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globe models

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globe models
Posted by dewjrchurch on Sunday, February 13, 2011 8:46 PM

Can anyone tell me about the history of Globe Models?

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, February 13, 2011 11:45 PM

dewjrchurch

Can anyone tell me about the history of Globe Models?

Globe was a maker of wood and metal kits, from the Chicago area I believe, then shortly after WWII they were bought by Athearn.

Globe then became the division of Athearn used to introduce the first plastic line of kits back when Athearn's regular line of products were metal kits. The orginal Athearn F7 (now Ready to Roll line) and the streamlined passenger cars where first offered under the Globe name, then quickly appeared in Athearn boxes - mid to late 1950's.

You can see some Globe catalogs and Athearn catalogs with the same "Western Ave, Los Angeles" address at:  http://hoseeker.net/

Sheldon

    

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Posted by MudHen_462 on Monday, February 14, 2011 1:02 AM

I still have two old wood & metal Globe models, that are probably 50 years old by now. They are good cars....  I wish they still made them (along with Ambroid & Silver Streak kits...)

Bob

 

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Posted by Flashwave on Monday, February 14, 2011 3:17 AM

I love finding the Globe kits. The early kits looked identical to the Athearn model, but the walls, ends, roof, and floor were all sparate pieces. There's nubs on the floor, but it's otherwise flat, making it easier to toss an interior into than the current Athearns with the two staggered end weights. The only issues I;ve found is that a lot of Globe roofs are now warping one way or another, and it;s a Pain-in-the-caboose to get ti flat again.

 

-Morgan

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, February 14, 2011 8:38 AM

Globe Models goes way back -- way, way back - to the 1940s at least and perhaps earlier.  Much of their tool and die work was done by Milwaukee master modeler Carl Traub, who was one of those "he can build anything" types -- if he needed threaded rod he'd take plain rod stock and cut the threads himself, that sort of thing.  The Globe kits were very similar to Athearn metal kits in general "tab in slot" construction (so were the Varney reefer kits).    I have seen both Milwaukee and Chicago addresses for Globe.

Athearn purchased the Globe line and thus the address changed to Los Angeles at some point.

Globe introduced the plastic F7 A and B units in the very early 1950s, after Athearn had purchased the name and the line, so Globe at that point was merely a name of a line produced by Athearn

 It may have been that some other outfit actually started the tool and die work; one internet reference mentions Silver Streak but I do not know that -- Silver Streak did eventually produce plastic kits but in the early 1950s they were a wood and cast metal kit maker. 

I do not know if Carl Traub was involved or not with the tool and die work.   I suspect he was fully capable of it.  Again I have seen internet references saying he did the tooling.

But what was remarkable was that the engines were dummy only and came painted in gold.  That caused a flurry of interest in powered chassis and decals and paint because the F units were so very cheap, less than a dollar each.   I have read that the sudden demand for decals for the popular and cheap Globe F units is what "saved" Wm K Walthers as they struggled to adapt to the new world of HO model railroading in the 1950s.    The Globe Fs must have been hugely popular because you still see so many at swap meets often in the original packaging.  They had separate number boards and a single headlight.  Apart from that and the dummy chassis they were the Athearn Fs. 

The Globe name eventually disappeared and at some point Atheran made some changes to the dies.  But that F unit served Athearn very well for decade after decade even when it was pointed out that the roof curve contour and other details was not entirely accurate.

As a side note, the Athearn metal kits were revived for a time by an outfit called Menzies (and Bowser brought back the Varney reefers but without the beautiful lithographed sides that made the Varney originals such standouts).  I find the Athearn/Menzies/Globe/Varney style kits very entertaining to build and if you take care the end result is a very solid and nice looking car.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by CNJ831 on Monday, February 14, 2011 8:41 AM

To expand just a bit on Sheldon's account of the Globe-Athearn association, Irv Athearn initially used  Globe to experimentally introduce the concept of plastic models to the hobby. Prior to that time virtually all scale models had been composed solely, or combinations of, brass, diecast metal, wood, cardstock and paper. Although Lionel had used a plastic-like material for a few pieces of its rollingstock somewhat earlier, in the years immediately following WWII most Americans regarded anything made of plastic (a lot of it coming in from post-war Japan at the time) as pure junk. This attitude was fully justified because the quality and stability of the material in cheap toys often left a great deal to be desired.

