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James Stanley Beeson 0 Gauge

Description from Auction catalogue, Christie's South Kensington, "Exceptional Scientific & Engineering Works of Art, Instruments & Models", Wed 8 April, 1998.

James Stanley Beeson (1907-1990) was one of three boys with an early interest in model making. He set up in business in 1924 and one of his commissions was for the manufacture of Pickfords' removal vans for publicity purposes. This led on to railways and at one time he was making locomotives and rolling stock for members of the leading North London, model railway club. By 1929 Beeson was supplying model trains for Hollywood films, unfortunately with them ending up being smashed to pieces. He went on to make locomotive models for British films, "The Rome Express" made in 1932, and Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 classic, "The Lady Vanishes".

Most of his models were produced before the Second World War in batches of six or twelve, and distributed through locomotive model manufacturers, including Bassett-Lowke, Edward Exley Ltd, Bonds of Euston Road, Milbro and Premier Models, and sold under their own names. These early engines were said to have been quite plain but beautifully made. Although he worked in the 4 mm and 10 mm scales, as well as 7.25 inch (18.4 cm) live steam models for garden railways, it was his 0-gauge 7 mm models for which he became famous. Beeson made all the wheels, mechanisms and castings for his models and painted them. His fittings were also available as individual items for enthusiasts wishing to make their own models.

After the War Beeson changed his raw materials from tin plate to nickel silver and much more attention was made to the model details, yet still retaining the same exquisite workmanship. By this time Beeson had a modest workshop with lathes and milling machines, however it was Beeson's outstanding ability to cut and manipulate metal with jeweller's piercing saws which made his model making so outstanding. One locomotive model could take 2,500 hours to complete. He was said to be a perfectionist and always considered his next locomotive would be his best. Beeson thought his best work and finest models were made from the 1960s onwards. By the 1970s he was said to be the leading railway model maker in Britain if not the world. Over a 55 year career he had made some 1600 models.

James Stanley Beeson 0 Gauge
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James Stanley Beeson 0 Gauge 
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