Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Setting the stage... Scoring some points, too."

The ambience of a layout area is important to me. Beyond railroad memorabilia, things like campaign materials, calendars, advertising signage and movie posters can help set a mood while defining time and place. There has been no shortage of such articles in the railroad press so hopefully I've learned something. I'm trying to build my inventory smartly.

Movie producer/director Barry Levinson has done four movies depicting his hometown of Baltimore during the post-war baby boom. Two of them, Diner and Tin Men are all-time favorites and absolutely drip 'Bal-a-mer' nuance. I am keeping my eyes open for these two posters. I'm also interested in anything Baltimore Colts (remember them?) and National Bohemian Beer, simply known as Natty Bo. I welcome readers to offer any advice on other items too.

The coming-of-age comedy of
five friends in Baltimore, 1959. 
The hysterical home siding
scams in Baltimore, 1963.

Many of the photos you'll see on this blog have been framed and hung around the man cave, but a couple of new additions are really neat. My father-in-law is a retired New York City police officer, but unbeknownst to me, he worked for the New York Central Railroad right out of high school for a few years.

He apparently has been very quietly intrigued with my basement venture because he recently donated two artifacts that he has had in his attic. One is a blue lantern and the other is a spike, mounted on a plaque. Although neither is affiliated with the Old Main Line or even the B&O, I will proudly display them.

The spike came from the demolition of the Third Avenue 'elevated' in New York City, circa 1972. The lantern was used on the New York Central during train repairs in the yard. It signaled in no uncertain terms that the train was under service by repair personnel and could not be moved under any circumstances.
The sign below is perfect for the former entry and was purchased from the B&O Historical Society. It is a recreation of actual management signage. Note  the acceptable spelling of 'employes'  for that time. That's not a typo.

That's about it for now. Over the weekend we'll get back to more construction issues in closing off the former entry with bench work and backdrop. But first, we'll have a very special 'Friendly Fridays' feature. See you then.
What best speaks to the universal ambience of modelers?
A) Two empty pizza boxes, some uneaten crusts and half a beer.
B) Piles of scrap foam that are ideal for something, someday.
C) A workbench strewn with tools favored by dentists and jewelers.
D) All of the above  


  1. BTW, welcome to the blogosphere! The blog looks really nice. :)

  2. Hello there, Ted... no prize for you!... is there such a thing as a rhetorical answer to a rhetorical question? - Jim