Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

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thomaskremers
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Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by thomaskremers » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:53 am

I would like to host a reunion of all 7.25 0-4-0 camelbacks at the FLLS 50th meet Aug1-4 2019.

HISTORY
The original 1.5 model was built by Paul Culp. He made and designed it as a gas motor driven model. Some time in the late sixties a group of four live steamers Elmer Nuskey, Ben Nixon, Bud Kreamers and the hopper car king Gil Rittenberg. Started a build of four locomotives. Some of the original Culp patterns were used with Elmer adding the important steam patterns such as valve gear and working cylinders. Bud was good at building copper boilers so he built the four boilers. Ben did all the machine work, made fixtures and other tooling. He set it up to be completely machined on a 9 inch South Bend lathe using a milling attachment. Gil made all the sheet metal parts, cabs boiler jackets and tenders. (Thanks Dave Sclavi) The Kulp's built at least 2, The group made 4 and Elmer might have made a couple more, before selling the rights to Dave in 1978 who then created about 75 casting sets sold under the Mercer brand and some boilers and then recently made 10 more casting sets in recent years and I think he sold all of those now. Tony Daddi also built two in the pre-Mercer days. That puts the total built from these sets at almost 100-quite a herd! I reaelize many were built into non-camelbacks...and this doesn't count ones built from LE castings and others...

There should be herds of camels everywhere.....thanks to Dave
HERD
original-four-0-4-0-camelback.png
Thanks to Live Steam Magazine for sharing this photo
Pictured: Gil Ritenberg, Elmer Nuskey, Clarence (Bud) Kremers, Ben Nixon

My dad is bringing one (1172) of the 4 and hoping to see if I can get hold of Bobby in Niagara Falls to see if we can bring his (1171). David Bortz (1174) has one in Pennsylvania. I thought he had Ben's but he said he helped deliver Ben's to a guy in Pennsylvania who bought it. Dave must have Nuskey's original (1174), It was sold to Austin (Red) Moore of Western NY and then sold to Dave when Red passed with help from Jeff Sweet. There was some confusion as we thought Red but Ben Nixon's.

I don't know if all four have run together since the early days at NJLS, but we did get three together a couple of times in the late 80's at NJLS (As Bill Shields noted). I would love to see as many as we could get together.
Does anyone know who bought 1173 in Pennsylvania?
1179 Camelback.jpg
1179 is owned by Dick Glueck and we hope he makes it out from Maine. He was at a meet with 3 others a few years ago in NH.
1154 Camelback.jpg
1154 owned by Bob DeWachter which was originally 7.25 gauge and Dick's was retrofitted. Both were built by Tony Daddi.

Andy Pullen owns 1175....Andy can you share details and a pic?

1944 is owned by James Mardiguian.
7 Camelback.jpg
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7 was built by Dan who I assume is the son of Dave who makes the Mercer castings.

Bob Culp's Grandson supposedly has one at NJLS. Paul Culp built one as a non steamer for Dear Run central near Pennsylvania Live Steamers (Thanks Joe!) We also think there are a couple at Pioneer Live Steamers

Charlie Pipes tried to buy one from his friend Larry who bought the castings in the 90's from Dave. Might be Charlie's someday.
I've heard Nuskey may have assembled 2 engines but it's a bit of a mystery...

I've reached out to the auctioneer about Jack Bachmann's- it is 7.5 guage. They didn't have records anymore

Someone said 5 members in a NE club are building 0-4-0 switchers. Anyone know if they are camelbacks?

1177 was spotted on DiscoverLiveSteam some time ago. If someone can tell me when I can use the wayback machine to go snag info.

Gene Buffard has an 0-4-0 he is rebuilding in St Louis..numbered 1173..I'm wondering if it might be Ben's engine resurfacing but he believes it was built by Leo Meyer and Joel Pittenger's father....

George Thomas of PLS might have built one-
1 inch
1122  Camelback.jpg
1122 Camelback.jpg (24.69 KiB) Viewed 4079 times
Joe T helped sell 1122 to Bernie (from David Knowles) who has wanted one since he sold one from Nelson Gray to Ben Smith who then sold it to Dave Artinian in CA.
Keith Taylor was rebuilding a camelback built by Lewis Bullock.

