Thursday, September 26, 2019

Louis H. Hertz: Hobby Chronicler

Louis H. Hertz from back cover of Advanced Model Railroading
Louis H. Hertz, author of, among other things, the 'Complete' series,* has recently been a frequent topic of discussion. So much so that at a conference call with the 30 Squares media empire, it was suggested to drop all work on the Ocean Park Loop and focus on writing about the greats of the hobby, like Mr. Hertz. The suggestion was duly minuted and filed.

But, it did spur me to look up my copy of Mr. Hertz's Advanced Model Railroading since it has on its back cover the only photo I've seen of him. The book was published in 1955, and was panned in a review published in Model Railroader's May 1955 issue. There are phrases like: gives one the impression the author is not sufficiently familiar with the technical aspects of the hobby, nor with the objectives of the advanced, present-day scale model railroader to have undertaken such a book. Harsh words and hard to say where MR was coming from, but there's lots of interesting stuff in there, even if it is of more historical interest today. Well, he does have a chapter on radio control, which seems almost prescient.

*The Complete Book of Model Railroading (1951), The Complete Book of Model Raceways and Roadways (1964), The Complete Book of Model Aircraft Spacecraft and Rockets (1967), and The Complete Book of Building and Collecting Model Automobiles (1970).

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