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Hello all ---



I place this here in the event that any of the American Flyer (Tin plate or scalers)  and S-Gaugers in general, knew of this modeler thru some various internet and magazine articles done on his modeling over the past decades.

I have sad news -- I received a phone call earlier tonight from a long term mutual friend of myself and ED DAVIS, Sr., that Ed Davis Sr., passed away on September 5th this (2020) year, at age 77, of cancer. I spoke to Ed last on a hot day in August this year -- I suspected nothing but Ed sounded sort of tired.

I met ED back in the early 1960's at Ma Webster basement Hobby Shop on W. 45th Street (Model RR Equipment Co. store I think) - Manhattan NY where Ed worked as a counter clerk. Always with his trademark pipe. We became friends after he joined the TA and later became a Motorman. I rode with Ed who was Motorman on BMT Standards on the Canarsie Line, Q's on the Myrtle El in the later 1960's, and other consists - on my photo taking joyrides.

I moved to Pennsylvania and lost track of ED until we re-connected in the 1980's by phone and mail -- and more so thru the very early Model Sub Talk forum (long gone now) and SUB TALK forum (before Sub Chat) -- Ed then living in Montana since 1977 and working as a locomotive engineer on Burlington RR freight trains. Ed wrote / authored the book THEY MOVED THE MILLIONS -- a history of NYC Transit and its rolling stock.

Ed was a regular (forums handle was "bigedirtman") on old Sub Talk Board and present Sub Chat -- but Ed has not posted at Sub Chat over the past few years. He was a regular poster on my own NYC Transit Modelers Group Forum up until his death.

Anyway, here BELOW is Ed's Obituary link - and for me, another in a series of my long term lifetime pals has passed on -- too many happening in the past few years; Joe Saitta, Doug Diamond, Vince Seyfried, -- too many more names to go on .

Ed modeled NYC Subway and EL trains and trolleys in S GAUGE and hand built ALL of his rolling stock - yes, I have photos of much of it.  Ed would buy old Lionel 027 freight cars on the cheap -- and replace the Lionel trucks with American Flyer freight car trucks --- and increase his S gauge fleet that way.  Seems many of those 017 cars were near to S Gauge dimensions to some egree and looked good with American Flyer freight cars - according to Ed.

My condolences to his current wife and grown children in Boise, Idaho -  Regards - Joe F

[ EDWARD DAVIS SR., OBITUARY]
https://mtstandard.com/news/lo...04-05aa84447a86.html

DON'T FORGET TO KEEP SCROLLING DOWN ON THS THREAD-PAGE --- TO SEE MORE POSTINGS AND PHOTOS I POSTED OF ED DAVIS'S   S-GAUGE TRANSIT MODELS

regards - Joe F

Last edited by Joseph Frank
Original Post

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OK-- thanks to the two members who responded (FlyerRich and "feet" ?)   Well, I will give it a shot I will post some photos of Ed's work -- all mostly done with wood and smooth finished cardstock 30 to 40 years ago.  These are the ONLY KNOWN  S scale fully scratchbuilt models of these NY based subway, EL, and commuter cars - and they are built in full scale dimensions in S scale to the prototype car bodies.


Sorry for the lesser than usual digital original quality - Ed (Mr. always F R U G A L ) used a cheap film camera back in the 1990's to shoot these photos. Somehow he got them on line and sent them to me around 2000.  I saved them and just tonight used my computer photos programs to bring out more -- the origtinal wer 25% worse (exposure, less sharp, etc.)  but you get the idea.  I wish I could have gotten to photograph the originals in person (he lived in Montana then, I in S.E. Pennsylvania -- a no go deal)


These BELOW - to start - are his New York Central R.R.  MU Commuter Cars that Ed fully scratch built and installed standard Am Flyer trucks under them.  He also powered some of them using,  get this,  HO scale TYCO or MANTUA diesel truck motors (motor built onto the truck itself) by using AM Flyer wheels on the axles and widening the gauge just a bit for American Flyer.  His motors ran for 30 and longer years up to his passing in Sept. 5, 2020.  Ed's models were featured in some old tin plat magazines I think, way back.


