Sunday, June 25, 2017

Some draft wikipedia text on E. L. Moore

I'm procrastinating on soldering the power leads to the EVRR track. My soldering leaves a lot to be desired, and I'm not looking forward to the melted ties I'm likely to leave in my wake. Writing some of the wikipedia text for the E. L. Moore article seemed a good excuse not to solder.

So, here's some of the beginning. It's far from done and not all of it will appear at Wikipedia because not all of it meets their archival standard. I figured I'd write down what I've got in their style and strip out extraneous stuff later. 

Earl Lloyd Moore

Earl Lloyd Moore (March 14, 1898 - August 12, 1979) was an American model railroader who published 122 articles in the American model railroading press from 1955 to 1979 under the name E. L. Moore. His articles dealt primarily with scratch-building HO scale structures from low-cost, simple materials, primarily balsa wood. Moore prided himself on being able to construct complex models in little time for not much money. He often noted that his projects could be built for a couple of dollars worth of materials in a couple of weeks of evenings. All his work was produced from an easy chair and folding table in a couple of small apartments in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Moore concentrated on depicting the buildings and life of rural America in the 1890s and early 1900s - the period around his boyhood - as he experienced and understood it. Moore’s articles are notable both for their style as well as their subject matter. For each article, along with building the model under discussion, Moore would write the text, shoot the photographs, and draft the plans. The accompanying photographs would often include one or more detailed staged scenes depicting life with the building, and his text was famous for often weaving in a fictional story about the building and its inhabitants. His stories were reminiscent of the form established in serials such as Gasoline Alley, Li'l Abner and Our Boarding House.

Moore did not concentrate on modelling particular railroads [2] as is the norm for model railroad hobbyists, but focused on modelling buildings of both railroad and non-railroad subjects in almost equal numbers, as well as modelling scenery. Although he found an outlet for his creative energies, and some cash, in the model railroading press, his activities and approach were more in line with traditional folk artists who specialized in American Folk Art Buildings [6]

Early Life

Moore was born and raised on a farm in rural southern Michigan [2]. The farm was within a 9 mile radius of Bangor, Michigan, and about 2 miles from a two-room school he attended as a boy [5]. There was a windmill and water tank about 2 1/2 miles from the farm where one could board a Chicago bound ‘flyer’ while its locomotive stopped to take on water. [JDL: A note to all you future time-travelers: that’s all I know about the location of the ancestral farm, but with it you might be able to triangulate its location if your time machine touches down somewhere nearby :-) ]

His father was the school treasurer, and on the first of each month one of Moore’s chores was to deliver the teacher’s paycheck. Treasurers were known to handle money, and one night Moore’s father was held up at gunpoint and forced to open the safe in his parent’s bedroom. The robbers made their escape by breaking open a nearby railroad section house and stealing the handcar. The next day the handcar was found abandoned down the line about a dozen miles away.

Moore served in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Georgia in 1917 and 1918 during World War I. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and was an honorary chaplain.

Not a lot is known about Moore from the time he left the navy until he arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina and setup a photography studio specializing in baby and child portraits.

Moore worked for a time in a paper mill in the northeast.

Moore also found work as a furniture salesman.

During the 1930s, Moore was a self-described "vagabond".

Well, that's the start. I hear a soldering iron calling my name, so until next time....


  1. I think the title for the entry should be "E. L. Moore" instead of his formal full name. You want people to find the article first, then expand by using his full name. Just a thought.

    It's unlikely anyone would find author A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh) if it were listed as Alan Alexander Milne.

    1. I agree. That's a good point. Also consider the science fiction and fantasy author, C. L. Moore: The title of her wikipedia entry is 'C. L. Moore' and then her full name is detailed in the first sentence.