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John Glaab

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  • Member since
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  • 684 posts
John Glaab
Posted by Howard Zane on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 8:30 AM

John Glaab passed away last week, a victim of Covid. With John goes a wealth of knowledege of general model railroading, C&O History, and brass locomotives as he wrote the 2nd edition of the Brass buyer's guide. I knew John for around 50 years. He always had a joke or two to tell and was quite upbeat. After retirement, John opened a hobby shop...Peach Creek Hobbies which specialized in not only brass, but steel mill modeleing as he was from steel mill country in western PA. In professional life, John was actually a rocket scientist. John will be most definitely missed by many.

Howard Zane
  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 16,168 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 9:15 AM

Sad to hear this. I didn't know him personally but we emailed ideas about steel mill structures and I bought quite a bit of track and supplies from Peach Creek Shops. Pretty sure I bought my four Hulett Ore Unloaders from him. Excellent service.

Angel John

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    March 2016
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Posted by PRR8259 on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 11:23 AM

I did know John personally, and he was just great to deal with and a great ambassador for this hobby.  So sorry to hear he's gone.  John was truly a wealth of information about brass models and the history of brass collecting.

My friends and I enjoyed horse trading with him at many Timonium shows, and there are many great memories there...also of the day the top shelf in the glass display case tipped over, and unboxed brass models fell onto the ones below.  My back was turned and I was standing close by when it happened, as my friend Dick Kaiser (now deceased also) was most likely trading with John at the time.  I never saw anybody move as fast as John did to save more from tipping over!  Damage was fortunately relatively minor as brass model steamers can be durable, and it was a bit humorous though I also felt bad for the damaged models.

John Mock

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 23,317 posts
Posted by selector on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 12:54 PM

No idea who the gentleman is, but if he was much like he is being lauded, it's indeed a sad day for everyone.  It's regrettable to lose such encyclopedic knowledge and people-skills.  Let us hope he didn't leave until he knew of a suitable replacement. Smile

God rest him.  And we give thanks.

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 12,762 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 3:42 PM

This is so sad, thank you Howard for letting us know.

I only knew John for about 30 years, but we shared two "hobbies" old houses and trains.

Truely a great person and great loss to the model train community.

Rest in peace John, my prayers for your family.



  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Northfield Center TWP, OH
  • 2,493 posts
Posted by dti406 on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 10:12 PM

Amazing coincidence I just finished painting and decaling a caboose I bought years ago from John. He was always helpful and I purchased a number of items from him. He will be missed.


Rick Jesionowski 

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

  • Member since
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  • From: Lancaster city
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Posted by cats think well of me on Friday, November 27, 2020 1:40 PM

So saddened to hear about John Glaab. My friend and I were just talking about his brass guide. I never knew him personally but know that he had done a lot for brass trains and steel mill modeling.



  • Member since
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Posted by MidlandPacific on Monday, December 7, 2020 10:08 AM

He was a great guy; I often shopped at Peach Creek Shops, both in downtown Laurel and in the last spot. I have what he said was his last inventory copy of the "Brown Book," with his autograph, that I bought in Laurel in '03 or '04.  I know he worked for NASA, in fact, my memory is that he was either in Mission Control or on the phone with someone when the "Challenger" disaster happened, as I remember him telling the story.  A huge C&O fan, and one of the most experienced and knowledgeable experts out there on Japanese brass, which he could discuss at great length without ever being boring.  I never, ever saw an email from him on the Yahoo brass collectors' listserve without opening it.  A loss for the hobby, and for everyone who knew him.

"The first transition era - wood to steel!"

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    February 2009
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Posted by railandsail on Monday, December 14, 2020 7:02 AM

So sorry to hear this news. It was his shop (older first one) in Laural Md that got me restarted in the hobby. I would stop by that shop once or twice a week to see what plastic models he was selling off from estate/moving purchases. I had told myself at the time that I would start collecting up HO tains (for eventual retirement) if I could buy them at really good prices.

It was always an adventure to visit his shop and learn from him and his 2 employees. And of course it was a treat to see those brass models he so coveted.

I was lucky to become involved in the hobby in the presence of folks like John Glabb, Howard Zane, and the Timonium Scale Model Show. Yes

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Pa.
  • 3,325 posts
Posted by DigitalGriffin on Thursday, January 20, 2022 3:50 PM

I just googled John to see if he was around still.  I am tremendously sad by this loss.  We both shared a common interest in C&O and steel mills.     Oddly enough we were both ex NASA geeks.  I don't want to even think of all the time I spent in Peach Creek Shops.  Way too much for my own (wallet's) good.

I had a distinct envy of his C&O brass collection including his H-8's and H-7's and he was my defacto stop for getting information on the C&O.  Always friendly and smart.  He'll be missed.

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • 1,135 posts
Posted by MidlandPacific on Friday, January 21, 2022 8:24 AM

Funny you bumped this, I was just saying yesterday to a friend what a loss to the hobby John was.  He rewrote the Brown Book, and he could easily have written three or four more books on Japanese brass.  I was fortunate to hear him present on Japanese handbuilts at a Timonium show, and had the rare experience of wishing the talk was longer.

"The first transition era - wood to steel!"

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