Pre War American Flyer Pictures - An Invitation

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, June 25, 2017 3:39 PM

LL675

Got this car in the deal too, would it have gone with the Royal?

It's had a repaint, but it looks like it was a dark grey? under neath.

The Royal Blue does have a baggage car.  Its the #494

It also had a #490 Whistling Baggage Car in Blue

The #490 also came as a separate sale item in grey.  It looks like you have the body and the frame for a #490 in grey.

Port Lines is a good source for parts.  Does Jeff Kane handle some Flyer too?  

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Posted by jdet1 on Sunday, June 25, 2017 3:40 PM

Looks like the remains of a 390 Whistling Baggage car.  I did come in grey and blue.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 6:57 AM

Resurrection!  This thread went for a month with no posts, what is wrong? 

I came across an oddity recently and had to purchase it. 

The following picture shows a common 3103, which features the 3103 number plates on the site and the cast iron cow catchers mounted to the frame.

Next up is the still somewhat easily found red 3110.  This engine uses the same cab, features 4 American Flyer brass plates, and a steel frame that is rubberstamped 3110 on the bottom.

 

Lastly is the unusual version that I found.  Red 3110 mounted on a 3103 type frame with cast iron pilots.  Could this be something that someone modified at home?  At first glance one might think so, but the bottom of the frame is rubber stamped 3110 and Sold as Shopworn, so this is definitely a factory piece.

NWL

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by LL675 on Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:22 PM
beautiful engines!

Dave

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Posted by mersenne6 on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 2:12 PM

A Variation of #630 - the tinplate Hiawatha

   I purchased a nice tinplate Hiawatha passenger set awhile back and, at the time I noted the tin stamped superstructure of the locomotive was not parallel to the drivers. I assumed the motor had just been incorrectly installed.  However, when I turned over the engine and started looking at how it was held in place I realized the motor mounts are different from others I’ve seen and the motor itself has electrical reverse – something I’ve never seen on a #630.
The side view of this engine shows screws in the forward holes where one usually sees rivets and there are no paint abrasions to the rear holes where one would usually find screws for securing the rear mounting brackets. Figure 1 is a side shot comparison of this engine (left) and a regular #630 (right).

 

Figure 1
 
  Instead of the usual riveted in place sheet metal brackets an examination of the underside of this engine reveals only a stamped U shaped bracket which, at the bottom part of the U, has two sheet metal bends (actually just two rectangular ears) which fit around the front sheet metal of the motor frame. A single screw on one side of the bracket threads into the motor frame and two other screws attach the bracket to the front part of the sheet metal superstructure. The shape and mounting of the bracket is such that if any of the screws work loose the bracket will shift and the front part of the engine shell will droop - which is the condition in which I received this engine. 
  A comparison of the usual motor mount brackets (Figure 2)of #630 (right) and the motor mounts of this engine ( left) suggests the reason for the change is the existence of the automatic reverse since that unit would not have cleared the rear motor mount bracket.
 Figure 2
 In addition to the bracket the engine has a front mounted lead weight and a headlight bracket held in place by a single screw which is accessible through the shell smoke stack. 
 Figure 3
 
  The light bracket is vertical which means the headlight does not protrude from the front of the engine but is completely inside the shell.  Its position makes it almost impossible to replace the light without unscrewing the entire bracket from the engine shell. (In a side discussion about this engine Nationwidelines indicated he has seen other 630 engines with this kind of light bracket.)
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Posted by Nationwidelines on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 8:38 PM

Nationwidelines
 
Nationwidelines
 
Otis B. Drinkwater

I researched the Edmonds-Metzel company a bit more, but I have to say that the information prior to 1907 is very scarce. The best source I found was the "Michigan Alumnus, Vol 5, May 1899" It contains the following: " Jay D. Edmonds - (18)96 after graduating spent 2 years as Chief Draftsman at Chicago Screw Co. then was a Mechanical Engineer at Fischer Equipment Co., Chicago until last fall (1898), when he joined with William E. Metzel to form Edmonds-Metzel Mfg. Co. at 253 S. Canal Street, Chicago. Makers of "Perpetual Bicycle Pedal"

 

Researching the bicycle pedal I found the following on www.speedplay.com

 

" 1899 Edmonds and Metzel invent the cylinder bicycle pedal (Aerolite Type)"

 

I found a small blurb in a Chicago City Directory - Edmonds-Metzel Mfg, 778-784 W. Lake Street - Die Paper Cutters, no date found

 

I also found advertisements in 1905 era Popular Mechanics for their wrenches that listed an address of 163-173 Jefferson Street.

 

So they were certainly moving around a bit in the early years. 

I know that William Ogden Coleman is reported to have gained control of the company in the 1906-1907 timeframe and the address associated with Edmonds-Metzel and American Flyer Trains is 1088 Wilcox Avenue.

