New York - 1st Floor HO Layout - 1941-1954?

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A Place For HO Trains

1st floor HO layout 1948
1948 Catalog Cover Photo- Courtesy of
1st floor HO layout 1955
1955 Catalog Cover Photo - Courtesy of

During the years when Gilbert was manufacturing HO trains, the New York Hall of Science always had a place where those trains were displayed.  In later years, they were combined with the large S gauge layouts.  The 2nd floor layout incorporated HO trains between the time of its construction in 1950 and the discontinuation of HO production in 1951 and probably even a bit later since the layout wasn't redesigned to eliminate the HO trackage until 1953.  When HO manufacturing resumed in 1955, the display of HO trains was incorporated into the large Superlayout on the first floor.  

Before all this though, HO trains were displayed on the first floor in a glassed in layout.  Very few photos of this layout exist, but what is probably the best one appears on the covers of the 1948 and 1955 HO catalogs shown above.  The location of the HO layout is visible in the first two photos in this slide show.  Look for the glassed in area with the slanted window pane in the middle of the photo.   The second photo in that slide show is a close up of that area.  In addition, a photo showing the place of the HO layout enclosure on the first floor appears in the following article.   The layout is shown at the far right of Picture 9.

The Gilbert Hall of Science, by Bruce Manson, with Maury Romer - Train Collector's Quarterly, Fall 1980, Vol. 26, No. 5, page 11  Link to this issue and article in the TCQ (available to TCA members only)