Multi-_Plex sectional O scale track late 1930's

Hello O scale world .

Does any one out there have Multi- Plex track ? do you  run  on it ? 

Multi-Plex began advertising  sectional O scale track in 2 or outside 3 rd rail  in the late 1930's offering a unique modular system that you just connect together like tin plate .   The Multi-Plex system was way up scale , hand laid on ballasted wood with brass dowels , receivers   , and heavy buss wire running underneath.  Multi- Plex could design a complete layout for you and build it in sections with elaborate switching and a lovely cast aluminum turntable.

  Multiplex's big feather in the cap was providing the track for the two big layouts at the NYC World's Fair of 1939/40 seen by millions of folks . The two layouts  were 2 rail ... helping tip the scales away from outside 3rd rail and adapting to 2 rail . 

  I was lucky to pick up a Multi-Plex layout ... ( most of it )  I've tried to connect the dots into a layout ...each piece is numbered but it is not as easy as laying the pieces out 1, 2,3 .......    I'm missing some pieces so looking for additional  Multi-Plex track   both  2 and out side 3rd rail if any one has any they wish to sell.

Both 1940 the Multi-Plex ads tout new and improved ends on the sections with bakelite  to help prevent wood expansion due to humidity ....summer of 1939 was a hot one ... perhaps the Worlds Fair layout experienced issues with gauging during extreme hot days . 

If anyone has Multi-Plex track set up for your layout please post some photos ..  

If anyone there sees a mistake on the way I laid out the track ... I appreciate any suggestions ....    I think it is basically two loops ... you can use the slip switches to turn into a folded  figure 8 type layout ? 

Thank you for any suggests or advice .

Cheers Carey IMG_3520IMG_3524IMG_3532IMG_3528IMG_35271939 ad turntable1939 ad MRFlyer TCA Lib page 1MR June 1939railroads-in-action1

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Carey,

An interesting puzzle, indeed!

M.M.C. still exists as Crispin Valve in Berwick, PA , also an interesting place.

This company has a rich history and essentially was a 1:1 railroad car manufacturer in the late 1800's at it's beginning.

Having been an armored tank builder for WWI and a railcar builder perhaps earned the company the commission to build the Railroads at work exhibit track.

I'll ponder the track plan.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Hello Carl 

 

thank you for your reply and great link to all things about the NYC 1939 World's Fair ... a very impressive display of trains  big and small. 

There were two big O scale displays at the World's Fair ...Multi-Plex received  the contract to do both of them ...one layout had Walthers pieces and the other Alexander ... .... 

When the fair closed the "Railroads at Work " layout went to Macy's for Christmas of 1941 ..and was sold of piece by piece the following spring ...any World Fair trains out there ?  Any good high quality photos  of the layout ? 

Cheers Carey 

 

 

39 worlds fair

 

MR May 1938MR April 1938April MR 1939

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Carey, you and I both seem fascinated by older track pieces. I have some old brass code 198 rail on my outside 3rd rail layout and some bulk aluminum code 160 rail. Both are sizes that Lobaugh sold before WWII, not after, but only in steel. Would you happen to know who could have made mine?

Incidentally, off topic, I have an old NMRA standards book which mentions Q scale. 

Hello Fred 

The early days of O scale are a fun and interesting period with  rapid growth in technology and refinements among the models. 

Many folks offered rail in steel and brass ... before the war . Brass rail disappears early 1942 as part of the conservation of war materials . 

I have yet to make a study of the various rail codes that were available .

I'll post some photos of an outside 3rd rail layout, I was very fortunate to purchase 

cheers  Carey 

Here is one ad for early rail

Carl Auel with special offer for 132 rail

cheers Carey

 

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Hello O scale world 

 In my building of a period library of magazines and catalogs ...a new arrival of  February 1939 Model Railroader  containing a new ad for MMC.... seems to have my layout pictured ...  or a very similar layout .... I'll use the photo as a guide to help in the reconstruction of the layout .  

