Monday, September 29, 2014

Passing of Dale Edwards

Recently we seem to have had a number of passings of luminaries in the hobby and the recent passing of Lawrence "Dale" Edwards adds to the list.  He was the co-founder of Kadee and Micro-Trains with his brother.  This passing was announced by his son-in-law Alan Vezzani whose tribute is reproduced below with permission

Lawrence “Dale” Edwards Sr.
Co-founder of Kadee®
February 1921 –September 2014

A True Pioneer in Model Railroading, Dale Edwards was the “D” in Kadee and his identical twin Keith was the “K”.
The twins started Kadee in the mid 40’s and created the first knuckle couple that actually looked and worked like the real ones.  With several improvements on the original design, the Magne-matic® metal knuckle coupler became an instant hit.  Today, the knuckle coupler is the de-facto standard in Model Railroading.
In, 1961 they designed and built the twin rail spiker that allowed modelers to lay their own track by driving miniature spikes over the toe of the rail holding it in place.  In the 70’s they began to produce a line of freight cars that were noted for their detail and accuracy in N scale.  These Micro-Trains® were the finest detailed ready to run rolling stock built.  
In 1990 the twins decided to split the company with Dale taking Kadee with the HO couplers and larger and Keith with the Micro-Trains line N Scale and smaller.  With the impending expiration of the coupler patent, Dale knew he had to create something innovative and “special” that would leapfrog the competition and began developing a brand new model of the PS1 40’ boxcar.   The work to create all the tooling for the molds and die making would take accuracy, detail and meticulous craftsmanship in order to have operational moving doors, see through roof walks and scale grab irons and ladders.  This was once again, done ALL in house.
Dale was also responsible for the creation of the “Whisker” coupler centering system he designed in the mid 80’s.  However, application of the Whisker stalled until 2006 when a suitable wire was created.
Dale had his hand in developing more than 40 patents and Kadee now manufactures couplers, components, HO RTR rolling stock and accessories made of metal and plastic in HO scale through G scale all made entirely in White City, Oregon. 
Dale believed in the American dream, his employees and vision to make the best possible products with the quality people he employed while doing so all under one roof as to not sacrifice quality nor lose control of supply chains.
Dale was preceded in death by his older sisters Wilda and Nathie, older brother Al, his wife Grace and twin brother Keith. 
His five children Larry, Jacque, Bonnie, Melinda and Doug and his many grandchildren will miss him greatly.
Dale’s legacy and business Kadee will continue manufacturing America’s finest model railroading products for years to come.  Because that’s the way he wanted it!!!
May God, Bless Dale as he fulfilled his love of trains which was his passion, his life and legac    

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