Thoughts on the Gorre & Daphetid

SPsteam Mar 16, 2021

  1. SPsteam

    SPsteam TrainBoard Member

    I have also heard that John was quite the prankster, not only devising humorous scenes, but I've also read that he put stick pins in delicate scenery areas to dissuade people from touching it.

    Although a fantasy scheme, he created a real railroad only in HO scale. His skills both in front of and behind the camera inspired many to make the hobby what it is today.
  2. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    This is true. John enjoyed using his odd sense of humor to entertain his guests. I never got to see that but others said that as an evening wore on he would have you laughing.
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  3. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    This is true he raised the standard of the time, for all of us.

    I wondered what purpose the lightning rods served. I new even as a youngster not to reach out and touch something on his layout. I never experienced a pin prick.

    I didn't much like it when my buddies reached out on my layout and moved buildings, to recreate a city scene. I bought toy cars with working wheels so they could play cops and robbers, fireman, ambulance service, take grandma down to watch trains and/or take a tractor out to the farm. Even built an overhead causeway for the cars. Loads of fun.

    I thought about this all day yesterday. John Allen was influenced by a number of layouts that he visited. I wish I could remember the names of the owners. I think one was in Colorado and the other possibly in Texas. He operated trains on these layouts. Took pictures. Some of which were featured in several articles he wrote for the MR wig wags of the time. One was set up to run trains as well as locals and I think this is the one he all but copied.

    So, it's safe to say it wasn't original. It is true his photography set him apart. His layout was the one most publicized and popularized. It became the one to beat.

    Thanks John Allen, for such a gift.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
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  4. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

    BarstowRick: I'm jealous. I wish I could have seen the G&D before it was gone. I did get to switch on John's original timesavers that the PCR had (has). Switching is one of my favorite activities involving trains.

    John was a pro photographer and it was his sense of humor that (IMHO) made it photos so interesting. There was always something somewhere that was funny or entertaining...hanging the diesel salesman is one example, the 'yard switcher' (a plastic dinosaur) was another. Now I need to go dig out my G&D book and do some reading.
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  5. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    By all means dig out those articles.

    It was sad at the end. The word spread quickly that the wooden structure for the layout had burned. At that point it was all but gone. We talked about it later. I guess he wanted to take it with him.
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  6. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

    All I can say is that, at the time it seemed like everyone's layout was a flat 4 by 8 grass mat (sawdust dyed crayola green and glued to a roll of paper) with a styrofoam tunnel parked somewhere over the track, random brightly colored buildings, and perfectly conical trees. The G&D OTOH was a huge terraformed vertical mountain and canyon world with buildings and bridges all in matching states of decrepitude. I'm sure there were others like it, but the G&D got published so as to inspire kids like me.
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  7. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    You can find footage of the Gore & Daphetid on You Tube.

    I hope you enjoyed that.
  8. Martin Station

    Martin Station TrainBoard Member

    I've seen this video before and just enjoyed watching it again. Love the part about the postage stamp! In it's time, before RTR and ready made scenery materials, DCC and other things we take for granted, this was cutting edge and still stands up well today.
  9. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    John Allen is still shaping this hobby, his modeling and photography still influences new hobbyists
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  10. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

    And some more than others!

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  11. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    Yes, Allen was a photographer by trade. One of his clients was Varney and those models show up on dioramas he built for advertising photos.

    I have always admired the G&D. On my former layout is the Northeastern Scale Models replica of his enginehouse, which will appear again in some form on the new layout once I get to that point!

    What I think starts some of the debate about the G&D versus other newer well-known well-done layouts is how "theatrical" it is, for lack of a better term. I think we need to remember the context, though-- what were referred to as "spaghetti bowl" layouts with little if any thought to scenery, never mind on the grand larger-than-life scale that was the G&D's trademark. I believe we have moved away from that towards more "realistic" layouts. But there is simply no match to the Gorre and Daphetid.
  12. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Not sure why the G&D reminds so much of Barstow Ricks Layout....hmmmmmm.;)

    Maybe something about trains going over other trains...going over other trains...that are going over other...................................................:whistle:
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
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  13. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    Who else thought it was "Gore and DAF-e-tid" when you first saw the name?

  14. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Nice one George.

    Well mine is a bit of a spaghetti bowl. I prefer the nick Steve H., gave it, "The folded over pretzel-ed dog bone". His layout is where I got my ideas for a mainline. I wanted a layout where I could run trains, switch industries and have as close as I can get to a working coal district. We have to keep the power on and lights burning. Or at least we used to think that way.

    I didn't want to copy John Allen's layout but he influenced me in a big way. The train over train, over train ...over train....bridges lot's of bridges. Which is John Allen's, thing for sure.

    Scenery has been planned, right along with the track configuration. It won't be easy to make it look natural. Did I say that? Yep, I did.

    John Allen wasn't the first but his publicity of and photographic abilities set it apart from most layouts (as already noted) of the time.

    Glad to see that so many still speak well of it.
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  15. spyder62

    spyder62 TrainBoard Member

    Well John inspired many a kid to get in the hobby and I think still does. Know when I get my first train set back in the early 50's and started to get magazines his articles and photos get me going. i still enjoy looking at his work either the layout photos or just the buildings and rolling stock and think what he could do today. Think it would still be years ahead of most.
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  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    I sure did. Funny how that works.
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  17. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

  18. Rossford Yard

    Rossford Yard TrainBoard Member

    I think he also had a scene where they (probably the roundhouse steam maintenance crew) were hanging a diesel locomotive salesman.
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  19. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    I have always admired his work. However there was or is another master out there, George Selios whose Franklln and South Manchester eclipsed John Allen's work.
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  20. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    WOWSERS ~!!!!!! Now there is a labor of love ! :):):):)(y)(y)(y):whistle::whistle:
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