BELOW:  NYCRR Putnam Division Line Clerestory Roof and Round Roof trailer coaches

Ed Davis S Scale Models-1

BELOW: NYCRR Putnam Division Line arch roof trailer coaches (steam and later diesel hauled)

Ed Davis S Scale Models-2



BELOW -- train of NYCRR MU motor cars lead by a Combine MU Car on Ed's "EL" line

Ed Davis S Scale Models-4

BELOW: A standard 1919-20  era built  NYCRR MU Motor car "one the "EL" . This class had 6 segments of 3 window groups.

Ed Davis S Scale Models-5

BELOW:  A standard I think asw rebuilt 1909 NYCRR Motor car with top-arched windows removed - covered over - and having 9 pairs of windows and on end (lavatory) window - in a modernization rebuilt in the 1920's

Ed Davis S Scale Models-6

BELOW was even another class of NYCRR MU Motor Car

Ed Davis S Scale models-7

BELOW:  A NYCRR MU Motor Combine Car on the "EL"

Ed Davis S Scale Models-8

BELOW:  A NYCRR MU Motor Baggage and Mail combine car -- usually found a head or rear of any commuter train having these cars inn the consist

Ed Davis S Scale Models-9Ed Davis S Scale Models-10

BELOW are a few more NYCRR Motor MU Commuter Cars

Ed Davis S Scale Models-11Ed Davis S Scale Models-12Ed Davis S Scale Models-14Ed Davis S Scale Models-15

WELL -- that is it for Ed's commuter car trains -- and the, my next  posting, sometime later Thursday or Friday, will be Ed's various IRT and BMT EL Gate Cars (used on old early NY Elevated lines)  and some of his Chicago CTA EL Cars (modern ones from the 1950's) that Ed fully hand built - a a few old Third Avenue Railway System streetcars.  Till then, regards - Joe F

==============================================================

ADDITIONAL NOTE about me:

I  (Joseph Frank)  myself also had some American Flyer as a boy in mid 1950's -- I had a ALCO PA Diesel  (Northern Pacific 2 tone Green) and a few "silver" streamline coaches with Obs car and a red baggage car, track and power pack.  I loved and was a staunch (heh)  "2 rail track" FLYER guy in those years -- re: the 3 rail track Lionel stuff.  In the very early 1950's I also had a bit of tinplate Marx tin stuff and track as a small boy. I eventually graduated by 1960 t to HO Scale and in 1984 to O Scale 2 rail. I still have and operate a huge HO Mainline railroad in my train room with the O Scale EL & Trolley modular layout in the center of the room.  The earlier HO SCALE huge NY EL & trolley modular layout is static-displayed on its legs in sections -- but the rest is in storage.

Still have a soft spot in my heart for Flyer Trains (Scale S gauge and original 1950's original AF trains)

NOTE: Here below is my Photos website for my NYC Transit "O SCALE, 2 rail" NY City  EL,  Subway, Commuter Rail and Trolley cars

https://www.flickr.com/photos/44268069@N00/albums

Joe F

Attachments

Images (13)
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-1
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-2
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-4
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-5
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-6
  • Ed Davis S Scale models-7
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-8
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-9
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-10
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-11
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-12
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-14
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-15
Last edited by Joseph Frank
@Strummer posted:

Thanks for showing those; it appears he was quite the craftsman.

Sorry to hear of your friend's passing.

Mark in Oregon

Hello Mark -

Thanks for your reply comments.  Ed was a sort of craftsman -- but Ed was proud of being what he called a cheapskate, frugal,  low budget scrounger -- ewven though he made great money as a Loco Engineer on Montana Rail Link RR & earlier Burlington Northern RR.  Almost all of his cars were made using smooth finish cereal box carstock, and carstock of similar type for other boxes products.  No fuzzy grainy effect when paint hits it.  Fine scale details were not his signature.  He just wanted them to look proper, scale sized prototype dimensions - and to operate !  He was basically a Lionel 027 and Flyer tinplater- hi-railer  mindset.  No frills layout -- just basic - Plasticville buildings, painted grass,  200 foot high (heh) lampposts (Lionel) and such.