O.

 

 

 

 

Time to update the above post, as I researched and found more information.

The earliest reference that I could find was in a Michigan Alumni reference from 1899.  It listed Jay Edmonds as either an 1895 or 1896 graduate, who worked for a metal company in Chicago for 2 years after graduation and forming a business with W. E. Metzel the prior year (1898).
 
Next reference was for Edmonds and Metzel inventing the perpetual bicycle pedal in 1899.
 
In the 1899-1900 Annual Report of the Factory Inspector, I found a listing for Edmonds, Metzel, and Cole MFG at 253-255 South Canal Street.  Indicates that the business was inspected March 4, 1900. 
 
The same report from 1900-1901 lists same company name and address.
 
I then found a reference in The Iron Age publication of May 23, 1901 that lists a name change to remove Cole.
 
The Iron Age of November 28, 1901 shows an advertisement for the bank they produced and lists an address of 778-784 West Lake Street.
 
The Inland Printer of November 1902 on Page 284 advertises a Multiplex Press Punch for punching holes in paper.  The advertisement indicates that the item is patented and lists the West Lake Street address again.
 
The Engineering Magazine, Volume 24 indicates that Mr. A. R. Sheppard is announced as Secretary and Treasurer of Edmonds Metzel.  Not sure of the exact date of this, but it appears to be sometime in the 1901-1903 era.
 
Modern Machinery from February 1904 indicates that Edmonds Metzel announced they were moving from Lake Street to 159 S. Jefferson Street. 
 
The move was again announced in The Metal Industry, Page 64 from April 1904, where it was announced the new address was 159 South Jefferson Street.
 
The American Machinist of January 28, 1904, Vol 27, page 14, advertises Edmonds Metzel MFG "We manufacture on contract all kinds of hardware and electrical specialties, dies, tools, stamping, and experimental work"  There was no address listed for the company in this address.
 
After that the trail goes a bit cold.  I could not specifically nail down when the company moved to the Wilcox Avenue/Street location.  It could be that the move was when Mr. Coleman took control of the company. 
 
NWL
 

 

 

 

A bit more about Edmonds Metzel.

After my latest posting, a friend asked me if I knew what happened to William E. Metzel.  He indicated that he knew of Jay Edmonds going on to a successful career in the industry after exiting Edmonds Metzel MFG.

I am not positive that this is the same William E. Metzel, but the facts seem to correlate.  In early 1907, a William E. Metzel is listed as one of the founders of the Indestructible Steel Wheel Corporation, which built a plant in Lebanon, Indiana.  He is listed as the Vice President.  I find listings for him being associated with the company as late as November 1908.

I then found a death notice for a William E. Metzel of 1438 Windsor Avenue in the Tuesday March 30, 1909 Chicago Tribune.  From what I could gather, as I was not reading the entire story without paying, William E. Metzel was stricken with heart failure at his residence at 1438 Winsor Avenue the prior Thursday and died on Sunday at the Kenilworth Sanitarium.  He was 35 years old and had been married to Mabel (Best) Metzel for 9 months.

In the "Mutual Interests" (seemingly an insurance publication) June 1909 edition I found a note for a death claim (insurance claim) for William E. Metzel, who was listed as a manufacturer from Chicago.  The claim amount was for $2,500.

So it would seem that the Mr. Metzel died shortly after his exit from Edmonds Metzel MFG.

 

NWL

 

 

This seems to correlate with the above facts.  The following headstone is found somewhere within the Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, IL

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:17 PM

Nationwidelines and mersenne6,

Thanks for your great entries and photos.  Summer may be a slow time here on the thread and for the train collecting hobby in general, but it is obvious that you two have been busy doing research.  

NWL,

I enjoy hearing the stories about the early movers and shakers in the toy train industry.  Thanks for putting together the information on William Metzel. Nice catch on the 3103/3110 too.

mersenne6,

I only have one example of the tin Hiawatha from a passenger set.

 

 

I think its one of the typical examples.

It does have one of the mechanical whistles.

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Northwoods Flyer

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:19 PM

Nationwidelines and mersenne6,

Thanks for your great entries and photos.  Summer may be a slow time here on the thread and for the train collecting hobby in general, but it is obvious that you two have been busy doing research.  

NWL,

I enjoy hearing the stories about the early movers and shakers in the toy train industry.  Thanks for putting together the information on William Metzel. Nice catch on the 3103/3110 too.

mersenne6,

I only have one example of the tin Hiawatha from a passenger set.

 

 

I think its one of the typical examples.

It does have one of the mechanical whistles.

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Northwoods Flyer

 

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Friday, August 18, 2017 2:06 PM

I hit a milestone recently, as I added the last variation of lithographed boxcab electric engines I was missing to the collection.  Per Greenberg's, this is a 1926 only version that has the cast pantograph/light on each end of the roof. 

