Re: Train-Master vs. Train-Miniature

Schuyler Larrabee

“Champion was never in SoCal: Champion was never in SoCal”

I am not sure that is entirely true.  It’s my understanding (though I have no documentation) that Champion was begun by Max Gray, who was interested in providing accurate decals for the models he imported.  At some point, Richard Meyer bought that part of Max’s business and set it up as a separate company.  MG was in Southern California, and I believe that Mr. Meyer was also at the time he bought the decal business, and then he later moved to Minot, ND.


I said no documentation, but Google presents this:


Which leads you to this:,you%20all%20the%20very%20best.


That doesn’t prove that Champ was originally in SoCal, but that’s been my impression for quite some time.




From: <> On Behalf Of Richard Bale via
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2020 3:55 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Train-Master vs. Train-Miniature



There's lots of good information on your chart. Thanks for publishing it. Here is some additional notes to fill-in a few of your boxes:


Athearn was purchased by the Geddes Family, than by Horizon Hobby

Bowser was founded by William “Bill” Bowser

Champion was never in SoCal

Globe was originated by Hal Prendergast and purchased by Athearn

The founders of Kadee were Keith and Dale Edwards

Lindsay was subsequently purchased by Kemtron

Model Die Casting was established by Charles Voelckel and Clarence Menteer. It was eventually acquired by Horizon Hobby

Silver Streak was originated by Hal Prendergast, purchased by Athearn, than sold to Mr. Menzies of G&G Hobby Supply, San Dimas.

Ulrich was subsequently purchased by Walthers

Weston Mini-Figures was purchased by Campbell Scale Models


In a message dated 6/25/2020 4:29:22 PM Pacific Standard Time, chiefbobbb@... writes:


1950s Southern California Model RR Manufacturers

I've had discussions with several people who are/were model railroad manufacturers and asked them about their fellow model railroad manufacturers who were in Southern California in the 1950s. This was golden age locally with many firms located in the area.

I learned in those days long past the manufacturers were somewhat of a fraternity who frequently met socially (usually monthly) to discuss the hobby and product plans.

Sometimes they traded product lines that were either in development or on the market.  

I started to compile a list of Southern California manufacturers from the decade of the 1950s. The current list is below. It is based on advertisements placed in Model Railroader in the 1950 through 1959 January issues plus interviews with folks who were still alive to confirm details.

One point I will mention is how to pronounce the name "Suydam". I learned from the son of one of the company founders that it is pronounced "So Damn", as in "It is so damn hot outside".

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


1950s Southern California Model RR Manufacturers



Primary Products


Original Owner(s)

Subsequent Owner(s)








Long Beach



Ace Products





Art Fleming Models

Grab Irons, Car Kits

Studio City




O & HO Models

Los Angeles

Irvin R. Athearn


Ayres Models


Garden Grove

Thomas Ayres



Track Cleaner

Santa Barbara



Beemax Plastics


Los Angeles



Bert Welch Co.

Trees & Bushes

Los Angeles



Bill Johnson Model Trains

O Scale Passenger Cars

Long Beach



Binkley Models

HO, HOn3 Kits




Blue Line Products

Passenger Cars

Spring Valley




Steam Loco & Parts



Lewis English (1961)

Boxcar Ken


Los Angeles



Budd Model Co.

Steam Loco Parts

Sherman Oaks



C. J. Ulrich

Track Cleaner, Signals

North Hollywood

Charles J. Ulrich


Central Valley

Trucks, Car Kits

North Hollywood

George Hook

Jack Parker, Jeff Parker

Champion Model Co.


North Hollywood



Cliff Line

Caboose Kit

North Hollywood




O & HO Couplers

South Pasadena



Don Fowler Co.

Semaphore, Crossing Gate, Wig-Wag

Los Angeles



E. Suydam & Co.


Pasadena, Duarte

Edward C. Suydam, Douglas R. Suydam


Electronic Sales Co.

Power Supplies, Motors, Controls

Los Angeles



G. L. Electronics

Power Supplies, Motors, Controls

Los Angeles








Hi-Ballers Corp.

Link & Pin Couplers, Car Kits




Joseph B. Maier

Live Steam Loco Plans







Dale Edwards


Kurtz-Kraft Models Co.

Signals,Switch Machines, Car Kits, Parts

Long Beach, Tarzana

Albert Kurtz, Jr.


KWR, Inc.


Los Angeles



Lindsay Products, Inc.

Locomotives, Motors, Spiker

Culver City

Robert Lindsay


Little Engines

Live Steam Loco & Parts




Mod-Ac Mfg. Co.

Hansom Cab

Los Angeles



Model Builder's Supply Co.

Hot Metal Car, Water Tank




Model Die Casting

Couplers, Handcars, Paint

Los Angeles

Clarence Mentier


Model Engineering Works

O & HO Parts, Kits


Richard Wheeler


Model Toy Mfg. Co.





Modelcraft Printing Services

Doors, Windows




Models & Miniatures Specialties

Scenery Supplies

San Dimas




Structures, Billboard Posters




Moyes J. Murphy

Power Supplies





Builders Plates

Los Angeles



Pacific Design & Development Co.


El Segundo



Pactra Chemical Co.


Los Angeles




Train Sets


Lewis H. Glaser



O & HO Locomotive, Cars

Universal City



Rollins House Miniatures

Detail Parts

Covina, Cucamonga



Silver Streak Corp.

Car Kits

Los Angeles



Standard Wire & Cable

Power Supplies, Motors, Controls

Culver City



Stewart-Lundahl Co.

Paint (310M)

North Hollywood



Town-Craft Models

O & HO Structures

Hermosa Beach




Track & Roadbed

San Dimas

August A. Kniff

Cliff Meistel

W. H. Olson

Builders Plates

Los Angeles



Wesley Mfg. Co.

Cannonball Products, Ore Cars

Van Nuys



Western Narrow Gauge Model Shop

Track Gauge




Zenith Model Co.

Power Supplies

Los Angeles








Clover Custom Decals


Santa Monica



Silver Streak (Truce Scale))

Car Kits

San Dimas



K & O Models

Locomotive, Power Pack

Van Nuys



G. F. Harbin


San Dimas



Gaylord Products

Power Supplies, Controls

Van Nuys























Wright Enterprises/MHP


Thousand Oaks

Dick Wright




1950 Champ decals in North Hollywood, 1951 Champion Decal Co. in Fresno, 1959 in San Jose

1950 Kurtz-Kraft in Burlingame, 1953 in Long Beach, 1955 in Oroville

Olson-Spencer probably same as W. H. Olson

1958 Weston Mini-Figure Co. in Healdsburg

1959 Clover Decals in  Santa Rosa

1959 Cal-Scale in Pinedale



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