But it was his basement empire.  He was a well noted NYC Transit historian and also loved and was a knowledgeable historian on FERRY Boats of the NYC and Philadelphia  waterways.  He built a huge model of one of the 1940's era old Staten island Ferry Boats that Ed and I rode on in our NY Growing up days.  I posted 3 photos of it -- TOP ONE is model completed -- next two are it half completed still under construction -- and THE LAST one is a short River Ferry in HO Scale that I built for my Ferry terminal on my long ago HO Scale NY City based  EL & trolley Layout

BELOW:  COMPLETED STATEN ISLAND FERRY in fully scratchbuilt cardstock & wood by Edward Davis Sr.

Ed Davis Staten Island Ferry hand made

BELOW:  NEXT TWO photos show the model at earlier time under half way completed construction

Ed Davis HO Scale Staten Island Ferry[2)

Ed Davis HO Scale Staten Island Ferry[1)


BELOW:  Seen is my own scratch built scale River Ferry Boat I  (Joseph Frank)  built in HO Scale back 1980 for a small Ferry Terminal I built on the river edge of my HO Scale NY City "EL" & Trolley layout - shown in its slip and dock.    Made with Cardstock, wood and some plastic for the ferry and head house building. I am also a fan and historian of NY City and Philadelphia PA Ferry Boats

joe-frank-ho-scale-double-deck-local-exp-station--ferry-terminal-module_18981004380_o

Ed and I have very similar interest and grew up in NY City - but he was a basic tinplater and I became the fine-scale model maker guy

He will be missed for the 57 years (1963 thru 2020) I knew Ed.

regards - Joe F

Attachments

Images (4)
  • Ed Davis Staten Island Ferry hand made
  • Ed Davis HO Scale Staten Island Ferry(2)
  • Ed Davis HO Scale Staten Island Ferry(1)
  • joe-frank-ho-scale-double-deck-local-exp-station--ferry-terminal-module_18981004380_o
Last edited by Joseph Frank

Here are some of Ed Davis' fully scratch built N. Y City  "S Gauge" Subway and Elevated cars seen on his layout.

Again, Ed used a very cheap camera to take these - and they were taken back in the film days of the 1980's -- so I had to digitally enhance, upgrade all of the photos where I could to get the results (far better than originals) you see - but they are now adequate enough to tell the story and show Ed's model much more clearly.

BELOW -- IRT Deck Roof Hi-V control Motor steel subway car

Ed Davis S Scale IRT Deck Roof Hi-V Car -1980's

BELOW --  Cab end of IRT 1939 NY Worlds Fair Steinway Low-V Motor Subway Car

Ed Davis S Scale 1939 IRT WF Car - 1980's

BELOW -- IND R-10 SMEE subway car

ED Davis S Scale R-10 - 1980's

BELOW -- two IND R-1/9 class Steel Subway Cars

Ed Davis S Scale IND R-1-p car

BELOW -- These were two Manhattan El "O SCALE" MUDC Class Elevated cars - a trailer at left and motor car at right,  that Ed built during his O Gauge days. These were a class of former EL Open platform gate cars converted by the IRT in 1923 to closed end vestibule Multiple Unit Door Control cars. Doors slide back and forth on tracks located on the OUTSIDE the carbody.   Ed sold them to Nate Gerstein a few decades ago.  Nate tried to improve and upscale them and installed scale prototype trucks and wheels under the cars - seen here  on Nate's O Scale 2-rail magnificent layout.

Nate Gerstein's Ed Davis built IRT MUDC Cars

BELOW -- BMT EL Gate TRAILER Car # 23, of the 1880's era 6-4-6- window design

Ed Davis S Scale Models-3

BELOW -- A BMT 1300 series EL Gate Motor convertible 1300 series car, and at right a 1200 series BMT EL Gate Motor car;  I designed and created the masters for printing the paper buildings backdrops and sent some sets of them to Ed to use around 1998.

