Pre War American Flyer Pictures - An Invitation

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Thursday, October 27, 2011 4:15 PM

wallyworld

Northwoods:

Two questions to pick your brain.In terms of Chicago production, I am strictly guessing that the two wheel cars ( versus four) were from that facility. What was the last identifiable run of production out of Chicago? Second question ( if I may) what year were the brass journal covers put on the trucks? Apologies if you have answered these previously further back in the thread.
Thanks in Advance
Bruce

In looking at the initial post, I realize that the question relating to Chicago production is likely more about the 6.5 inch enamel cars.  There is one identifying feature betweeen the 1937 and earlier cars as compared to the 1938 and after cars.  The trucks on the 1938 cars are the black painted type XII trucks, similar to the other freight and passenger cars produced in 1938.  The 1939 cars used the same type of trucks, but they were black oxidized finish instead of black paint.  I have a boxed 1938 set with the dark trucks with red cars.  Additionally, the 1938 cars still retained the decal doors and the 1939 production cars have punched out door windows with no decals for the doors.  This is true of both the red and blue 1939 cars.

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Posted by billbarman on Thursday, October 27, 2011 8:30 PM

Otis B. Drinkwater

You are better off getting the caboose the next time you are at your relative's house. 

There were several different wheel arrangements used on these engines.  The drive wheels look to be original, with both the leading and trailing wheels appearing to be replaced. 

Thanks again for the info. Does the engine have a product number? It has to... but I cant find it anywhere on it...

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Thursday, October 27, 2011 9:55 PM

This is a test post of a photo link of an early 1922 Flyer motor.  Sorry if it does not work

 

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a1ce06b3127ccefe2323c5976b00000030O00Abs3DRi0ZtWgPbz4A/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Friday, October 28, 2011 12:17 AM

billbarman

http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad330/rickay21/DSC_2464.jpg

http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad330/rickay21/DSC_2468.jpg

Hi billbarman,

Its nice to see you here again.  You are very fortunate to have your grandfather's train.

http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad330/rickay21/DSC_2475.jpg

This boxcar dosent have a number stamped on the bottom oddly enough. it just says "INSP 2"   Your boxcar is a #3015

As Otis B Drinkwater noted your engine is known as a Type XX and it was fairly long lived in the Flyer catalogs, carrying on into the Gilbert era.  The Type XX was offered in a variety of wheel arrangements including 2-4-4, 2-4-2, and 2-4-0.  It came with a variety of tenders during its run.  Generally you will find the engine referred to as #401, however Flyer had the policy of referring to an engine and tender combination by a completely different number than the number that either the engine or the tender bore. So sometimes the number of the engine will depend on the tender it was sold with.  It can be pretty confusing.

Here are a few examples of the Type XX to compare to the one from your grandfather.

 

 
 
This is the 2-4-0 version, which only appears in uncataloged sets.  It has a gear driven whistle in it which took up the space of the rear truck.
 
  
 
 
 
 In 1939 the Type XX shows up in the Double Header set.  It is unpowered this year and is towed behind a powered #420.  It has its own pickups for a headlight. It has a curley cue coupler in the front
 
 
I have a similar engine that is powered and has the curley cue coupler in the front.
 
 
Perhaps that's a bit more than you wanted to know about the Type XX engine.  Your grandfather's engine has quite a few cousins in the history of American Flyer trains.
 
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Posted by billbarman on Friday, October 28, 2011 6:24 AM

Northwoods flyer, Thanks for the Pics! I assumed like most prewar/postwar tooling, they really got their moneys worth out of it. Stick out tongue. As in your pics, almost every varriation of this engine I see comes with a back truck... makes me wonder if my version had it replaced with a single wheelset. Who knows.

 

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Friday, October 28, 2011 7:52 AM

I noted that this thread has overlooked some very interesting engines/motors, which I am guessing is due to their rarity than an oversight.  I know that Mersenne referenced the motor from the 1100 set in a previous post and indicated a West Coast collector had written about it in a TTOS article a number of years ago.  I would like to credit that person for turning me on to the steam engine and the 1201 that feature this unique little motor.

 

In 1922 American Flyer introduced the 1101 motor in set 1101 and noted that set 1100 was the same set, but with a steam engine instead of a boxcab electric motor.  Below is a scan of the 1922 Flyer catalog showing set 1101.

