Sunday, October 4, 2015

E. L. Moore's Dilly Manufacturing Co.

[E. L. Moore's Dilly Manufacturing Co.; J. Collier collection]

E. L. Moore's Dilly Manufacturing Co. is a lineside industry on his 1900-era shortline terminal
In a comment on the 1900-era shortline terminal post, Iain Robinson noted that Dilly's appears similar to the 8-Ball Locomotive Works. I did a little digging, and some internet searching suggested that there was an article called 8-Ball Locomotive Works by Bob Hayden in the October 1970 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.
[Part of Bob Hayden's 8-Ball Locomotive Works photo-spread in the October 1970 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. You can see that Dilly's is more-or-less identical]

I didn't have that issue, so I ordered one. Turns out that Dilly's is more-or-less the same. But, that's not the end of the story. The article states that Mr. Hayden based his build on an article called 8-Ball Loco Works by Eric Brunger that appeared in the February 1951 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. And, as they say in infomericals, "but wait, there's more."
The article states that Mr. Brunger's early '50s article in RMC had the plans drawn by Bill Livingston, and the Livingston plans were re-printed in Mr. Hayden's '70 RMC article. So what?
Well, E. L. Moore states in Turn backward, O Time that Dilly's is also based on plans by Bill Livingston that appeared in Model Trains, and since Model Railroader owned Model Trains, he reproduced the plans in his article.
Now I'm curious to find those plans in Model Trains, but beyond the apparent parallel universe lineage of the 8-Ball Loco Works and it's descendants, this seems to backup the RMC editor's note in the Hayden article that it was one of most popular articles they've published. 
From leafing through the pages of old model railroad magazines and doing internet searches, you can see that there are many manufacturers who've offered kits based on this building. It has remained popular all these years.
In E. L. Moore's version you can see some of his familiar touches: detachable roof stiffened with solid triangular gussets, shingles engraved with a wood-burning tool, green siding, inked window framing, and an interior awaiting animation.


  1. Great detective work! Yes, that's the article that I worked from to build my model. Eric Brunger, Bill Livingstone, Bob Hayden...a distinguished list- but it is a very modelable structure and I can believe it was one of the most popular structure building articles the RMC published...EL Moore's model pretty much has the honours when it comes to charm though!

    1. I'm hoping I can find the issue of Model Trains ELM referred to. He was vague and didn't - or the editor didn't - say which issue it was in.