 

Oddly enough, I have a similar version that is factory black painted over a lithograph body (as evidenced by the chips in the black paint that show the litho underneath)

 

Personally, I think the most difficult lithographed engine to find is the Empire Express 1196, which is c. 1927

I have only seen 2 or 3 of these engines in my 35+ years of collecting.

 

NWL

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, August 24, 2017 11:57 PM

Sample

Recently there were two interesting sets of 11" Ambassador cars up for auction on ebay.  They appeared within a few weeks of each other.  Both sets came in their original boxes - which were the real intriguing items. 

Or I should say what was stamped on each box was intriguing.

The cars in each set were auctioned separately.  I was only able to win one of the cars.

The interior of the box has the red paint from the car on it. 

The paint on the car has alligatored, but it has not cracked down to the metal.

As with many of these cars, the box and the air tanks are numbered correctly for the cataloged number - 3381. The brass tags on the car itself are incorrect.  They actually belong to the 9 1/2" car - 3281.

Neither seller gave any history for the sets.  I wonder if they were salesman's samples.  I wish that I had been able to win the other cars in the set. For now this car is another piece in the collection that has a story that I wish it could tell.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Friday, August 25, 2017 7:13 AM

Northwoods,

I have seen boxes marked "Sample" before, but cannot give any insight into the reasoning behind this marking.  I somehow doubt that it implies Salesman Sample items.

I think what is most unusual about your car is the alligatoring of the paint.  Typically enamel painted items do not alligator.  If the paint is extra thick, which your paint appears to be, it may cause alligatoring.  Possibly your item was some sort of paint sample, which would cause the "Sample" marking on the box.  I have one enamel painted item in my collection and that comes from the fact that it is a factory repainted item that was originally lithographed and the lithograph alligatored under the paint.

As for the 3281 plate instead of the 3381 plate, this is relatively common on the later cars, when Flyer was running low on plates.  I have an identical 3281 Jeffersonian marked car.  I think it would be more unusual if it actually had 3381 plates on it.

I just purchased a set of these cars that dates to c. 1931 and one of the cars has 3280 series plates and the others have the 3380 series plates.  I am planning on posting photos of them later today or tomorrow, after they are delivered. 

 

NWL

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 7:56 PM

Over

3/4 Million

Happy Views

 

I have reached a stage in life where milestones are worth observing.  So, I have borrowed a little bit of advertising hyperbole from American Flyer's early years to mark a milestone. Flyer advertised the number of Happy Owners on some of their trains and in their advertising.

As the number of Happy Owners increased and the brass tags marked the growth, Flyer was creating variations just by changing the tags.

Today the number of views on the thread passed 750,000.  I never imagined that this thread would last this long or have as many contributors as it has, or have loyal readers who ask questions and share their own fascinating finds. Thank You to every one of you. It has taken less than 10 years.  I hope that you will say on the ride on the way to 1 Million 

 

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Northwoods Flyer

Greg

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Posted by LL675 on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 4:16 PM

just like Micky D's used to say....over One billion servered....

thanks for starting this..lots of great pics and info.

Dave

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Monday, September 04, 2017 4:56 PM

LL675

just like Micky D's used to say....over One billion servered....

thanks for starting this..lots of great pics and info.

 

I recall when McD's used to advertise in the Over whatever Hundreds of Millions Served, back in the 70s, prior to their reaching the Billion mark!  Seems to me the earliest I can recall is over 200 Million Served.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Saturday, September 09, 2017 7:33 AM

Mack's Junction

Until 2 years ago, I was only aware of the Mack's Junction labeled water tower, which was shown as part of an accessory set that was cataloged by Montgomery Wards between 1922 and 1924.

While at York in the Fall of 2015, someone came up and struck up a conversation about prewar Flyer with me.  After talking for a while, I was asked about the Mack's Junction water tower and then if I had seen a Mack's Junction station?  I had not and was immediately curious about it.  Some friends and I walked out to this genteman's car and he unpacked the station and showed it to us.  None of us had previously seen this item with the Mack's Junction marking. 

I told this new friend that I was interested in purchasing the item, if it was ever for sale.  Fast forward 2 years and my friend offered it to me.  After several days of negotiations, a price was agreed to and it was mine.  Due to a last minute business trip, I asked that the shipping be delayed for a week.  It finally was delivered yesterday.  After a quick roof cleaning, I took the following pictures and made the following notes.

A photo of the station, with the Mack's Junction water tower in the background

One thing I noted is that the support posts for the roof of the Mack's Junction station do not have yellow paint like the other stations in my collection.  Not sure if this was specific to this station or a factory glitch, as the yellow paint on my other two stations is not uniform.

NWL

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, September 09, 2017 1:55 PM

Holy "Mack"erel!  