I'm hoping Bill opens his photo archive and adds some details.....
1187 at Strasburg.jpg
1187 at Strasburg.jpg (29.4 KiB) Viewed 4073 times
If anyone wants to see the real thing, I think the last remaining is being rebuilt at Strasburg. http://www.readingrailroad.org/profiles ... _1187.html
Last edited by thomaskremers on Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:41 am, edited 4 times in total.

thomaskremers
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by thomaskremers » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:58 am

Outline
Davenport-goat camelback.jpg
Peter on his Camelback outline 7.5 Gauge 0-4-0 at Calvert Central in Maryland http://calvertcentral.com/
Mr Ron Electric 4-4-0 Camelback.jpg
Mr. Ron in Mississippi has this outline 4-4-0
1175 Andy Pullen.jpg
1175 Andy Pullen.jpg (28.92 KiB) Viewed 4058 times
Back to the others, here is a picture of Andy Pullen's 1175

785 is a 4-6-0 Camelback at PLS. They also appear to have a Lackawana Camelback and a reading in pictures from their website.
Last edited by thomaskremers on Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

Bob D.
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by Bob D. » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:17 am

This is what my 1154 looked like when I purchased it from Tony Daddi's son. No idea if this was as originally built by Tony or if he morphed it later on. I stripped it down and scratch built what you see today going by photos I found. 1154 was a loco number from one of those photos. Don't know if it had an earlier cab number or not.

Bob D.
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B&OBob
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by B&OBob » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:09 am

Very interesting summary!
George Thomas (my father) built a RDG Camelback in 1950, but it was a 1" scale L7sb 4-6-0, presently owned in trashed condition by an uncaring subsequent owner.

One summer evening I visited one of the Culps -- Paul, I think -- at his home on Fanshaw Street(?) in Philadelphia. There were several others present who had or were building the 0-4-0. Track was simpl;y laid on the dirt/mud backyard of that city lot. It was small but everybody was having a good time. One of the fellows present was "Charlie," who worked on a tugboat and was enthusiastically building or contributing to construction of another 0-4-0. Does anybody remember Charlie and what happened to his engine?

Those were days of minimum talk and maximum action!

B&OBob

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LVRR2095
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by LVRR2095 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:45 am

The camelback I have that was built by Lewis Bullock is a 3/4” scale, 3 - 1/2” gauge 4-4-2 and not one of the 1 - 1/2” scale 0-4-0’s.

Keith Taylor
BB214877-3D46-4806-94D3-CB33EC3D86F8.jpeg
Lewis Bullock built 4-4-2

Pontiacguy1
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:42 pm

the 0-4-0 Camelback 1173 from St. Louis area WAS Leo Myers' locomotive. The man who bought it from that estate sale has recently sold it. I remember seeing it run down at Mid-South back in the 1980s. It was 7 1/2" gauge as well.

There was a chassis for one of these mercer 0-4-0s built by Carl Kurth of Gassaway, TN. Around 1993 or 1994 he sold it to someone who kept it for several years but didn't do anything with it, and I believe that Jon P. has it now. It was a chassis-on-air, but was missing the smokebox saddle. For some reason, he didn't have that particular casting. He was going to fabricate one, but did not do so before he sold it. It has never been finished.

I knew of one guy in Columbia, TN who was building a Mercer 0-4-0 camelback. He had a complete frame, the main cylinder blocks machined, and mostly a bunch of castings and stock laying around. I remember seeing it in his basement back in the early 1990s along with a Grizzly lathe and a few other pieces of metalworking equipment. It was never finished either. He got cancer and died, and I never did know what happened to that set of castings and parts. I presume that they were discarded or otherwise lost, as I've never seen or heard of them for sale anywhere around here.

I've also seen a freelance 2-4-4-2 from somewhere down in Florida that looked like it was built using two 0-4-0 Camelback chassis, and one big boiler. It looked pretty nice.

