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Model Railroading > Great Days at Eastbay series... Part 6A.. "Ken Kidder"

Date: 02/16/09 18:51
Great Days at Eastbay series... Part 6A.. "Ken Kidder"
Author: KeyRouteKen

On the O-scale layouts at EBMES on HALLECK Street in Emeryville, we had a number of members who really got into the hobby in a very BIG way.
One of these early O-scale members was "Ken Kidder" who went on to gain a reputation for importing scale models from Japan.
Unfortunately, everyone at EASTBAY were not necessarily friendly toward "Ken" ... Here are some personal observations regarding "Ken Kidder" from my friend and former O-scale modeler "Ken Harrison" (Past President, SPH&TS):

"Ken Kidder was a member of EBMES when he started importing brass O-scale, and later HO scale, traction bodies (I was not then a member, but these recollections are from Paul Icanberry, who was a very close friend of mine). I did later meet Kidder where he worked (The Emporium on Market Street in San Francisco) and he more or less confirmed the events I
will relate here."

"'Kidder', (I have to use his last name because of both Shattock and me, all three of whom are "Kens") made early arrangements to have brass car bodies made in Japan, and he brought them to EBMES for both display and to sell, should anybody be at all interested. I forget if he started with HO or O, but he went very quickly into producing HO 60 foot
Harriman bodies."

"In any event, he never intended to make a lot of money on the project; he just wanted to cover his costs, including trips to Japan. But there was a cadre of (primarily) HO scale members who accused him of using the Society for his personal gain. He was a very sensitive person, and this
hurt him deeply, to the extent that he withdrew from the Society. I always sensed that at that time there was some sort of internal conflict between trolley and mainline modelers. It was probably jealousy, since the O scale traction layout ran so very well and the others were at the
time basically Christmas tree operations in both scales."
Ken Harrison...

Submitted by Ken Shattock (KRK) ...

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