When we launched this site in the Spring of 2013, we wrote that we hoped that these FAQ’s would eventually develop into a valuable online resource for modellers of the Maine Two Footers across different times and places. Four years later, and we will let you be the judge of those hopes and this site.
The core content was developed from an updated version of the original MaineOn2 FAQ’s first published in the Summer of 2003 by the late Bill Kerr (pictured below), and we have now added to and expanded the scope to related areas and topics.
Picture: Bill Kerr and a fellow hiker enjoying a joke before sitting down for his birthday lunch out in the boonies.
Bill originally published the FAQ’s on a stand alone web site, hosted at his own expense to overcome limitations on file sizes and linking of files then available within the Yahoo! Groups format. He named the site “The MaineOn2 FAQ’s” and is on record as referring to them as “this groups FAQ’s” on both of the Yahoo! Groups that he moderated (MaineOn2 and Maine Two Footers). When suitable information arose from discussions in the public domain, Bill and others collected and edited the content to add to the FAQ’s. Bill published the following as a header to his original version of the FAQ’s;-
This FAQ will attempt to answer most questions new members may have about modelling in On2. Standard disclaimer about information. It is more than an FAQ. Some information will address some common misconceptions, or update previous published information that has been determined to be in error. Information will be incorporated as it is provided. In many respects this will be used to alleviate the problems of attempting to search past postings at the Yahoo site for previous request for information. My thanks to the Maine Two Footers, MaineOn2, HOn30, and 7-8 Inch Scale Trains Yahoo! groups where I have obtained much of the information from posts to those sites. Thank you to Walter Orloff, Terry Smith, Robert Werner, John Hitzeman, Trevor Marshall, Keith L. Lewis-Jones for their contributions.
The stand alone website was inadvertently lost whilst Bill was changing ISP in 2010. At the time, Bill was focussing on his Selkirk Scenery business, but still found time to search his old PC’s and build up a rough working version of most of the FAQ’s in HTML web format from assorted backups dating from 2005 to 2007.
Bill asked a small group of trusted friends (Trevor Marshall, Terry Smith and Herb “Matt” Mathews) for help in bringing this version up to date as some topics had moved on considerably from the back-ups. During this updating, Bill expressed sympathy for authors who had given their best shot in difficult circumstances with restricted information when better information was later discovered;-
“…..be aware that new photographs and other information are still turning up, and that this may cast new light or interpretations on what in all intellectual honesty (or by professional research standards) have been guesses by knowledgeable amateurs (at best) in the past. Try to understand what various people write or say and make your own decisions about their evidence for supporting their positions and comments. Recognise that a photograph may be wrongly captioned or mis-interpreted, even if it has been published a number of times”.
In 2005 Bill also established a separate MaineOn2 pictures FAQ using Fotopic as the hosting service. In March 2011, without notice, Fotopic went offline and it was believed that all the picture collections had been completely lost. However, in the Fall of 2012, Fotopic allowed temporary access to a back-up copy from several months earlier than the shutdown. This access has enabled most of the MaineOn2 FAQ pictures to be downloaded and the original galleries, albums and content to be rebuilt and re-published here.
By this time, (the Fall of 2012), Bill was fighting a return of the cancer which would ultimately result in his demise, and he asked the friends to ensure that the material collected was still made available to interested parties, and expressed particular concern that the original authors should be credited with their contributions.
After some discussions and trials, we took the group decision to use the blog format for re-publication, as it was more accessible for us as a group, avoiding the need to use HTML coding (which none of us then knew) and could be used to re-publish both the pictures and much of the original content of the written FAQ’s. Bill saw the first topics and pages posted, and encouraged us to continue with this format.
Our initial work in the Spring of 2013 focused on re-publishing the pictures FAQ’s as this was the simpler way to get started and establish a framework for the blog version. We now know that some of the original pictures were lost, and we have endeavoured find new copies. Some of the pictures that did survive (mainly trucks and wheels) are poor when viewed on the blog and we still plan to re-shoot these, at some time.
Later in the first year, our focus changed to checking, updating and re-publishing the written content of the FAQ’s, in sections, in configurations for the blog format. In a number of cases, the information has been presented in a different form or style to the original FAQ’s, in particular where the original HTML web based version used some large tables of small text. This type of transfer has so far resisted our efforts at publishing them on the blog.
In our second year, we focused on consolidation and more prototype information; we were fortunate that both Maynard Stowe and Mark Hall wrote about their work producing the Putnam & Stowe and The Forney Co/Portland Products 0-4-4T Forney locomotives respectively; and to receive permission from Chuck Collins to reproduce his prototype locomotive information previously published on his now defunct website.
Our third year continued the focus on consolidation and more prototype information; we transferred Trevor Marshall’s track schematic’s to this blog from their temporary home buried in the MaineOn2 group files and were fortunate to be allowed to publish Dwight Smith’s pictures of his visit to Bridgton in the 1940’s. Terry Smith finally managed to update the posting about Tin Roofs and Colour Schemes – as noted elsewhere, Terry was working on an update to the HTML web version of this posting when that site went down in 2010.
Our fourth year of publication has seen a mix of new topics filling in the history of the smaller suppliers active in the early 1970’s combined with re-publishing some old topics from the earlier web and Fotopic FAQ’s to show exceptional layouts and modeling from Ric Collins, Peter Barney and Bob Harper.
We welcome any on-topic comments about the content and presentation of the current FAQ’s and in particular, any pictures and/or posts which are incorrectly attributed.
We also welcome any offers of additional information or pictures.
Please use the “message” or “reply to” facility to contact us.
We reserve the right to edit comments and/or replies for content before publication. Off topic comments will not be published. If you do not want your reply to be published or your name to appear, then please advise us in your message. Please use a real name to sign your reply, as we prefer to deal with known human beings rather than “B&SR#7”.
“The small print”;- While every effort has been taken to ensure that the contents of this FAQ are as complete, accurate and up-to-date as possible or as otherwise stated at the date of writing or publication, we (the friends as hosts/publishers of this blog and the contributing authors) are not able to give any guarantee or assurance that this will be the case at some later date.
We (the friends as archivists/hosts/publishers of this blog and the contributing authors) do not accept responsibility or legal liability for any errors in the text or for the misuse or misapplication of material in this FAQ.
Readers should be aware that Internet websites listed in this FAQ may have changed or disappeared in the period between when the topic was written and when it is read.
Please advise us if you find links not working as expected, or if external referenced websites are no longer valid. We welcome any suggestions for improved links both within these FAQ’s and to external sites.
And finally, we hope that you enjoy your visits here, and find the information useful,
Trevor, Matt & Terry
2nd May 2017.