 

The very first 1101 engine featured a cast iron frame and a small motor that was very unique in that the armature was fully contained within the frame and the armature contact plates were mounted on the shaft of the armature, instead of being flat against the armature windings.  Additionally, only one of the drive wheels featured a gear.  This unusual style motor appeared in both the 1101 with cast iron frame and the steam engine in set 1100. 

 

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Friday, October 28, 2011 7:55 AM

Sorry, I had to break this post into multiple posts as I think there were too many pictures for their system.

The steam enigine from set 1100 and the 1201 motors are pictured below

 

The odd motor was also installed in a 1201 engine, but featured larger diameter wheels, a larger motor frame, and had both wheels being powered (ie both wheels had gears).

 

An interesting note about the odd motor that was used in the 1201.  This motor appears to be the first motor that used the 12-spoke wheel.  I note this because the 1201 and 1218 engines prior to 1922 used 10-spoke wheels, which did not have steel tires and did not have gear hubs on them.  The 1201 with the small odd motor has 12-spoke wheels with no steel tire, but a gear hub.  The later style motors all featured the 12-spoke wheel with a steel tire and gear hub on them. 

 

These motors are very difficult to repair due to the motor frames being held together by tabs that are part of the motor frame.  These tabs were not meant to be taken apart and break very easily.  Additionally, the armatures cannot be removed from the frames without taking the idler gear off, which I have found is virtually impossible.

 

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Friday, October 28, 2011 8:33 AM

I noted a recent post about the 3020 locomotives and wanted to post this picture of the earliest version of the 3020 from 1922.  There are at least two versions of the 3020 in 1922.  The first version, shown here, has extra hand rails over the sand domes on the frame and the motor itself, features the 10-spoke wheels with no steel tires that were found on the pre-1922 1201 and 1218 motors.  Additionally, this motor features the early round rod reversing track trip bar.  The next variaition of the 3020 had the later style wheels and no hand rails over the sand domes, but still features the round rod reverse bar.

 

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Friday, October 28, 2011 9:40 AM

billbarman

Northwoods flyer, Thanks for the Pics! I assumed like most prewar/postwar tooling, they really got their moneys worth out of it. Stick out tongue. As in your pics, almost every varriation of this engine I see comes with a back truck... makes me wonder if my version had it replaced with a single wheelset. Who knows.

 

 

Before you go and change your rear wheel set, consider the following thought.  All of the engines that Northwoods Flyer showed in his pictures are later engines than your engine.  Your engine has the main drive wheels with open spokes, which indicates it to be an earlier engine.  The following photo shows an engine that dates to 1935 and has the open spoke wheels like your engine.  In fact, it appears to be an almost identical engine to the one that you have.  Note that it only has a single trailing wheel set.  This engine is all original and I have not gotten around to replacing the leading and trailing wheels yet. 

I would recommend that you look closely at the brackets that hold both the leading and trailing wheels on your engine.  It may be that just the wheels and axles were replaced and that the brackets that mount to the engine are original.  You should be able to tell if the rivets holding the brackets to the motor have been replaced, as in my experience, when they are replaced, they tend not to be steel rivets.

 

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Posted by billbarman on Friday, October 28, 2011 12:06 PM

Otis B. Drinkwater

 billbarman:

Northwoods flyer, Thanks for the Pics! I assumed like most prewar/postwar tooling, they really got their moneys worth out of it. Stick out tongue. As in your pics, almost every varriation of this engine I see comes with a back truck... makes me wonder if my version had it replaced with a single wheelset. Who knows.

 

 

 

Before you go and change your rear wheel set, consider the following thought.  All of the engines that Northwoods Flyer showed in his pictures are later engines than your engine.  Your engine has the main drive wheels with open spokes, which indicates it to be an earlier engine.  The following photo shows an engine that dates to 1935 and has the open spoke wheels like your engine.  In fact, it appears to be an almost identical engine to the one that you have.  Note that it only has a single trailing wheel set.  This engine is all original and I have not gotten around to replacing the leading and trailing wheels yet. 

I would recommend that you look closely at the brackets that hold both the leading and trailing wheels on your engine.  It may be that just the wheels and axles were replaced and that the brackets that mount to the engine are original.  You should be able to tell if the rivets holding the brackets to the motor have been replaced, as in my experience, when they are replaced, they tend not to be steel rivets.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a1ce09b3127ccefe2c1400b86700000030O00Abs3DRi0ZtWgPbz4A/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

 

Ah Ha!Big Smile Not only is that engine identical in every way, I did check brackets holding the leading nd trailing trucks and confirmed them to be originals. Guess its changed less then I thoguht it had!

