Postcard showing the model of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at the 1931 Model railway Exhibition. Rex Stedman displayed his 6.6 meter long model of the bridge. The actual bridge was designed and built by the British firm Dorman Long of Middlesbrough, and opened in 1932. Given that Stedman built and showed the model in 1931, it is quite possible that it was made on the request of the constructors of the real bridge. Interestingly, the design of the bridge was inspired by that of the famous Hell Gate Bridge in New York, of which Lionel made an equally famous model.
Boxed Model Railways
BMR/S: Boxed Model Railways - Goods. In 1949 the Leeds Model Company introduced their first ever boxed train set. The set pictured has all the cardboard pieces, including the ones protecting the 'Metalway' track.
On the inside of the set box lid there are instructions how to lay and connect the track. Also some suggestions for enlarged layouts.
A postcard was included with each set, to get the official guarantee. The owner of this set never bothered to put in on the post, although LMC already provided the stamp.
BMR/S: Boxed Model Railways - Passenger. Passenger train sets were available in the big four and BR liveries. These contained the 4-4-0 tender locomotive with three bakelite coaches. On the inside of the set box lid, "Goods" was deleted and "Passenger" handwritten. These sets were sold without track.
Power supplies and controllers
EA/26: 6-Speed Reversing Controller, Single Road, 1926-39.
PC/1: A small,Kirdon made, simplified 'PARPAK Three' rectifier and separate speed controller (shown here) was available in conjunction with the train sets offered in the 1950's. These units were finished in black crinkle paint and neatly packaged in brown mock leatherette boxes matching the packaging of the LMC train sets.
LO/M9-M11: 4-Coupled Electric Mechanism. In 1925 the first 8 volt electric motor was introduced. This type was used until 1935.
DM/21-36: 6-Coupled Electric Mechanism. With the introduction in 1935 of the second series of standard Tanks, a low profile electric mechanism was needed. These motors were initially supplied for 6-8 volts D.C., but from 1946 were wired for 12 volts D.C.
From 1949 locos could be bought with a built-in smoke apparatus as in the B.R. 0-4-0 (LD/10/S). The smoke was generated in a die cast box fitted in the loco cabs. The box had an inlet and a outlet port: the inlet connected to a cylinder fitted to the mechanism, the outlet port was connected to the loco chimney.
The loco was supplied with a box of a dozen bottles smoke oil, a funnel and a glass extension.
The puffing action of the smoke apparatus was effectuated through an eccentric mounted on the driving axle, which, via a cranked rod, drove a turned aluminium piston in a brass cylinder mounted on the back of the loco's driving mechanism. To clear the movement of the eccentric, the rear mounting bracket of the driving mechanism had a recess not found on regular mounting brackets.
COP/200: Constructional Set of the L.M.S. Suburban Coach, Rigid Litho rolling stock, 1948-49.
L/12: Constructional Set No. 11 of the L.N.E.R. 0-6-2 tank body from the second series and made under the 'Ellemsee' name, dating it post-1953 (Hans van Dissel collection)
L/49: Constructional Set No. 19A. Complete set of metal parts and castings to produce a 6-wheeled tender. This set is also branded 'Ellemsee'. The original owner started on the kit by soldering the axle boxes to the side frames, but then left off (Hans van Dissel collection).
L/10: Constructional Set No. L10 of the 0-4-0 Saddle Tank body made under the 'Ellemsee' name, dating it post-1953.
Set of Parts for Lithographed Cawoods Private Owner Wagon, 1936-1959. Most of the litho wagons could also be bought as a set of parts. These sets included wooden parts, metal parts and lithographed papers. The packet on top contains the nails. Before WWII these were sold as complete kits (WOS/66), after WWII the wooden- and metal parts (SOP/5) and the lithographed papers (WO/66/L) were separate sets.
SCP/1: Constructional Set No. 14 Kit of the L.N.E.R. Sentinel-Cammell steam rail car and made under the 'Ellemsee' name, dating it post-1953.
Signals, buildings and accessories
Scale Model Signals, 1921-38/39, from left to right:
SO/3: 2-Arm Bracket signal, home, 9 inch post.
