Chapter 5: Website Stuff

About This Website

The Birth of N Scale was a byproduct of my All About Aurora Postage Stamp Trains website: researching Postage Stamp got me hooked on the origins of the scale. This site has been well over a year in the making, but I'm hardly an authority on all things N Scale; there are veterans of the industry with vast pools of knowledge, and I'm attempting to tap some of these resources in order to expand and improve this website. So, please look forward to many future updates.

Also note that the top-level chapter pages offer only highly-compacted summaries of events in chronological order; it's the detail pages on the manufacturers themselves that add flesh to the bone. But since most events took place concurrently or in overlapping date ranges, there's no simple way to string them all together, and this is where websites offer significant advantages over books: the latter are linear in structure, whereas websites allow one to jump back and forth across many points of reference in a distinctly non-linear fashion. All of which is to say that this website is much deeper than it may appear on the surface.

Why did I set the cutoff at 1969? Originally the site was called "The First 10 Years of N Scale." However, this assumed N Scale was "born" in 1960, whereas it's quite difficult to pinpoint a precise origin date; it was really a span of time—a "gestation" period, if you will—and to choose a hard start date overlooked some critical details and excluded a great many interrelated participants and events leading up to the scale's emergence, not to mention some valuable context.

Consequently I left the "birthday" open, and simply kept the original end date. Although it's admittedly somewhat arbitrary, I had to draw the line somewhere; as it happens, it was a struggle to make it through to the end of 1969 and remain thorough, since by then the scale was growing almost exponentially, with the histories of various business entities and products becoming ever more complex and intertwined. Had I extended the end date any further, I could be at this for the rest of my life.

As for the site's core information sources, nearly all of the catalogs and other ephemera presented herein were painstakingly scanned and restored from my collection; the few I didn't have were culled from old eBay auctions and other sources. I'm a collector of information, much more than just a collector of materials, so the text on a page is far more valuable to me than the page itself. If I can glean any information at all from a fuzzy old thumbnail, it's gold to me—indeed, some obscure clues were obtained just that way.

Incidentally, the artful "N" on the home page came from the back of Atlas' 1967 catalog.

Website Updates


Although I've gathered an enormous amount of reference material of my own over the years, including thousands of products as well as piles of catalogs and other ephemera, a great many websites provided information that would otherwise have been impossible to obtain. While not exhaustive, the list covers most of the key resources that helped shape this website.

About Me

I'm a retired sixty-something curmudgeon who lives alone in the woods. In addition to having modeled in N Scale since 1968, I've worked professionally as a writer, photographer and web developer.

The Great Migration < Website Stuff

Copyright © 2018-2019 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Corrections and contributions gratefully accepted!
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