Thanks for all the help! Yes

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Friday, October 28, 2011 2:09 PM

My latest Pre-war Flyer collecting interest are the 1107 and 1108 cars (as well as the 1120 cars which are similar in size and construction with the exception of having fewer, but wider shaped windows), so I want to have readers/followers of this line, post their favorite 1107 / 1108 / 1120 cars. 

The 1107 / 1108 cars first appear in the 1914 catalog as simulated wood sided lithograph cars under the American Flyer Line name and in 1916 these cars were changed to have a simulated steel sided lithograph.  The cars had numerous variations over the years and last appeared in the 1934 catalog, which makes them the longest running series of cars in American Flyer production.  I believe that there are between 75 and 100 variations of these cars, but could be wrong on that number. 

I guess some basic descriptive features may help readers.  The 1914 cars were lettered American Flyer Line and had simulated wood siding, the 1915 cars are shown in the Butler Brothers Catalog from that year with road names on them.  1916 brings the introduction of simulated steel sided cars, which were lettered "American Flyer Line".  Somewhere around late 1916, early 1917 the cars include the winged locomotive below the windows and baggage cars get the winged locomotive on either side of the doors and the 1107 cars are now lettered "American Flyer".  In 1918 the door windows are un-punched and we see both "American Flyer" and road named lettered cars.  Somewhere around 1920 the frames change and there is now an "A" and "F" embossed in the car frames on either end.  In 1922 the 1120 cars are introduced.  Instead of having 8 windows between the doors, the cars now have 4 wider windows between the doors.  Somewhere around 1924 the frames once again change, with the new frames having embossed steps and coil springs.  Somewhere around 1927 or so the cars are changed so that the lettering states "American Flyer Lines"  instead of "American Flyer" 

These cars also came unlettered and were lettered for Continental Flyer, Imperial Limited, Nation Wide Lines, Dominion Flyer, and Yankee Flyer, as well as in road names such as Pennsylvania, Erie, New York Central, Union Pacific, Santa Fe, and Northwestern Line

Here are some of my favorites

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Posted by AF53 on Saturday, October 29, 2011 5:00 PM

Otis - Welcome to the forum!

Here are my contributions to the collection of 1107!

Enjoy!

Ray

Ray

Bayville, NJ

 

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Saturday, October 29, 2011 6:05 PM

Ray,

 

Those are great.  Here are a few more from my collection.

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Posted by mersenne6 on Monday, October 31, 2011 7:19 AM

Pony Express - Another Flyer-Ives Connection

  During the 1929-1930 period both Lionel and Flyer contributed cars and accessories to the lineup of Ives offerings.  The Flyer standard gauge contribution to the Ives freight car line was covered in a series of earlier posts to this thread.  In the realm of O gauge American Flyer provided Ives with their least expensive introductory clockwork set.  It consisted of a #9 AF 0-4-0 with tin stamped spoke wheel and no connecting rods, a basic black tender and two Hummer style cars with unique lithography.  I had the good fortune to see and photograph one of these cars (below) at the TCA October York meet. 

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Monday, October 31, 2011 8:04 AM

Actually, the above set mentioned by Mersenne6 featured an ives bodied tender that was plain, not a Flyer bodied tender.  Although I do not own a set of these cars, I saw the complete set that was at York and have seen a complete set in another collection.  Both sets featured a Flyer engine, ives tender, and the Pony Express car that features the same body as the Empire Express cars.

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Monday, October 31, 2011 8:21 AM

I researched my files and found a photo of an engine, tender, and 1 car set of the Pony Express set.  This set was on display at the Cal-Stewart show in Pasadena in 2007, to mark the occaison of the 100th anniversary of American Flyer, which showcased the first 30 years of American Flyer production. 

Anyway, the set with the Pony Express car is just below the box top featuring the picture of the Zephyr, at the right center of the photo.

 

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Monday, October 31, 2011 8:50 AM

Here are some additional pictures of the wonderful display of the 2007 Cal-Stewart show in Pasadena.  My thanks to all my friends here on the West Coast who put on these fabulous shows.

The pictures of the layout are a faithful recreation of Billy's "Colonial City" layout as shown in the 1928 catalog.

