting as you go. Over this goes a shingle overlay of 1/32" balsa with the grain running vertically. Make these triangles slightly larger than the others and the lower edges should extend about 1/32" beyond the subroof at the eaves.
  
For the roof proper, cut 1/32" balsa for the overlay, the grain here running vertically also, allowing 1/32" overhang at the ends and eaves, and cement it on. And now for the actual shingling operation. With rule and pencil, divide each side of roof into one foot horizontal divisions. Although I make my shingled roof with an electric burning pencil, depressing each line of shingles until the roof has the appearance in profile as in (B), most of you will have to depend on a pencil entirely. With it, you can do a very credible job, much better and more realistic than using paper or cardboard. Once you have the horizontal divisions marked off, go down each line, marking the individual shingles. Use a very diluted stain of thinner and white with just a touch of black to get a gray, giving the shingled roof a silvery weathered appearance.

STEP FIVE: All that is left now is the porch-like platform across the front and the flagpole. The former, I made as a separate unit, cementing to the front foundation when finished. Three supporting timbers 18' long and a strip of 1/32" balsa is all it takes.  Scribe the balsa into one foot wide planks. The flagpole, shown foreshortened in the drawing, is 43' overall and is cemented into a solid piece of balsa located on the underside of the platform. Set it far enough out to clear the eaves and give it a stain of thinned gray.

Then of course, there is a the little matter of a woodpile alongside to give the scene atmosphere. And out back... well, for the picture, I merely borrowed the depot's outhouse.
  
Incidentally, in wintertime (in Michigan), with a cache of snowballs, the belfry made a well nigh impregnable fort. That is, until the teacher showed up. Then its disadvantages became apparent, for as one slid down the pole, he presented an extraordinarily fine target and was extremely vulnerable to the enemy on the ground. And one word of warning... don't antagonize a redheaded schoolmarm... she can swing a vicious switch! 

Epilogue

My grandmother was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse and this model could easily be part of the scene here in Ontario. The flag pole would fly a different flag, but that would be more-or-less the only difference.