SO/1: Signal Arm signal, distant, 9 inch post, flat type finial.
SO/1: Signal Arm signal, distant, 9 inch post, ball type finial.
SO/1: Signal Arm signal, distant, 5 inch post, ball type finial.
SO/1: Signal Arm signal, home, 5 inch post, ball type finial.
SO/1: Signal Arm signal, home, 5 inch post, flat type finial.
SH/5: Upper Quadrant Home Signal, 5 inch post, 1948-59.
SD/5: Upper Quadrant Distant Signal, 5 inch post, 1948-59.
SH/7: Upper Quadrant Home Signal, 7 inch post, 1948-59.
SD/7: Upper Quadrant Distant Signal, 7 inch post, 1948-59.
AO/32: Miniature Automatic Machines, 1924-32.
Railway station accessories supplied by LMC. The set contained (starting from the left): a Weighing machine, a Platform Ticket machine, a Nestle's Milk machine, a Name-Plate machine, a Pillar box and a Multi Sweet, Cigarette and Match machine. All the casting have an embossed 'LMC' on the back. The machines are strapped to a replica insert.
AO/20: Buffer Stop, 1922-39.
AO/31: Rail End Buffer Stop, 1934-59.
AO/10: Signal Box - Cheaper Quality, 1922-39.
In the 1922-23 catalogue high quality scale model buildings were listed including Signal Cabins. A cheaper version Signal Box was listed, but not illustrated. After 1936 the appearance of the buildings changed, and an illustration of this version was included. LMC seem to be unique amongst model railway manufacturers in fitting the steps at the right hand end of the cabin, most other makers cabins seems to be fitted with steps to the left.
SPO/48/10: Lever Frame Constructional Kit, 10 levers, 1949-53.
AO/33: Water Column, 1932-59 (right).
At its peak, the inventory of the Leeds Model Company production numbered a staggering 4.000 parts. Two original pre-war boxes (right) of railway chairs (PW/5), one box still sealed. The box on the left is for the same item, but a late post war Ellemsee box. From the mid 1950s onwards only the 'Ellemsee' name was used.
Boxing and labelling
Locos and rolling stock were packed in plain cardboard boxes with a label. Left a 'R.F. Stedman & Co' box for a locomotive. In the middle an early 'Leeds Model Co' box label and right a LMC box for a locomotive.
The box content was frequently identified with a stamped or handwritten description on a label on one end of the box (left). A rubber stamp with a handwritten description was used too (middle). From 1936 corrugated boxes were introduced for the Bakelite stock (right).
Acknowlegments and links to relevant websites
Much of the information on this site came from David Peacock who runs The Leeds Stedman Trust. The trust was established in 1983 to keep the archives of The Leeds Model Company and R.F. Stedman and Co. The trust provides a service of spares, repairs and technical advice to LMC enthusiasts and continues to promote interest in and appreciation for the products of LMC. In 2011 the Trust also published the book 'The Leeds Model Company 1912-2012: The first one hundred years' by David Peacock. This book can be ordered from the website.
The original LMC catalogues are also a good source of information. Have a look at the LMC catalogue archive of Wilbert Swinkels, with an overview of most of the catalogues and pricelists produced by LMC.
The LMC pages of Ramsay's British Model Trains Catalogue, compiled by Pat Hammond and published by Warners Group Publications, are also a source of information on the range of LMC which was used for this website.
The LMC pages of Collectors Guide to Model Railways, by J. Joyce and published by Argus Books Ltd. in 1977, are also used as a source of information for this website.
The Brighton Toy museum has a 'wiki' page on the Leeds Model Company.
The HRCAA also have a page dedicated to LMC.
Milbro (Mills Brothers Model Engineers) is a supplier who is sometimes confused with the Leeds Model Company. Like LMC, Milbro offered wood-built stock, with or without paper lithos. In the early years Milbro used a lot of LMC parts for their own wagons. The LMC bakelite wagons were also offered in special Milbro versions.
The Western Division of The Train Collectors Association have in their index of manufacturers a page dedicated to LMC.