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Monday, October 31, 2011 10:18 AM

Here is a photo of the Boy's Engineer ball cap that was reportedly available in the early 1920s.  There was a picture of a similar hat in the Flyer display in the previous post and I wanted to share a better photo of one of these hats.  I have a reproduction photo of Bill Clapper wearing one of these hats, with the original photo being one of the one's he submitted in the Backyard Rail Road Contest of the early 1920s.

It should be noted that I do not believe that my hat is an original.  It is my understanding that these hats were reproduced for the 1970 TCA convention and may have been reproduced at other times in the past. 

One of the thoughts on originals versus reproductions, is that the originals were designed for children and probably would not fit adults.  Another method of telling is to look at the inside of the hat rim and check it for wear and dirt.

As I said, I do not believe mine is an original.  I believe it to possibly be one of the ones made for the 1970 TCA convention.  It does not have the wear characteristics that one would expect for a 90 year old hat and has a more modern, heavy paperboard insert to make it stand up rigidly. 

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Monday, October 31, 2011 2:31 PM

Otis, 

I know you have been posting for a few days but let me offer my welcome to the thread too.  Welcome

 

I have really enjoyed your posts.  I have never seen some of the items that you have posted.  The Colonial City has always been one of my collecting goals.  I would love to reproduce it in my basement or at a train meet someday.  From what I can tell I am only missing the 110 Station, and I may have to settle for a reproduction of it - if I can find one.

 

AF53 and Otis,

Keep the photos of the 1107/1108 cars coming.  That is one area of Flyer production that I have not entered into...yet.

 

Mersenne6,

Thanks for your contribution too.  I have known about the Flyer/Lionel/Ives transitions pieces in Wide Gauge, and ivesboy did a nice series on them back on page 42.  I have never seen any items in the O gauge line from that era.  Thanks for broadening my knowledge once again.

 

Lets keep those Flyer photos coming in.  Didn't train season officially start on the first day of fall?   Wink

 

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Monday, October 31, 2011 3:26 PM

A bit more on Flyer bodied Ives O gauge cars.  Other than the Pony Express set, there is only one other Flyer bodied Ives O gauge car that I am aware of.  It would be the 3211 Caboose that was known as the Ives 121 Caboose.  The car came with the Flyer body and Ives trucks and couplers.  I am not sure what sets it would have been included with, but I suspect it was sold with the Ives 9 inch litho freight cars.

I have two images of the Ives 121 caboose.  The first one represents a paint sample that was documented by Louis Hertz in 1929.  The image of this car comes from an auction catalog from when it was sold a few years ago.  I am not sure who bought it and did not examine the car closely.  I know that it sold for a huge price.

The second image is of a standard production piece that came to me with some Flyer stuff.  Rather than sell it, I decided to hang on to it due to it being a variation.  I noted that it has the 1928 base, which was not equipped with a light.  I am not sure if these cars were originally lighted or if someone lighted my car at a later date.  It does have the standard Flyer light pick up assembly from 1927 and later, with the exception that the pickup assembly is not attached to the car as it would be to a Flyer car.  There is a wire soldered to the pickup assembly, which goes through the hollow rivet used to attach the trucks to the car and attaches to a light socket that is soldered to the roof just in front of the cupola.  The red christmas tree light bulb extends into the cupola area, providing light.  This is an interesting location for a light and since I know nothing about Ives, I cannot say if it is original or not.

 

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Posted by kaycee on Monday, October 31, 2011 3:46 PM

Thank you for sharing those awesome pictures. This forum has been super for details, advice, and just plain enjoyment.

Thanks to everyone who contributes!

 

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Posted by wallyworld on Monday, October 31, 2011 4:25 PM

Some sharp looking cabeese..the cream colored example really makes the brass detail work pop out.. Brass .on the stepwells? Wow. . The red lighting in the cupola is very nifty in the 121. ..would look super glowing around the xmas tree loop.  Thanks for sharing these. You know, every time I see these examples of prewar as well as those I have collected..I cannot help but be boggled by the amount of coupler types came and went before a true knuckle type came along.Great stuff..the layout was fantabulous. Much appreciated..and...

I want that hat !

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 10:45 AM

Here are some more 1107/1108/1120 car photos

 

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Posted by balidas on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 2:01 PM

WOW! Those are some awesome pictures!