Cheers Carey 

 

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Moonman posted:

Carey,

An interesting puzzle, indeed!

M.M.C. still exists as Crispin Valve in Berwick, PA , also an interesting place.

This company has a rich history and essentially was a 1:1 railroad car manufacturer in the late 1800's at it's beginning.

Having been an armored tank builder for WWI and a railcar builder perhaps earned the company the commission to build the Railroads at work exhibit track.

I'll ponder the track plan.

Carl.

I think you may have Multiplex tied together with Jackson and Woodin Manufacturing in Berwick which in 1881 became American Car and Foundry. The Multiplex Manufacturing company started in 1905. They held the first patent for air valves developed by the owner Clarence Crispin.(thus the name change now) They have produced a myriad of products. From Automobiles in 1919 to Hot Dog makers as well as a second attempt at cars in the 50's. During WW2 Multiplex made airplane pistons. They are still owned by the original family. I believe the original factory burnt down at some point.

Hello Jim and Jay 

 

Jay thank you very much  for sending the paperwork ....Jim once received , scanning  and posting will commence ! 

For the rest of the world ......does any one out there have any sections of Multi- plex track   .?  two or three rail ?     any extra you would consider selling ? 

 

Thank you 

Cheers Carey 

Hello Jay , Jim and the world ...  here is the 1938 MMC  Multi-Plex track catalog ...very kindly provided by Jay ( thank you ).....as mention Multi-Plex is still very much in business......but NOT the train track business so orders will not be filled .   However if you have any Multi-Plex track that you are not using ...I'm very much interested. 

I'll have an example of the Multi-Plex track on display at the up coming Indy show .

Cheers Carey 

 

Coverpage 1page 2page 3page 4page 5page 6page 7page 8page 9page 10page 11page 12page 13sup 1sup 2

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Hello all ....some progress on the layout ..not running yet ..but yesterday I laid out the layout in the basement ...and it will fit ....   as a collector of vintage O scale .. one needs to be able to run both 2 rail and outside 3rd rail .....so the classic shelf layout is outside 3rd and the free standing layout in the center is the  Multiplex  2 rail.   With the help of the 1939 ad showing the layout  scroll up for ad and image  I was able to do a better job of connecting the dots ....much more fine tuning once up on a table fitting the pieces together .   Looks like a few pieces are missing ..but nothing major ... all the switching is there including the slip switch .  Layout is a folded 8 ( around up around and down ) ..and add additional small  center loop  by using the slip switch ..or run two trains independently ...or run one on the 8 and switch and build up a train .... and set it on the passing siding till crew change .   There will be a learning curve to climb on wiring it all up the way it was originally.... all part of the fun .   With luck this weekend start to build some frame work to set it on .   There will be some careful fitting of the layout  as to have a walk way around most of the layout for access to the shelf layout  and shelving.  Overall size   12' wide at far end , 10'  wide and near end  roughly 20' long , in a basement  27'x21' .....need to move hot water heater and sink  to slide over washer and dryer to maximize open clear space.   

Cheers Carey 

 

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Thank you for your kind words ...vintage O scale has been a fun adventure ..and I'm very fortunate to have been able to find the Multiplex layout ... to run the period pieces on ... a win win ....    

Bob Anderson's layout is a unique design ..very high tech and beautiful wood work..  but I'm going for more a period piece .... and I need table space as I collect  vintage buildings etc ....any one have some Model Structure buildings they want to get rid of ? ..

I'll post more photos as progress continues ....

Cheers Carey 

 

Hello all ... the Multiplex layout is rolling ... first test run of the up and over loops this morning .... .. still lots of little issues to deal with ..but very happy to see something gliding across the rails .....why yes that is a steep climb and descent .... 2% ...unfortunately that's the grade it worked out to be with the length of track available and high enough to clear a Mini-Scale 17/64ths  Pullman ...( my tester for clearance , over hang and height)  

Cheers Carey 

 

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