Sunday, September 3, 2017

Box of Telegrams

I asked Vince if he knew of a 3D printing company that made HO scale newspaper boxes like the ones that were common on the streets of Toronto in the '60s and '70s. He didn't know of any, but it got us talking about how to make some. It seemed that folding one up from card or thin brass might be the way to go. I tried making one from 3x5 card. Mine's a simplification: it doesn't have the characteristic splayed base or feet of the real ones, and it's a bit on the blocky side. Also, I think it needs to be a little smaller and its proportions tweaked a bit, but overall it's heading in the right direction. 
[The original Telegram building that was once located, I believe, at Bay & Melinda (image sourced from the City of Toronto Archive). Given my chronic E. L. Moore fixation, it instantly reminded me of his RMC Paper Co., and like the Paper Co, it would need considerable selective compression to produce a useable model. And yes, there appears to streetcar tracks running by :-)]

My newspaper box is based on one of the many styles used by the old Toronto Telegram. For a convincing street scene I'll also need boxes from the other papers. This is all part of trying to figure out what the elements are that encapsulate a Toronto feeling that the new streetcar layout needs to incorporate.


  1. Nice choice for a relevant and indigenous detail; one that will give the feel and flavor of a street scene as well as locating it in a particular place and time. Even if it is a bit blocky (your description, not mine), it should serve its purpose as an identifier.

    1. Thanks Galen. After reading Fray & Hayden's Thatcher's Inlet series I was struck by their thoughts on what to research for a new layout. They recommended studying a lot of pictures of the rea and identifying the things that stuck out and where characteristic of the overall place. Not necessarily focusing on replicating everything, just the important aspects that made that place, that place. I thought I'd do the same. For me and this layout so far it's things like: newspaper boxes, advertisements on the sides of streetcars, the black plastic water bumpers that were on the fronts of the streetcars, sidewalk walk-down entrances to subway stops, Mac's Milk, A&As, Sam the Record Man, and so on. Too much for practical replication, so I'll need narrow down the list to the most important things.