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Fake MOPAC Calendars
A reproduction of the 1943 version is shown at right along with a real version below that. Click on either image for a larger version. In comparing the two, you will note the awkward border alignment on the fake, versus the more uniform border on the original. This is due to minor differences in the size of the cardstock -- the "fake" is 3 1/2 by 2 1/4 inches, while the original is 3 5/8 by 2 1/16 inches.
These are nice reproductions, and a set of them makes an attractive display, if purchased at a "reproduction" price. The problem comes when they are misrepresented and sold as originals, at "original calendar" prices. [Posted March, 2010.]
In 1948, Missouri Pacific replaced their steam (Sunshine Special) perpetual calendar with an attractive Eagle version. The calendar had cardstock numeral and month cards and was manufactured by the Donaldson Art Sign Company of Covington, KY. The calendar body itself is painted sheet metal with cardboard backing.
In recent years, a reproduction calendar has been made for a single year, 1944. The graphics are a reasonably good rendition of the original, enough that some collectors have argued that this is a legitimate MoP advertising calendar. Unfortunately, that premise is proven totally false when one compares the "1944" calendar on the fake with a true 1944 calendar. In 1944, both January 1 and July 1 fell on a Saturday, but on the 1944 fake, those dates fall on Tuesday.
When purchased simply for the attractive graphics at a modest cost, the reproduction makes an attractive display piece, but when purchased at a high price by an unsuspecting collector, it discourages new collectors at a time when "new blood" in the hobby is badly needed.
Shown below left to right: (1) original MP perpetual calendar, (2) fake 1944 calendar, (3) close up of fake 1944 dates, (4) accurate 1944 calendar dates. Click on any image for a larger version.
[Posted February, 2019. Our thanks to Bill Pollard.]