Prototype fidelity

Andy Carlson

I find it odd that in this forum (STMFC) dedicated to promoting greater accuracy in modeling, we find several defenders of the practice of historical societies offering sham cars as fund raisers. First, fund raising should be a society lower priority of things to do, as the primary purpose of societies should be to promote the subject railroad's history. I don't believe the only way societies survive is by offering duds.

Richard Hendrickson's tiff with the Burlington society was based on the their inexcusable offering of bogus cars to the membership. Richard's strongest protest was that the mission of a society to provide ACCURATE info to the members was compromised when sham offerings are released. He felt that to many members, they look to the society for help with their own goal in acquiring useful information, and because the assumption of "If the society is offering this, it must be researched and produced to a higher level of accuracy", the society let them down.

It may be argued that full disclosure of "foobies" is enough for any historical society, allowing these offerings. I feel this is wrong, as any society should have the obligation to promoting prototype and accurate modeling.

BTW, if a society exists in making name train dining car settings, then offering bogus mugs would be shameful. But in our societies, no one is looking to their society to offer well-researched coffee mugs.

I sure wish Richard was still with us to speak up on this issue.
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

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