Upward Mobility: 1908 – This is the title of a Shorpy photo. It is of Cincinnati, Ohio c.1908 of the “Mount Adams Incline”. This is one of my favorite Shorpy photos – you can lose yourself for hours examining every piece of the photo. There is detail upon detail. My attention was drawn to a small detail – the red arrow is pointing at the top of a steep cobblestone hill. This area is very interesting in itself as we have buildings climbing this steep hill to an almost hidden culvert sticking out of the ground.


Not much is showing of the culvert – just the top. The opening is barely visible. It seems to me that the culvert must have been there prior to the road – or at least prior to paving as the road has kind of flowed around and almost over it. While here – take a look at the small detail of the steps that climb up and left into the vacant yard. Someone took the time to build those steps and lay the brick walk complete with curb. There is a story here – in 1908.


I was reminded of that old culvert from the Shorpy photo when I was looking at this area of my layout. Why I have no idea but it came to me that a small culvert here would add a bit of ‘pop’ .. I remembered the photo.

The next step was to see what I could make one from. I could simply use a piece of tubing .. but …


I remembered that I had extra castings I had made when I scratch built my coke ovens The upper portion of the oven casting would work I thought .. with some modification.


In fact I carved away everything except the the arch of bricks across the top. I then took a piece of Evergreen 1/2″ tubing and glued the arch of bricks to that. I then sprayed the assembly with a brick color.


Now it was simple to carve out a bit of the ground – love that blue foam .. and glue the culvert in place.


Once the glue had dried I returned to color the area to match the surrounding rock. I then used one of my favorite scenic materials, what is called ‘Paver Base’. This is for use under paving stones and I got a bag at Lowes – like 40 lbs for about $3.50 – is is actually decomposed granite. I sift mine through various screens. Great stuff.

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