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J. N. Maskelyne

Railway Drawings, Locomotive Drawings, Engineer

  Rock n Romance Vintage, Authentic 1940s and 50s Inspired Style Clothing
John Nevil Maskelyne, b. 3rd January, 1892, d. May,1960
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Titles to Look Out For:
1962. A Further Selection of Locomotives I Have Known
1934, June. Real Railway Topics [The Model Railway News, Vol. 10, No. 114, p. 166]

About the Author:
J. N. Maskelyne lived and breathed railways and he is world famous for the very fine quality of drawings he produced based on a lifetime's interest in railways that manifested itself in hours spent at stations and locomotive running sheds and in reading about them and studying them. The drawings are perfect for railway modellers trying to get accurate details and proportions on their locomotives. The attention to detail in each drawing is terrific; J. N. Maskelyne was a true perfectionist and corrected minor errors until they were right

Grandfather: John Nevil Maskelyne (1839-1917)- world-famous illusionist (with partner Cooke)
Father: Nevil Maskelyne- world-famous illusionist
Brother: Jasper Maskelyne- world famous illusionist
Brother: Noel Maskelyne

Private school at Wandsworth
St. Paul's School
King's College, London University - where he studied engineering

Work life:
Technical training with Vickers at Erith in Kent
Joined Waygood-Otis, lift and escalator manufacturers and installers

When his father died in 1926, John Nevil had been working for Otis for 12 years. Four years later he was to leave the company and set himself up as a private consultant, by which time he was already regularly contributing to 'Model Railway News', writing a regular feature called "Real Railway Topics" from 1928 onwards. In January 1936, he was offered the editor's position in the magazine, which he accepted. He kept this position until September 1957, when he retired from it to become Consulting Editor; whilst Mr. Roy Dock became assistant editor. Retirement did not prevent him from continuing to pen his "Real Railway Topics", of which the last was sadly the June 1960 article about an engine photographed at Stanley Junction (possibly No. 103 of the Highland), the publication of which he didn't live to see.
His brother Noel Maskelyne wrote an appreciation of the author in Model Engineer on May 18, 1960, soon after his death.

Interesting Facts:
J. N. Maskelyne built the lift in the Queen's doll's house which was given to Queen Mary in 1920 as a national token of affection. He became interested in modelling from helping his father and grandfather - the world famous illusionists - make models for their stage shows.
He accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh round the 1952 Model Engineer National Models Exhibition, an exhibition in which he was chief judge on several occasions.
He was an accomplished pianist and organist and is known to have additionally turned his hand to composing

He liked natural history and photography and was an amateur astronomer

In the 18th Century, his ancestor Nevil Maskelyne was the astronomer royal and observed the transit of Venus from St. Helena. This ancestor also worked on measuring the Earth's density, proposing an experiment to do just that to the Royal Society; he also founded the 'Nautical Almanack', and published the first astronomical observations from Greenwich's observatory

He opened the Railway Tavern in Liverpool Street Station

He was Associate of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers from 1919
He was honorary member of the Society of Model and Experimental Engineers from 1917
He was a member of the Newcomen Society and vice president of several model railway clubs

On Amazon:
Maskelyne, J. N. 'A Further Selection of Locmotives I Have Known', published in 1962 in Great Britain by Percival Marshall & Co., in hardback with dustjacket, 71pp. Condition: Good to very good clean condition with some very slight wear to dj. DJ is not price-clipped. Price: £16.55, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard charge (currently £2.75 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1962. Percival Marshall
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  • A Further Selection of Locomotives I Have Known [top]
    Includes chapter 'The man who watched the trains go by' written by Joseph Martin
    First published in 1962 in Great Britain by Percival Marshall & Co. in hardback with dustjacket, 71pp
    Original UK retail price: 30 shillings

Contents/synopsis: Contains 34 drawings by J. N. Maskelyne following on from the first volume of his drawings published in 1959 under the title 'Locomotives I Have Known', after which he sadly passed away.

The drawings in this book have been produced to conform to the style of the 'Locomotives I Have Known' publication and as such a General Specification panel is present with each set of drawings. Some dimensions on the drawings are not present because the author did not give them on the papers he left upon his death and it is likely that they are not available. The publishers did not try and rectify this in order to present the author's work in as original a state as possible. In the chapter written by Noel as an appreciation of his brother after he passed away, some examples are given of the drawings that J. N. Maskelyne corrected until he felt they were perfect, and the tiny adjustments demonstrated give a good idea of the extent to which he would go to make them accurate. The eye for detail is what makes his drawings perfect for railway modelling.

