The NASG Inc. is a 501(c)7 "Fraternal/Educational" non-profit corporation, which acts as the umbrella organization representing the 1:64 model railroading community (also known as "3/16-inch-to-the-foot", "S-gauge", or "S-scale"). The NASG performs a wide range of activities in support of the S-scale world. It sets standards for S-scale and maintains lines of communication for S modelers everywhere. Through its bi-monthly magazine, "The DISPATCH", and through this public web site, the organization communicates news about local clubs, new products, events, and projects of interest to S modelers. The NASG also works closely with manufacturers and potential manufacturers to help provide products marketable to its membership. Donations made to the NASG are not tax-deductible on U.S. individual income tax returns.
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We have a page showing the NASG Leadership Contributions over the years.
14-year old Edward Bowness scratch-builds a British Midland Railway 4-2-2 made of card. 3/16" scale was chosen based on rivets available to him that matched the size of the engine's buffers.
"American Flyer" started by a Chicago hardware store to make wind-up clockwork trains.
American Flyer Mfg. Co. started making electric trains.
Charles Wynne, professional engineer, scratch-builds two British Midland Railway 4-4-0 tank engines made out of card, wood, and cast metal. He chose 3/16" because it was half the size of "Gauge One" (3/8", 1:32 scale). It became known as "H1" (or half-one) scale.
British modeling magazine Model Railway News publishes letters about people enquiring about the practicality of modeling in 3/16" scale.
Donald M. Tiffany of Bayside, New York, develops the first U.S.-based S-scale commercial product, that of a cast-metal hopper.
Arthur Peake, in Manchester, England, starts Halfone Model Company, with the intent of developing scale standards and to start producing commercial products.
Cleveland Model and Supply, Co., a Cleveland, Ohio company which (still) manufactures wooden airplane kits, starts "C-D" gauge ("Cleveland-Designed"), which is based on being 75% the size of American O-gauge. The company was owned by Ed Packard (who had changed his name from Ed Pachasa); he was unaware of Europe's "S" developments.
The NMRA accepts "C-D" gauge at the national convention.
A.C. Gilbert, American Erector Set toy maker, purchases the American Flyer Mfg. Co.
Cleveland Model and Supply produces wood and diecast locomotives, and wood and paper freight cars.
Several scratch-built models appear in the British modeling press, but WWII put an end to the efforts.
"C-D gauge" was changed to "S" as the official name of 1:64 modeling at the NMRA convention that year. Legend has it that since there were so many "s"es in three-sixteenths and sixty-fourths, the letter "S" was selected over "Half-1".
Bub, in Germany, started making clockwork S-gauge trains that ran on 22.5mm gauge track. The web site linked to has some photo of their items. The products were not a commercial success as German modelers were quickly adopting HO-scale as their favorite.
A.C. Gilbert stops making O- and HO-scale products, and starts producing S-scale items under the American Flyer brand name.
Wimbledon Model Railway Club displays the first S-scale layout in Britain, built by Bernard Wright.
Cleveland Model and Supply stops producing C-D gauge products.
"S-gauge" was adopted in Britain based on the NMRA published standards of "S".
A.C. Gilbert produces the first plastic-bodied locomotives, and changes to the 5-digit product numbering system, because it is now "computerized".
Claud Wade of St. Louis advertises in Model Railroader for S-scale modelers to join a circuit letter, which he started later that year (by mid-1959 there were 30 circuits going!).
The informal "National Association of S Gaugers" (NASG) was formed with no real formal structure, and NMRA membership was strongly encouraged.
David Bulkin starts the S Gauge Herald.
A.C. Gilbert dies at the age of 76.
The Northeastern S Gaugers Association (NESGA) grew out of a meeting at Frank Titman's home in Allentown, PA.
Wally Collins becomes publisher of the S Gauge Herald.
The Kadee HO-scale coupler was starting to be used by S-scale modelers.
The first S-scale convention was held in May hosted by the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders club in the back room of a linoleum store in Woburn, Massachusetts, attended by about 40 modelers.
Frank Titman becomes the editor of the S Gauge Herald.
Don Heimberger starts the S Gaugian magazine. He is 14 years old!
Bernie Thomas becomes the second General Director of the NASG.
Claud Wade produced the first full kit of parts to build a steam locomotive. These castings were the birth of modern S-scale (as the future demise of A.C. Gilbert was clear).
Frank Titman's design idea of the clasped couplers was voted as the logo for the NASG (Ed Schumacher actually created the drawing from Frank's idea).
The NASG's "Bernie Thomas Memorial Award" was created by the Deep South S Gaugers Association, after Bernie's passing earlier that year. Russ Mobley becomes the third NASG General Director.
Claud Wade started "S Scale Locomotive and Supply" company, to separate the parts development work from the NASG work.
The A.C. Gilbert company declares bankruptcy.
