History of TT Scale (con't.)
TT was almost like HO

TT was almost like HO
by Harold Carstens
The title above was the start of an editorial which appeared in a 1980 issue of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN and was written by Harold Carstens editor and publisher of the Craftsman. He has graciously allowed us to reprint the editorial in its entirety.

"Following World War II, a new scale called TT started up.  It was invented by Harold P. Joyce, a machinist, who was able to produce his own brand of HP Products all-metal trains in 1/10" scale (1:120 proportion).  Joyce reasoned that there was a market for a line of trains smaller than HO, and his 1/10" scale locomotives were able to utilize the smaller size HO motors then available.  TT was termed an all-American scale, since it didn't bother with "foreign metrics" as did HO, and (initially) it lacked the detail by then inherent in HO, which apparently appealed to many modelers.  Less intimidating, perhaps.  Cost approximated HO.

Not long after that, I met a graphic arts teacher named Sherman Dance, who lived only a few blocks away.  Sherm had dabbled in HO for years and did free-lance printing on the side.  He'd long since discovered that he could knock out good-looking printed car sides on his printing press, and even provide custom road names.

Dance finally took the plunge into TT, first with a layout of his own and then with a very extensive line of TT freight car kits manufactured under the Gandy Dancer label.  Gandy Dancer was a part-time basement operation, and Sherm even cut most of the wood himself.  Special parts came from HP and other suppliers.

The very first kit to roll off the Gandy Dancer assembly line was a Hiram Walker Gin reefer which Sherm gave to me for assembly.  It followed the traditional prewar HO wood-car-with-paper-sides construction technique, a method which can still provide a highly satisfactory model.

Soon other manufacturers were also making TT equipment, and the Gandy Dancer line grew to a point where Dance finally had to make the decision to give up teaching or sell Gandy Dancer.  For personal reasons, he chose to sell Gandy Dancer.

TT slowly faded to its resent minuscule interest level, a departure hastened by the advent of N scale.  N scale possessed the one major factor TT didn't have: a size sufficiently distant from HO to make a truly different in appearance. (TT cars were about the size of HOn3 equipment.  In fact, after leaving TT manufacturing, Sherm go back into HO and HOn3, and many of his HOn3 cars had a familiar look.)"

Thanks to member Dennis Martin for bringing the above article to our attention and supplying us with a copy.

Elmer McKay
The Sign-Man

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Last up-date 10-4-2000