Re: Prototype fidelity

Tony Thompson

Dave Evans wrote:

Here is a sad reality check - most Historical Societies are losing all of their former employee members. Members who worked side by side on the real railroad for decades - they joined the societies almost as a retirement club to preserve bonds and fellowship they had before they joined the society, and those members have provided all of us a very valuable service by preserving and disseminating important railroad history.

       Dave may be right about some societies, but the ones I know about which have surveyed their members do NOT find that the bulk of members are former employees only joining for fellowship with guys they worked with. Every society survey of which I know has found that 85 to 90% or more of the membership are modelers first. Of course some may also be former employees, but that is not the primary reason for membership. That is why I believe his premise about losing those former employees is simply incorrect as an implication for the future of societies, And that is also why modeling issues are indeed paramount, including whether or not a society sells foobies, or Thomas the Tank Engine, or for that matter T-shirts, or hats, or socks and underwear. 

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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