Review: The book is fascinating not just for its drawings and detail, but the quick and easy style of the author in telling the history of each class of locomotive, why he likes them, where he saw them running and any interesting stories that go with them make for very easy and attentive reading. You just don't want to put the book down. The chapter on Britain's First Pacific is a notable example of well-written journalistic smoothly flowing text filled with interesting asides and facts, for example the incident when The Great Bear locomotive's tender tank filler flap was left open and flooded the first coach; and the reasons Churchward was misunderstood by the GWR directors. Read it and enjoy!

General Specification Panel includes:
Cylinders diameter and stroke
Boiler length between tubeplates and maximum diameter
Firebox length inside and outside
Tubes: number of, and diameter
Heating Surface in square feet of tubes, firebox and in total
Grate area in square feet

Locomotives Included:
LB & SCR 2-2-2 Express Engine No.325, Abergavenny
LB & SCR 0-4-2 Express Engine No. 180, Arundel (William Stroudley's Celebrated Gladstone Class)
LB & SCR 2-6-0 Mixed Traffic No. 337 (Brighton Class K Moguls)
LB & SCR 0-4-4 Tank Engine No. 388 Emsworth (Billinton's 0-4-4 Tanks, of which No. 365 - formerly Victoria - achieved the distinction of being the only railway engine ever to have destroyed an enemy aircraft on Nov. 28, 1942 on the coast line between Brighton & Chichester)
LB & SCR 0-6-2 Tank Engine No. 587 Brighton (Billinton's E5 Class 0-6-2T)
GWR 2-4-0 Tank Engine No. 3586 (The Dancers: Great Western Metro Tanks)
GWR 2-4-0 Tank Engine No. 972 (The Small Metro Tanks)
GWR 0-6-0 Tank Engine No. 1925 (Saddle Tanks)
GWR 2-4-0 Tank Engine No. 1 (Experimental engine produced at Swindon, May 1880)
GWR 0-4-4 Tank Engine No. 34 (William Dean's 0-4-4 Tank)
GWR 4-4-2 Tank Engine No. 4600 (GWR light suburban engine)
GWR 2-2-2 Express Engine No. 999 Sir Alexander
GWR 2-2-2 Express Engine No. 165 (The Last 2-2-2 in regular service)
GWR 2-4-0 Express Engine No. 3248 (Dean's 3232 Class)
GWR 2-4-0 Express Engine No. 1334
GWR 4-4-0 Express Engine No. 16 Brunel (The Armstrong Class)
GWR 4-4-0 Express Engine No. 3373 Atbara
GWR 2-6-0 Goods Engine No. 2632 (The GWR 'Aberdares')
GWR 0-6-0 Goods Engine No. 143
GWR 4-6-2 Express Engine No. 111 The Great Bear (Britain's First Pacific)
SECR 0-4-4 Tank Engine No. 356 (Q Class Tank Engines)
SECR 4-4-0 Express Engine No. 651 (Kirtley's 4-4-0 Ms)
LSWR 0-6-0 Goods Engine No. 148 (The Adams Goods Engines)
LSWR 0-4-4 Tank Engine No. 328 (Drummond's M7 0-4-4 Tanks)
LSWR 4-4-0 Express Engine No. 464 (Dugald Drummond's D15 Class)
LNWR 2-2-2 Express Engine No. 1 Saracen (The Ladies of the Lake)
LNWR 0-6-0 Goods Engine No. 1244 (The 'Cauliflowers' or 'Crested Goods')
GER 2-4-0 Mixed Traffic No. 1
GCR 4-4-0 Express Engine No. 437 (Charles Sacrés 437 Class 4-4-0 Engines)
MR 4-2-2 Express Engine No. 2602 (The Midland's Last Singlewheelers)
MR 4-4-0 Express Engine No. 1034 (Midland Railway Compounds)
NER 2-4-0 Express Engine No. 1478 (The North Eastern Tennants)
CR 4-4-0 Express Engine No. 767 (Caledonian Railway No. 767)

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