The Modern Boy Collection of Famous Railway Engines, 1931 [ebook]


The Modern Boy Collection of Famous Railway Engines, 1931, blue paper folder, 10”x 6”, containing 10 colour plates of railway locomotives the same size, each given weekly with the magazine from January 24th 1931.


The colour plates include two rarities, the only colour illustration which I have ever seen of the LMS experimental high pressure steam locomotive “Fury” and the LNER “Hush-Hush” no. 10,000 in LNER green livery, instead of as usually depicted in grey.

“Fury” was a complex machine, involving three boilers working at up to 1800 psi, mounted on a three cylinder Royal Scot” chassis. Under test on 10th February 1930, there was an explosion, killing a technician on the footplate. While frther testing took place after repairs, it was said that the locomotive covered more miles under tow, than it did plling trains. It was eventally rebuilt as a standard member of the “Royal Scott” class

“The Modern Boy” always cost just 2d (two old pence, when there were 240 pence to the pound) it ran to 523 weekly issues until 12 February 1938. The following week, it was re-launched in a new format as “Modern Boy”. It then ran until 14 October 1939, before production ceased due to wartime paper shortages. One of the main contributors to the magazine was Capt. W.E. Johns, famous as the creator of Biggles. Johns initially painted the cover artwork for issue 98 and went on to submit other paintings and articles. His first signed article was published in issue number 148 (dated 6 December 1930). There is no artist’s signature on any of the locomotive plates, but in style the artwork is very reminiscent of contemporary cigarette cards.  From issue 257, Johns’s ‘Biggles’ stories were published and these ran in many issues until publication ceased in 1939. Firstly, all the individual stories from the first Biggles book (The Camels Are Coming) were published, and eventually Johns’s new books were first published in “The Modern Boy”.


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