From what I have seen, these things have been built, used, kitbashed, and some have disappeared. It is a good design and was relatively cheap and easy to build, easy to handle and transport, was robust, and performed well. No wonder they were so popular!

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backyardrails
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by backyardrails » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:56 pm

Here is a better picture of the 1" camelback. Such a nice runner. All camelbacks a nice in any scale. :D
By the way, the date is wrong on the photo. :oops:
Bernie
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GO&PRR
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by GO&PRR » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:53 pm

Thank You Thomas for such a wonderful write up on these Camelbacks.

Not hijacking this thread, just wanted to let everyone know that voiced a need;
My name is Ed Archer and I have purchased from Mercer the patterns, rights and such for this nice 1.5 scale 7-1/4 or 7-1/2 gauge 'old' 0-4-0 Camelback. There are castings on hand so if anyone has a need, please email me at the following email,

Contact information is:
Iron Horse Supply
email: IHSC775@gmail.com

Will be starting an IHS Facebook page so this would augment this Chaski site as nice place to gather and share information/history on these 'original' Camelback's along with the future builds.

Also - Am reintroducing the World Famous Manganese Bronze Couplers! The patterns were purchased from Mercer along with the rights and such.
They will be offered in both in the loop shank and solid shank flavors. Casting are due in the next week or two. If you have any coupler needs, email me at the above address and I will add you to the list. As I know your curious for a price, once the final costs come in from the foundry, a price can be established.

Also might add that if someone needs boiler work or a new boiler, I recommend David who has build a lot of these 0-4-0 steel boilers: Contact Trainman4602 on this board.

Thank you for your interest and look forward to serving your needs and in helping to keep these gals polishing the rails.
Best Steaming,
Ed Archer
Iron Horse Supply Corp.
ihsc775@gmail.com

Camelback #1173, 7-1/2" gauge, propane (a Leo M.'s build)
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3.2 scale 040 Vulcan 7-1/2 gauge, coal
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Steam Dummy vert. boiler 2ft gauge, anything


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PRR5406
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by PRR5406 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:25 am

Great thread about a much beloved locomotive and other iterations of the Camelback design. I do believe a Camelback rally is called for, and my wife and I will certainly try to make it to FLLS for such an event.
Ed Archer, thank you for keeping the locomotive alive! I know of several that are partially assembled, but waiting for a few parts. Boilers seem to be the major hurdle, being the major investment. When you start advertising the A5a, please make sure we hear about it on this board.
Dave Sclavi, thanks for promoting the A5a for so long after the first run.
Anyone else who has a Camelback of this design, or knows somebody with the same, please post the pictures here!
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shayloco
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by shayloco » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:28 pm

This Camelback runs at Pioneer Valley LS in Massachusetts:
0F0D23BA-EF75-4846-8C44-5A5F383C26D3.jpeg
FC170BE9-229B-40D7-BCDB-A0E7755C825C.jpeg

thomaskremers
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by thomaskremers » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:44 am

Well I got the picture wrong from the magazine article...we stopped in to see Bobby Ritenburg and confirmed he has 1173 in his garage, covered in plastic. It hasn't run since Uncle Gil passed because Gil took the Nixon pump off the last winter before he died and Bobby has never been able to find it...now if I could only find a spare Nixon pump. Bobby still makes train cars and hopes to build a steam engine in the future. The detail and artistry of his hopper cars and his passenger car set is exquisite to say the least. One more mystery solved.
I also have a lead on Ben Nixon's engine and David has Elmer Nuskey's

I also found this picture of Leo Myers 1173
LeoMyers1173.jpg
Leo Myers Camelback
Sorry I couldn't figure out how to turn it in the forums.

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PRR5406
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Re: Watch out for the herd of Camels-0-4-0 Camelback history

Post by PRR5406 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:28 am

Scuttlebutt has it that this Camelback rally may be coming off at Finger Lakes, this August. So, who are we certain is in?
I'll be there with 1179, God willing.
"Always stopping my train, and risking my ankles, with American made, New Balance sneakers."

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