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Molasses mine !

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Molasses mine !
Posted by CFournier on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 2:35 PM

I bought a kit called Molasses Mine in old advertising in MRR mags and RRMC. I think it was a Heljan or IHC cheap kit. I don't know  because it was already built. I did a good job at rejuvenating the structure and weathered it nicely.

Now I'm trying to find an industry that it could represent...A 'molasses mine' is out of the question ! Have any suggestions ?

Chris

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Posted by andrechapelon on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 3:08 PM
 CFournier wrote:

I bought a kit called Molasses Mine in old advertising in MRR mags and RRMC. I think it was a Heljan or IHC cheap kit. I don't know  because it was already built. I did a good job at rejuvenating the structure and weathered it nicely.

Now I'm trying to find an industry that it could represent...A 'molasses mine' is out of the question ! Have any suggestions ?

Chris

Sounds like an old AHM kit that was based on an E.L. Moore scratchbuilt structure in the 60's. Moore did call it a molasses mine as he did a number of tongue-in-cheek scratch-built buildings during that decade, many of which appeared either in MR or RMC.

Andre

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
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Posted by CFournier on Thursday, October 19, 2006 10:03 AM

Well I found out what it is: a 'Chemical processing plant', by IHC,

# 348-7006, in the 2006 Walthers catalog, page 578. It is really an ugly kit in the picture, but I did a good job on the structure, leaving off all the anoying signs...and a good paint job.

Now what can it process? What could it be? Maybe a potash processing plant? Any idea or suggestion...

Chris

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 23, 2006 12:08 AM

Chris,

Could you post a couple of photos from different directions?  If we see what it looks like we might know what it best represents.

I had a look at it on Walthers.  Might need someone who works in the chemicals industry to tell us what commodities use the sort of process that includes those items.Confused [%-)]

 

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 10:15 PM

The classic "Molasses Mine & Factory" article by the late E.L. Moore (one of the most prolific structure builders, article writers , and punsters ever) appeared in the February 1969 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.  In typical tongue in cheek fashion Moore wrote that the plant was "nearly true to prototype" based on sketches drawn in a "few minutes by one of the mine's former employees" when they were thrown together in the same jail cell in Bryson City  in 1930 ("we met in an informal sort of way") and which Moore conceded differed from a "small line drawing" in the 1905 Compton's Encyclopedia.   It seems a thick vein of molasses ore had been found at Gunstick Knob in the Smokies and that an old lumber mill was converted for the purpose with a melting vat added.  The plant closed in 1907 due to Revenooers questioning the patent medicine (read: liquor) output, plus someone in the cane sugar molasses business bribed an employee for a copy of the secret formula, and to make matters worse, the vein of molasses petered out.  Sic transit gloria mundi.

A photo caption allowed as to how molasses mining had its risks -- several miners suffered from sore gums.

Most EL Moore structures had some basis in a prototype but this one appears to have been entirely engineered in his fertile brain.  Having said that it might resemble a highly rural liquor distillery that could have received rail traffic back in the steam days.   

Or maybe not.

Dave Nelson 

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Posted by CFournier on Thursday, October 26, 2006 9:09 AM

Hi Dave,

that is a very funny story indeed! So, I suppose, after the article by EL Moore, a commercial kit was offered. It is a simple and rough plastic kit, but it can be kitbashed or weathered easily. I don't know how to post pictures on the forum but I will try, maybe next week, to show what I did with it...

Chris

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 26, 2006 9:22 AM
And here I thought all interest has evaporated. (Rimshot please =)
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Posted by BRJN on Friday, October 27, 2006 8:44 PM

Well, anything liquid or semi-liquid or that turns into fumes when heated would be good.  If you just call it a local 'Chemical Plant' you can have it produce anything that the other industries on your layout need.  Edibles industries might need yeast; tie manufacturers need creosote; asphalt makers need additives to put into the basic oil and tar; gold refiners need mercury and you could have a mercury refining plant; alchemical plants would need the stuff that turns lead into gold Smile [:)] .

One of the punster threads suggested 'Merlin Chemical' which makes some unknown substance out of nothing at all !

Modeling 1900 (more or less)
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Posted by LittleTommy on Saturday, October 28, 2006 1:29 PM

Thank you for clearing this up.  I built this kit in the mid'80s and remember that the cover of the box mentioned that it was taken from an article in RMC. 

I heavily weathered the kit and put it into service on my S scale Hi Rail pike (it really only needs to have the doors enlarged to make it look appropriate for S scale, and, in the 1980's S scale structures were a rarity). 

I love the kit, it generates lots of interesting loads for my large fleet of tank cars and receives lots of loads from my covered hoppers.  I like the Molasses Mine designation (rather than "Chemical Processing Plant") as there have been a lot of sugar and candy related hoppers and tank cars produced in S scale lately and it give me some sort of logical (?) excuse to route those cars on my rural way freights. 

Scoff if you will, but I loved those old articles in RMC and MR in the 50's and 60's by John Allen and Eugene Le Doux because the authors didn't take themselves so seriously and there was a certain sense whimsy about the whole proceeding.  Well, then, the motto of MR was "Model Railroading is FUN!", and it was. It still can be if you loosen up a bit!

Little Tommy

 

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, October 28, 2006 1:38 PM

Thanks to the magic of Google Image search here  is a website with a photo (scroll down) of the Molasses Mine kit from Heljan (previously AHM and maybe Con-Cor for a while too)

http://www.electradeshop.com/naering_e.htm

Dave Nelson

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