|A model with working air hoses by David W. Davis from 2002.
Credit Gateway Division NMRA.
Thanks to CSX3305 for pointing out that Cameron Foodikoff of Fairway Park Models is not the inventor of HO scale self coupling air hoses, as I noted in an earlier post; credit for that goes to David W. Davis, who was writing about how he made them back in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
CSX3305 pointed out that that this was noted in an article about David's Davis Junction layout in Great Model Railroads 2001, of which I have a copy. On page 12, in a text box, it is noted that "Dave details his track and rolling stock to a level not often found on operating layouts."
Including in those details is mention of how he made his air hoses from transmission wire with Kadee angle cocks. "Tiny glad hands punched from kitchen magnets allow the hoses to be joined."
It is not indicated whether the hoses coupled automatically, as the ones from Fairway Park Models do, but it seems they were working all the same.
CSX3305 says that David also wrote about his technique in Railmodel Journal, but I don't know which issues it appeared in.
So, to David, my apologies. But it may be safe to say that Cameron is the "inventor" of the first commercial automatic HO scale air hoses; he certainly has taken it a step further, and popularized it in a way that wasn't evident before.
By-the-way, several people have wondered what happens if the cars are reversed: Do the magnets repel each other? The answer is no--something you can check for yourself by going to your fridge and grabbing a couple of magnetized cards, like the ones you get at trade shows.