John Whitby Allen
Father of Model Railroading
John Whitby Allen
John Whitby Allen was an American model railroader who created the famous HO scale Gorre & Daphetid model railroad in Monterey, California and authored numerous magazine articles on model railroading starting in the 1940s. Allen was renowned for his skill at scratch building and creating scenery and he pioneered the technique of weathering his models to improve realiism.
Biography
John Whitby Allen's personal information overview.
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EDITORIAL; The Clock Is Ticking: Washington needs a strategy to build up a government that Afghans will fight for
NYTimes - over 5 years
A minimally successful end to the Afghan war depends on weakening the Taliban militarily and helping Afghanistan build up a government that won't implode as soon as American troops are gone. President George W. Bush gave the war -- and the rebuilding -- shockingly short shrift. President Obama has devoted far more troops and resources, and the
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Cohn, 95, to retire at end of September - Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Google News - over 5 years
Cohn, 95, is one of the nation's oldest sitting judges and has a length of service that is “unmatched in the history of the country,” said Muscogee County Superior Court Judge John Allen. One of the secrets to Cohn's success and longevity is not
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Allen: Ó hAilpín may return to Cork fold - RTE.ie
Google News - over 5 years
Speaking on Spórt an Luain on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, former Cork hurling manager John Allen said that Jimmy Barry-Murphy's appointment as new Cork hurling manager could herald the return of Seán Óg Ó hAilpín to the team
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ARTS | WESTCHESTER; An Outdoor Exhibition of Cow-Proof Art
NYTimes - over 5 years
GARRISON, N.Y. AN assemblage of colossal toys lies on a grassy field near the entrance to Saunders Farm here: a string telephone made with 30-gallon galvanized metal trash barrels set 50 feet apart, a giant red-and-white badminton shuttlecock and its accompanying 32-foot-long racket, and a full set of jacks, each one weighing close to five pounds.
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John Allen - The Union of Grass Valley
Google News - over 5 years
At his request there will be no services. A celebration of life with be held at a later date. John was born to Robert Allen and Doris Parker Allen in Jos, Nigeria, on Sept. 15, 1956. He is survived by his wife, Robin Allen, of Grass Valley; daughter,
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Relatives of girl who suffocated in box are indicted - Reuters
Google News - over 5 years
Ten year-old Ame Deal's cousin, Samantha Allen, and her husband, John Allen, are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy and multiple counts of felony child abuse in connection with the suffocation death of the girl last month
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In All Probability
NYTimes - over 5 years
THE THEORY THAT WOULD NOT DIE How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines and Emerged Triumphant From Two Centuries of Controversy By Sharon Bertsch McGrayne 320 pp. Yale University Press. $27.50. Sharon Bertsch McGrayne introduces Bayes's theorem in her new book with a remark by John Maynard Keynes: ''When the facts
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Diablos Return Home to Rout from Fort Worth, 20-5 - KTSM News Channel 9
Google News - over 5 years
Left fielder John Allen hit two home runs, and led Fort Worth with three hits, three runs and seven RBI as the Cats topped El Paso 20-5 at Cohen Stadium. After the first three innings, Fort Worth took a 12-1 lead, but the Diablos scored the next four
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Silages have quality rather than quantity - Farmers Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
John Allen of Frank Wright says: “The results of the first 370 samples analysed this year show, that on average, silage quality is encouraging, but as ever there is a huge range which will present some feeding challenges.” He says the Frank Wright
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Majority of displaced teachers going back to work - CanadianBusiness.com
Google News - over 5 years
During last week's School Board meeting, board member John Allen asked the administration why the district is hiring new people when it has not recalled all of its the employees affected by the reduction in force. Allen was referring to a personnel
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of John Whitby Allen
    FIFTIES
  • 1973
    Age 59
    Allen's death was covered in the April 1973 issue of Model Railroader magazine.
