Albert Campbell

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Glenn Brooks posted on

Albert S. Campbell was a railroad machinist by trade. He lived in New York from the 1880's till his death in 1959. He was one of the early live steam pioneers, who produced and sold 100 casting sets of 3-3/16 inch, 4-3/4 inch and 6-1/2 inch gauge engine castings and 25 completed locomotives to steam enthusiasts, starting in 1896.

Glenn Brooks posted on

Campbell was from the New York City and upstate New York area and was an active pioneer in live steam until his death in 1959. He was the first to produce and sell live steam castings for hobby gauge locomotives.
Mr. Campbell sold castings for 3-1/16 inch gauge, 4-3/4 inch gauge, and 6-1/2 inch gauge, and a 12-5/8 inch gauge 4-4-0, but never produced a 7-1/4 inch or 7-1/2 inch gauge engine. One of his highly detailed 1 inch locomotives appears in Frederick Shaw's 1958 Little Railways of the World book (in fact the book is dedicated Campbell), but so far the locomotive itself hasn't turned up. It would be great to know where it is!

From The Model Craftsman, November 1948

Surprising as it may seem, however, there actually was an American manufacturer of complete live steam scale model kits at this time! This was the firm of Olney & Warrin of New York. In the early 1890's they put out blue-prints and sets of castings for a New York Central & Hudson River R. R. 4-4-0 of the 870 series. These were offered in three gauges, 3-1/2 inch, 5-1/4 inch, and 7 inch.

Keith Taylor wrote on

I know EXACTLY what you have! It is a model sold as complete locomotives, or as a set of unmachined castings, by Olney and Warren back in the 1890's It is a model of the New York Central and Hudson River RR No. 870, designed by William Buchannan for the New York Central. You can see a copy of the Olney and Warren ad in the book Little Railways of the World by Frederic Shaw.
You want to find a copy of the book "New York Central's Early Power" by Alvin Stauffer. There is a good sized chapter on the Buchannan 4-4-0's, which are the prototype of your model. There you will get good photos of all of the details of these beautiful locomotives. Note in particular the tender trucks with the semi-eliptical leaf springs mounted above the truck frames. When you are done, you will have a beautiful and historic model. The Olney and Warren models were probably the first commercial offerings of a live steam locomotive model, here in the USA. They were advertised in the Locomotive Engineer's Journal, the magazine of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

From Vintage Machinery:

This firm (Olney & Warrin), established in December 1897 by George H. Olney and Ernest Warrin, is known to have been active through 1932, and perhaps for longer. They were mostly a reseller rather than a manufacturer of woodworking machinery. Obtained from the New York Public Library are a number of ads from the NY Times from 1900 to 1903 for boilers, smoke stacks, steam engines, shafting and pulleys and electric tool post grinders made by Schauer Co. The 1914 Directory of Directors in the City of New York lists "OLNEY, GEORGE H., 66 Centre Street. Olney & Warrin, Dir." Also listed at the same address and firm is "WARRIN, ERNEST... Pres. and Dir.


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