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O Scale Atlas, Bachman, Hornby, K-Line, Lionel and classic toy train discussion.

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Old 12-03-2019, 04:47 PM   #1
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Where was your first hobby shop?

I was raised in a small town in Northwest Iowa and we did not have any "real" hobby shops. When I was looking for my first Lionel train, the only place in town that sold Lionel was the local Coast To Coast store. For those of you that may not know, Coast To Coast was a franchise hardware store that sold everything especially in smaller towns. We ordered my first train set in 1950 out of the Lionel catalog. They carried a few accessories, track, and an add on car or two. Just enough for a young train fan to dream and wish for.

A few years later, we switched to American Flyer and then finally to HO. I would buy the Walthers catalog and would wear it out dreaming about what I wanted. One day I talked my Mom into taking the Greyhound Bus from our small town to Sioux City, IA to a real hobby shop. It was called Patchcraft and was in a garage in the northern suburbs. It had everything! I was in heaven! My Mom loved to look for new crochet books, but didn't drive so we made a day of it. Most thrilling train day of my life up to that point.

What are your early train stories?

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Old 12-03-2019, 05:09 PM   #2
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Harter's Hobby Shop in Belleville, Illinois. Ron Beyer bought it from Karl Harter in the late 50's and Ron closed up shop in 2016 after over 70 years of business.

I can't begin to recollect the many train layout pieces and model rockets I bought from that store. It was one of three Mom- n -Pop hobby shops in Belleville at the time, and the best customer service, friendly advice, and help for newbies out of the three.

Deutsche-Bahn Eisenbahn modeling Oberbayern, western Austria, and northern Switzerland.

Last edited by MichaelE; 12-05-2019 at 08:05 PM..
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:29 PM   #3
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Scales Modeled: American Flyer S Scale and some N Scale with a maginfier glass
1952 - Keesler AFB, Biloxi MS. I was twelve years old then and spent almost every day there doing all types of hobbies.
"Take my advice because I don't use it!"
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:35 PM   #4
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Scales Modeled: Z (Noch Briefcase), S, O (3-rail), G (ceiling layout) and 1" (outdoor).
In the San Francisco Bay Area, all the hobby shops from 60+ years ago are gone, except for Talbots Toyland.
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:42 PM   #5
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Scales Modeled: HO, 3R 1/48
Byrd's Hobby Shop in Kenmore, NY. It close enough to ride my bicycle to. Later when I got into HO we also moved to a fairly rural area. Walthers became my main source. Those were the days when you filled out an order form, mailed it in, and waited for what seemed like months for your order to arrive.

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Old 12-03-2019, 05:48 PM   #6
Big Ed
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Scales Modeled: O right now. HO packed/ small N scale table, G scale for under the Christmas tree, & 1 S locomotive
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The first and only one I use, I used to go there when I was a little kid with my Dad.

A little info on them, more on their site in the about us.

The Model Railroad Shop was established by Howell Day and has been in continuous business since January 2, 1933. We believe that we are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuously operated model train specialty shop in the United States. We were one of the first 6 advertisers in Vol. 1 Num. 1 issue of Model Railroader Magazine in 1934. Of the 6, only William K. Walthers Inc. and The Model Railroad Shop survive to this day.

Never Enough Room,Time or Money for all the Trains!
I like ALL SCALES/GAUGE'S, I don't discriminate.

Central Railroad of New Jersey
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:56 PM   #7
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I don’t remember the name but it was a hobby shop and sporting good store in Fall River Massachusetts.
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:59 PM   #8
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i never had a chance to buy at my local shop .... she won the lottery and moved away, lol

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Old 12-03-2019, 06:05 PM   #9
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H&L Child n Sons in Northampton Mass. Full Lionel dealer, authorized service center, toys, doll houses. The place was magical for a five year old. They lasted til the mid 90’s before the family called it quits

Long live the Boston & Albany
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:00 PM   #10
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Scales Modeled: O, On30, HO gauges
Bob's Hobby Shop in Watervliet, MI. I bought most of my track, accessories, rolling stock and conventional engines there.

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TCA #16-71617

Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement
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