The NASG begins as a formal organization (July 1) with a General Director (Russ Mobley) and a 7-member Board of Trustees (Frank Titman, Wallace Collins, Richard Karnes, David Engle, Gene Fletcher, Ed Schumacher, and John Sudimak).
A.C. Gilbert's arch-rival Lionel purchases the "American Flyer" brand name and tooling for $157,000 in June of this year.
Lionel declares bankruptcy.
General Mills (of cereal fame) buys Lionel (and thus American Flyer), and eventually produces items under the name "Fundimensions".
The NESGA is merged into the NASG. The NESGA's name was last used in the 1973 Convention. Russ Mobley resigned as General Directory and Ed Schumacher took over.
The NASG, Inc. was created in New York. The NASG, Inc. approved the scale standards (different, at the time, from the NMRA's S-scale standard). Jack McGarry authored most of the constitution, while Wally Collins did the legal work.
The S Gauge Herald publishes its last issue (primarily due to increased costs of printing, but also editor Frank Titman didn't think there was much hope for S-scale; they were unaware of the plans by American Models, see further below).
Then NASG president, Dick Cataldi, starts the NASG Newsletter.
Swede Norlin releases code 70 Sn3 flex track.
Ernie Horr takes over the NASG Newsletter, and renames it the Dispatch.
Tomalco releases code 100 standard-gauge flex track.
Inspired by Sam Powell's article about his layout in the November 1975 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman, Ron Bashista starts American Models to eventually produce quality scale and hi-rail engines, cars, and much more.
The NMRA approves and makes available the Sn3 standards gauge.
Richard Kughn buys Lionel (and thus American Flyer) from General Mills.
Although the exact year is unknown, the ESSENCE (S Scale Special Interest Group of the NMRA) newsletter was formed to attract S/Sn3 scale modeling from within the NMRA's membership.
The NMRA recognizes the NASG's S-MOD standard as the official S-scale modular standard.
Tony Perles passed away (after whom the NASG's Perles Publication Award is named).
Rollie Mercier re-starts the S Gauge Herald magazine (6 issues per year).
The 3/16 'S'cale Railroading magazine was started by Ed Loizeaux as publisher, Bob Werre as photographer, Billy Wade, Jr. as circulation and advertising manager, and Dick Karnes was the editor.
The 3/16 'S'cale Railroading magazine ceased publication with the last issue of the year.
The S/Sn3 Buyers Guide magazine was started by Billy Wade, Jr. to fill the gap left by the 3/16 'S'cale Railroading magazine. The title was eventually changed to S/Sn3 Modeling Guide.
Wellspring Associates, along with Neil Young, purchase Lionel Trains, Inc. (and thus American Flyer), and created the new Lionel, LLC.
The S/Sn3 Modeling Guide ceases publication.
Richard Bendever bought the rights to publish the S/Sn3 Modeling Guide, and renamed it 1:64 Modeling Guide. A few years after Richard ceased publishing the 1:64 Modeling Guide, Robert Nalbone bought the rights and ran it for a number of years, even switching to electronic versions.
Sanda Kan, which is a major manufacturer in China for model train products, and at this time was owned by J.P. Morgan, was taken over by its dominant Chinese rival Kader Industrial. Sanda Kan was experiencing severe production and mounting debt problems. (As an aside, Kader owns the Bachmann, Palitoy, Liliput, Graham Farish, and Williams brands for model trains).
Kader Industrial, parent company of Sanda Kan, announces that it will no longer accept orders from 60 of its 80 clients. All model railroad scales were affected by this, but in the S-scale world, S-Helper Service, American Models, American S Gauge, and S Scale America (owned by Des Plaines Hobbies) were hit hard.
S-Helper Service announces the sale of its tooling to MTH Electric Trains.
1:64 Modeling Guide ceased publication.
MTH Electric Trains introduces its first release of S-scale products, using S-Helper Service's original tooling.
MTH Electric Trains finally completes the production of all the items listed in their 2013 catalog (the F3 locomotives and turnouts).
- the S Scale Model Railway Society web site (has photos of some of the items mentioned above);
- the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders club web site;
- Bob Jackson's articles (see below);
- "Collecting Antique Electric Toy Trains" article in March 1987 issue of Model Railroader magazine;
- "50 Golden Years with S Scale" article in the May 1987 issue of Model Railroader magazine.
- "Welcome to S Gauge Herald Subscribers" article in the January 1979 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.
- December 2010 NASG Dispatch.
- Kader topic on Wikipedia.
Bob Jackson wrote a series of articles over a three year period (1986 to 1989) in the NASG Dispatch. The articles described the early days of "S" as well as the story of the beginnings of the NASG up to the early 1980s. We have compiled the complete story from those articles and you can read it here: The NASG Story: A History by Bob Jackson.
Claud Wade, the founder of the NASG, provided information about how the idea of the NASG was started in the Spring 1983 issue of the NASG Dispatch (available in PDF format on this web site).
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