Among hobbyists, anything made of plastic was absolutely shunned until Uncle Irv brought out his Globe models. The appearance of the plastic F-7, introduced in 1954, was decidedly better than Varney's diecast F-unit, although obviously much lighter in weight. Still, the F-7's proportions, color and even stability of the material, were superior to many other diecast diesels of the era.

With the acceptance of the locomotive by hobbyists, rather quickly a line of plastic freight cars arose. Being essentially snap-together, they demanded virtually no modeling skill for the newbie to assemble, while they were very easy to modify by the experienced craftsman, they proved to be an earth shaking event in the hobby just at a time when the hobby's popularity in the U.S. was exploding. Thus, in no time at all, with Irv no longer fearful that his Athearn line might be tainted and jeopardized by its introducing of plastic models, the plastic Globe items shifted to become the standard Athearn product line that continued for decades to come.

Basically, Globe had served as a false front for Athearn's introduction of plastic models. Had they failed in the marketplace, Irv's Athearn HO line of more traditional trains would have been protected from any financial harm and loss of popularity. Uncle Irv was always a very clever businessman. Wink

Perhaps as a postscript, it is worth noting that the Athearn F-7 was the first - and likely the ONLY - HO model ever to sell in excess of one million units!

CNJ831   

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Posted by cacole on Monday, February 14, 2011 8:51 AM

I have one of those Globe Models F7s decorated for Union Pacific.  The chassis and gearing is all metal.  The shell's yellow plastic is so thin you can see through it.

The address on the assembly instructions is 11929 S. Western Avenue, P.O. Box 11835, Wagner Station, Los Angeles 47, California.

Unfortunately, there's no date on the instructions and it is not in the original box.

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, February 14, 2011 9:01 AM

cacole

I have one of those Globe Models F7s decorated for Union Pacific.  The chassis and gearing is all metal.  The shell's yellow plastic is so thin you can see through it.

The address on the assembly instructions is 11929 S. Western Avenue, P.O. Box 11835, Wagner Station, Los Angeles 47, California.

Unfortunately, there's no date on the instructions and it is not in the original box.

 

That was late 40's and early 50's - and it was Athearn's address too! As CNJ831 and I have noted.

I still have a number of Globe metal cars, Athearn metal cars, and early plastic kits sold under both names. 

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Mecaso on Thursday, June 23, 2016 1:49 AM

Hello from FranceBig Smile

I own several powered GLOBE locomotives bought on ebay.

The mechanism seems to be built by KMT (Kumata), in Japan.

An other brand, OLYMPIC Express, uses the same mechanism on its locos.

I own two of them, too....

On my models, i have replaced the motors by new models which

are more efficient & on some of them, i have put flywheels.

The mechanisms are well built & seem to be indestructible...

Regards.Big Smile

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, June 23, 2016 9:35 PM

Hi Mecaso!

Welcome to the forums!     Welcome

Regards

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by b60bp on Friday, June 24, 2016 6:50 PM

MudHen_462

I still have two old wood & metal Globe models, that are probably 50 years old by now. They are good cars....  I wish they still made them (along with Ambroid & Silver Streak kits...)

Bob

 

Bob,
you can still get a lot of the old Silver Streak line, in upgraded form, from Ye Olde Huff & Puff. They also offer similar kits from other origins as well. Really nice stuff.
 

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Posted by Old Bus on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 3:35 PM

Globe was also the catalyst that prompted John Chapper to start hobbytown of Boston. John wanted to fill the niche that Globe missed, powered chassis for the new F-7.

 

The tooling for hobbytown's original powered chassis kit dates back to 1947, pre-dating Athearn's purchase of the line.

Nick

 

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