A reader from the United Kingdom was kind enough to send some generous and constructive feedback on my history of scale modeling in the P87 article from volume 03 of The Missing Conversation. He noted the following:

It was Henry Greenley, not Horace who imported the first scale models from Germany.

George and Robert Stephenson were father and son, not brothers as I indicated.

I also eluded to EM gauge at one point but didn’t cover it in the article. I know nothing about EM gauge and didn’t want to display anymore of my ignorance than I already had. My reader was kind enough to send a couple of informative links from the E. M. Gauge Society for those with further interests in it.



I appreciate this kind of feedback as it helps us all become more knowledgable about the rich history of our hobby. I also apologize for some pretty basic and inexcusable errors in research and proofreading.



  1. Ed Kozlowsky

    As often as I read about EM I still have trouble remembering what it is without looking it up. None of the explanations I’ve ever read say what EM actually stands for. If they did, I’d more likely remember.

  2. mike

    Hi Ed,
    While I’m not 100% certain, I believe it stands for eighteen millimeters, a reference to the track gauge. I could be mistaken on this. Any of our readers know with certainty?


  3. Dunks

    Yes. 18mm was the original gauge, and hence the moniker.
    But model followed prototype (standard gauge was once 4.2/3 feet) and to allow for going round curves, etc, the gauge was widened at some stage to 18.2mm.

    OK, so it works out at 4’6″, or 4’6.6″ if you prefer, but it is a big step forward from 00 whilst allowing for slightly overscale wheel widths. 00, at 4’1.5″ gauge has been copied (accidentally or not) by the 1:29 scale/45mm gauge hybrid.

    And then, the prototype followed the model: many railroads in the Eastern US cannot, or could not, accept double-stacks, etc, without lowering the tracks.

    Incidentally, George was the father, and Robert the son. Robert was an absolute genius – even Brunel admired him – but did not (need to?) work as hard as his father. They struck it rich by discovering coal whilst building a railway line.

    Hope that helps – have only just found about this site, and missed out on the free issue 3, so do not know how far you went (yet – I will subscribe!) but I hope you managed to give S scale the proper recognition as a finescale pioneer in the UK.

    Or maybe that is another story…

  4. mike

    Hi Simon,


    We appreciate the fine work being done by our friends in the UK. I appreciate your interest in the publication and I’m glad to have you abroad. We currently don’t offer subscriptions to TMC. You can purchase volumes as they come out on a quarterly basis. Volume 04 is due in late March/early April. Volumes 01-03 are all available from this site (just go to the Order Publications tab on the menu bar at the top of the page).

    I’m afraid the coverage of S scale isn’t going to be there for you. Finding material on the scale was rather difficult in the short time I had to put the volume together. The saving grace with a digital publication is the ability to return to a topic at will, when an excellent source of solid material becomes known. S scale deserves more coverage than it has gotten recently.

    I request that folks sign their comments so we all know who is speaking.

    Kindest regards,
    Mike Cougill