    More Details Hide Details It contained an obituary and Allen was featured on the front cover. There was also a retrospective on John Allen in the January 2003 issue of Model Railroader in remembrance of him 30 years after his death. Former Model Railroader editor Linn Westcott's final book, entitled Model Railroading with John Allen, was published posthumously in 1981. Westcott died in 1980 while writing the book. It contained various quotes and photographs from Allen demonstrating his techniques. There is a video about John Allen's railroad by Sunday River Productions called The Gorre & Daphetid with footage shot by Richard Reynolds with a small intro by Glenn Beier who also operated on the G&D. Glenn Beier says "it is the only motion picture ever made of the world's most famous model railroad". Until February 2007, only a VHS copy of the video was for sale. Now both VHS and DVD versions are available.
    In a telephone conversation with Linn Westcott, he suggested that he would drive the last spike in the spring of 1973, and that Linn should come for a visit then.
    More Details Hide Details In 1972, he was already suggesting that things might not be going well, and wondering "what to do with the railroad" in letters to a friend. Ten days after Allen died, some of Allen's friends gathered for an operating session and discussion on the preservation of the railroad in accordance with Allen's wishes. When they left, someone set a furnace in the train room to 65 °F. Allen never used the furnace and had covered it with tar paper. This caused a fire, which was quickly reported and extinguished fast enough to save the house, but it destroyed the final, still-unfinished incarnation of Allen's railroad. The damage was mainly contained to the layout room, and the house was rehabilitated and sold. A few model railroad items attributed to Allen survive and have been authenticated. According to Linn Westcott's book Model Railroading with John Allen ("The Book"), the fire was determined by an investigator have been started from a small gas furnace. John rarely used the furnace, because he liked to keep the house cool, or possibly because it was not vented correctly.
    John Allen suffered a fatal heart attack on the evening of January 6, 1973.
    More Details Hide Details He had previously suffered at least one heart attack during the 1960s. Although he was not feeling well, he worked at completing the Gorre & Daphetid.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1953
    Age 39
    In 1953 he needed more space, and decided to move.
    More Details Hide Details He offered a railroad for sale, with free house. When no one was interested in buying the house with the railroad, he dismantled it. The original by G&D was saved and incorporated into the final version, while other parts were given to friends. John Allen moved to his final house, chosen for its unfinished basement. He dug out the basement, placed a concrete floor, and prepared it for construction of the final layout. He allocated about half the to the layout, the remainder for a workshop and storage. Allen built a scale model of the house to aid in planning, in addition to models of the layout he planned to build. His planning was very thorough. Early plans included the use of real water in scale rivers and lakes. Construction began in January 1954. One feature of the layout was Devil's Gulch, a part of the basement not excavated, but shaped and then concrete was poured over it. Allen constructed the layout almost completely by himself. He devoted the next 20 years to this project.
  • 1946
    Age 32
    He moved into a house in 1946 and began construction of the first version of the Gorre & Daphetid (G&D) model railroad in HO scale.
    More Details Hide Details
    In July 1946 the first of many photographs by Allen appeared in Model Railroader magazine.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1946, John sold his business, invested the money and retired.
    More Details Hide Details He said that he got into model railroading just before the end of the war. Due to a limited supply of hobby materials, he began building things from scratch. He spent a lot of time studying and observing railroads in operation, and how the prototype is built. During this time Allen built models, then meticulously arranged and photographed them.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1934
    Age 20
    In 1934, Allen and his brother went to the World's Fair in Chicago, and saw scale model trains in operation, and he was impressed.
    More Details Hide Details He was attending UCLA studying economics, but switched to art school, which he attended for three years, specializing in photography. There he acquired the skills that set his layout and model photography apart. In 1935, John's paternal grandparents died, leaving him about US$1,900 (then the equivalent of a year's salary for a middle-class man). John invested the money with the help of his brother, and in about 11 years, the value was such that he did not have to work. His investments, combined with a frugal lifestyle, resulted in a sum of over US$500,000 at the time of his death. After completing school, John partnered with another student and opened a photography business in the Westlake Park area of Los Angeles. Before World War II, Allen and his brother visited an uncle living near Oakland who had a model railroad. He became interested in working on it. When the US entered the war, Allen's brother Andrew joined the military, and Allen offered his services as a photo analyst. Visiting his brother, Allen saw Monterey, he partnered with Weston Booth, opening a shop on the main street doing a brisk business photographing servicemen.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1913
    Born
    Born in 1913.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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