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They Should Have Kept the Bear

Ted Brebeck's fascinating little 1995 book entitled "They Should Have Kept the Bear" (ISBN # 0-9628337-1-1) is subtitled "The OK Miniature Engine Collector's Reference". This is a pretty apt description - the book is a must-have for anyone retaining any interest at all in the range of OK model engines produced by the Herkimer Tool & Model Works of Herkimer, New York between 1938 and 1964. At one point in time, this was the largest-scale model engine manufacturing operation in the world.

The 72 page softcover book sets out the start-to-finish history of the OK model engine enterprise, along with information on every model manufactured. There are a few obvious errors - for one thing, the author has a glow-plug version of the OK Super 60 being introduced in 1945! However, this takes nothing away from the wealth of fascinating background information on the company's highs and lows which the book provides. It also chronicles the story of the Brebeck familiy who started and ran the business, continuing to the present day.

The book is printed on good-quality paper and is well bound, hence it should wear well over time. Most unusually, it comes with three separate high-quality colour photographs of some highly illuminating OK model engine collections.

Ted Brebeck is the grandson of company founder Charles Brebeck and once worked for the company. He is hence uniquely qualified to write this very informative book. Its 72 pages are chock full of interest, and not only to those interested in the OK engines - it's as much a portrait of an era as a company history.

The book remains available direct from Ted Brebeck, who also continues to offer a limited range of new original engine parts to help keep those old OK engines running. Check out what’s currently on offer at