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 6:50 PM

The following pictures/post was requested by Northwoods Flyer

In 1927, American Flyer celebrated its 20th Anniversary and produced a clock in commemoration of that event.  I have heard all sorts of theories about the clocks and about the numbers produced.  All I can say is that I have seen close to 20 different clocks sell over the years and personally know where at least 11 clocks currently reside.  As for the number of clocks produced, I would guess between 20 and 50, certainly less than 100

 

All I will offer are photos of my own clock and some descriptions that I have heard of items over the years.  I would like to note that the slot in the back of my clock is not original to the production of it.  I believe it was possibly a coin slot cut in by someone to make this a bank.

 

The majority of the finishes I have seen on these clocks are darker like the finish on my clock.  I have heard theories that the darker finish of my clock is due to over-cleaning and that the clocks should exhibit a solid and silver colored finish.  This comment was based on clocks that Hilly Lazarus, deceased, owned.  Hilly had apparently written to the family of one of the former Flyer executives and had obtained one or more clocks that had been well taken care of and had a nice silvery finish and had a metal clock face.  I am sure that this clock and another like it are original, as the documented proof supports its originality.  However, I suspect that as executive clocks, had a higher finish than the clocks made for the more common people.  I support this in that the majority of the clocks I have seen, have the darker finishes similar to mine and exhibit the paper faces exactly like the one featured in my clock.  If it was only the finish color, I might support that the finishes have darkened over the years, but since the majority of the clocks I have seen offer different clock faces than the metal faces of Hilly’s clocks and are paper faces that match mine, I would guess that there were different variations made, likely for different recipients.

 

I am also aware of a collector who has 5 or 6 of these clocks, which include a clock casting with the area not being punched out for the clock mechanism, a casting that does not have the 1927 or 20th Anniversary information, as well as the original mold and sample clock from the AC Rehberger Company, which made the clocks for American Flyer.  The sample clock has a different finish than any of the other clocks that have been reported, but I don’t recall the details and don’t want to make further comment. 

 

The clocks are marked on the lower left side rear (when looking at the clock from the front) with the words “Rehberger MFG CO Chicago”.  Founded in 1912 by A.C. Rehberger, The A.C. Rehberger Company was one of only two firms in the United States that specialized in hand-molded, handcrafted metal sculptural figurines, most made from molds created by A.C. Rehberger. The company produced 3000 different paperweights, bookends, desk sets, ashtrays, nameplates, sports trophies and collectors' items cast in lead or zinc, including the first Oscar statuette in the 1920s. In the 1930s, the firm became known for its metal coin banks and miniature buildings produced as giveaway promotions.

 

The mold and sample clock were reportedly fished out of the trash by AC Rehberger heirs upon the closing of the factory in the early 1970s and were retained by the family until recent years.

 

Although the current owner of the clock mold had thought of reproducing the clocks, the last I heard is that this does not appear likely.   

 

I have heard of these clock bodies being reproduced; however, the only reproduction I saw was cast out of lead and looked to be of very low quality. 

 

As for the clock mechanisms, I have seen similar clock faces with similar clock hands marked New Haven, so my guess is that the mechanisms were made by the New Haven clock company.  

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 6:58 PM

Sorry, All of the photos did not attach to my first post.

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 8:26 PM

Otis,

Thanks for all of your posts.  I've started to look more closely at the 1107/1108 cars that have been posted on eBay.  I particularly like this post on the Anniversary Clock.  I have a fantasy of walking into an antique shop some day and seeing one of these clocks sitting on a shelf in a back room.  It would be a great addition to any train collection.

 

While Otis has been showing us some of the more exotic items to be added to a Pre War American Flyer Collection, let me return to something a bit more mundane.  Back on page 48 I started a series on the later production 6.5 inch enameled cars.  The set that I have in green has had its Type VIII trucks painted black instead of grey.  Here is what the baggage car should look like with its grey Type VIII trucks.

 

 
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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Thursday, November 03, 2011 11:22 AM

Here are some more 1107/1108 photos

 

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Posted by AF53 on Thursday, November 03, 2011 9:48 PM

In continueing with the Prewar 5 1/2 inch cars, here are my 1108's.

Ca. 1923-1924

 

Ca. 1925-1927

 

Ca. 1925-1927

 

Ca. 1925-1926

 

Ca. 1921-1924

Anyone else?

Ray

 

Ray

Bayville, NJ

 

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Posted by Otis B. Drinkwater on Friday, November 04, 2011 11:05 AM

Ray,

Those are some great photos thanks for sharing.  Here are some of the 1108 baggage cars with road names

 

 

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