Ed Davis S Scale Models-25

BELOW -- BMT 100 Series arch roof EL Gate Motor convertible Car

Ed Davis S Scale Models-22

BELOW -- IRT EL "MUDC" closed vestibule converted Motor EL Car

Ed Davis S Scale Models-21

BMT Two Car Gate Motor Cars -- 1 center door 700 series car and at right, the 1000 series turtle roof motor gate car

Ed Davis S Scale Models-26

BELOW -- IRT Hedley Class Hi-V Control subway steel motor car

Ed Davis S Scale Models-23

BELOW -- A set of BMT Q Type MUDC Converted El cars at Ed's El station as a train of

New Haven RR "American Flyer" type modern passenger coaches seen at opposite platform

Ed Davis S Scale Models-16

BELOW -- BMT Standard steel subway car

Ed Davis S Scale Models-27

BELOW - Third Avenue Railway System deck roof trolley car

S--O-SCale TARS Streetcar by Ed Davis-29BELOW -

BELOW -- 1930's modernized Third Avenue Railway System trolley car

S--O-Scale TARS trolley by Ed Davis-30

BELOW -- IRT Steel SMEE subway cars - R-21 at left, a red R-12 and 2 red arch roof SMEE subway cars

Ed Davis S Scale Models-24

BELOW -- a train of BMT 67 foot Standard subway cars pass my city scene buildings backdrop

Ed Davis S Scale Models-28

BELOW -- IRT 1964 NY Worlds Fair Single R-33-S Subway Car

EWd DavisS Scale IRT R-33 S WF Car - 1980's

More photos of ED DAVIS'S  CTA Chicago S-Scale scratch built Subway and EL Cars will follow in a day or so

Thanks for viewing !  regards - Joseph Frank

Attachments

Images (19)
  • Ed Davis S Scale IRT Deck Roof Hi-V Car -1980's
  • Ed Davis S Scale 1939 IRT WF Car - 1980's
  • ED Davis S Scale R-10 - 1980's
  • Ed Davis S Scale IND R-1-p car
  • Nate Gerstein's Ed Davis built IRT MUDC Cars
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-3
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-3
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-25
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-22
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-21
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-26
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-23
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-16
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-27
  • S--O-SCale TARS Streetcar by Ed Davis-29
  • S--O-Scale TARS trolley by Ed Davis-30
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-24
  • Ed Davis S Scale Models-28
  • EWd DavisS Scale IRT R-33 S WF Car - 1980's
Last edited by Joseph Frank

Hi Joe,

Thanks for posting the nice tribute to Ed and the photos. It is always nice to hear stories about the old timers and see examples of their work. sorry to hear of his passing.

I have a question which will surely reveal my ignorance, having seen NYC subway trains pretty much from the platform up. The orange gizmos on the trucks: are they the third rail pick ups? And why were they painted orange?

I always enjoy your posts

@Will posted:

Hi Joe,

Thanks for posting the nice tribute to Ed and the photos. It is always nice to hear stories about the old timers and see examples of their work. sorry to hear of his passing.

I have a question which will surely reveal my ignorance, having seen NYC subway trains pretty much from the platform up. The orange gizmos on the trucks: are they the third rail pick ups? And why were they painted orange?

I always enjoy your posts

Hello Will

Thanks Will, for your appreciation and comments -- I appreciated it.  Those are wooden (in prototype wooden) third rail shoe attachment beams to insulate from the truck steel sideframes, the hot (in prototype, 600 VDC) third rail shoe and its heavy feed cable to the under-car controls and motors.  The beams were actually a more red color.  All motor cars had them and Low-V Control un-powered trailers had only ONE truck with shoes.  Motor cars had shoes on both trucks.  High Voltage Control Subway and EL cars had NO SHOES on any trucks of any trailer car.  Those cars were fed power (for lights, heaters, etc) by thick 600 VDC Buss jumper cables with plugs and sockets -- attached between cars.

I suspect the beam-colors on Ed's photos color-shifted due to the lighting or / and / the camera / film Ed used to take the photos.  The beams would be more a cardinal red color.

Anyway, looks like not to much expressed viewer visits or interest here -- but it provides me a URL to link this thread on other sites to  show Ed's work to those who knew him, or of him,  and may be interested.  I will later install the final batch of photos - his Chicago CTA cars Transit cars.

regards - Joe F

Last edited by Joseph Frank

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