Re: Prototype fidelity

Tony Thompson

Andy Carlson wrote:

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.

      Andy says it exactly right, in my opinion. If a historical society cannot make financial ends meet except by issuing foobies, maybe they have exceeded their "sell by" date. If they will not be sticklers for accuracy, who will? And UNDISCLOSED foobies really are a dreadful act by an organization claiming to preserve history.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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