What a great find!  I wonder if those two accessories are together in any other collection?  I look forward to seeing them in a photo on your layout.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Saturday, September 09, 2017 4:53 PM

3219 Dump Car

The 3219 Dump Car was first cataloged in 1934 and came in a single set that year and was also offered as a separate sale item.  In 1935 it was again offered as a separate sale item. 

It was not shown in the 1936 or 1937 catalogs.

In 1938 it was again offered in ses and as a separate sale item.  However, it came with the curly cue style coupler that year.

In 1939 it was offered again, but this time with the link coupler style.

For whatever reasons, the 1938 and 1939 dump cars are easier to find than the 1934-1935 era cars, which have the hook coupler.

One other difference between the early and late cars is the green color of the dump bin.  The early cars are more of an aqua / teal color and the late cars are an apple green color. 

I have searched for a nice early 3219 dump car for years, and finally found a relaively nice example.

 

One odd feature about my car is that the couplers were installed prior to the frame being painted, so the couplers are painted black. 

The black painted couplers is something I have seen before on other Flyer cars, specifically steam engine tenders.  So the black painted couplers, although somewhat unusual, is not completely unknown for Flyer.

NWL

 

 

 

 

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Posted by LL675 on Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:16 PM

that's a great looking car.....might have to start the search myself.

Dave

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Posted by bearestir on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 11:28 AM

My understanding is that AF used the "sample" stamp for any item that left the factory as new but was not intended to be sold (though obviously they were eventually sold).    Sample items had no warranty coverage.    A salesman's sample would qualify for the "sample" stamp.   A train intended for a display would likewise qualify.    I received a slightly different explanation from another AF collector told me that AF had two types of trains that were released from the factory through "other than through the ordinary sales process):   "Sold as Shopworn", which were rebuilt or repaired trains put back into the marketplace, and "Sample" which was, basically, any other train requiring a label that wasn't sold as shopworn.   He listed salesman samples, items sold when someone came into the factory to make a purchase, and even items that were no longer in the catalog (e.g. someone buys a 1930 item in 1934).

AF Lone ScoutSame Set, Boxed

 

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 6:14 PM

bearestir

My understanding is that AF used the "sample" stamp for any item that left the factory as new but was not intended to be sold (though obviously they were eventually sold).    Sample items had no warranty coverage.    A salesman's sample would qualify for the "sample" stamp.   A train intended for a display would likewise qualify.    I received a slightly different explanation from another AF collector told me that AF had two types of trains that were released from the factory through "other than through the ordinary sales process):   "Sold as Shopworn", which were rebuilt or repaired trains put back into the marketplace, and "Sample" which was, basically, any other train requiring a label that wasn't sold as shopworn.   He listed salesman samples, items sold when someone came into the factory to make a purchase, and even items that were no longer in the catalog (e.g. someone buys a 1930 item in 1934).

AF Lone ScoutSame Set, Boxed

 

 

 

Interesting, I have never heard an explanation for "Sample" items before.  The items marked "Sold as Shopworn" were supposedly sold out of the Factory Store / Repair Store and were sold without warranty, which is the reason for the "Sold As Shopworn" stamping.

I am not sure that items sold as "Sample" were sold without warranty, simply because only the boxes appear to have been marked "Sample" and if you took the item out of the box and sent it back to the factory, they would have no idea that the item was a sample. 

However, I am not saying that your statement is incorrect, as there is likely nobody who can definitively say at this point, due to the passage of time. 

 

NWL

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 10:36 PM

bearestir,

First of all let me say welcome to the thread. Welcome

Secondly, that is a beautiful example of a Lone Scout set; and its boxed too!  I bet there is a story that goes along with it.

Thirdly; I have heard the explanation of the "Sold as Shopworn" designation numerous times, but like NWL I have never heard the explanation of the "Sample" stamp.  The explanation is certainly plausible.  Did the person who was the source of the explanation have any first hand knowledge of the workings at American Flyer?  Did he have any other nuggets of information like that, and is he still accessible?

I'd be curious to see any other examples of items with the "Sample" stamp on them.  The only one I have ever seen in person is the one on the Ambassador car box that I purchased recently.  

The only unique thing about the car itself is the crackled paint.

So if you have any "Samples" please post them.

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Posted by bearestir on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 12:08 PM

Here is a set where every item has a "sample" box.    I do not have the set box, unfortunately.    The set was acquired used from Evan Middleton's "The Train Store" at Knott's Berry Farm (the sales ticket was in the locomotive box - which was a pleasant surprise when I received the set).      

 

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Posted by bearestir on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 12:21 PM

Thanks for the welcome to the thread.

I'm trying to put a few pictures up.   Right now, every post I make requires moderator approval so sometimes my responses may be a little slow.

Clean, barely used Statesman set.   I do have all the peripherals that came with the set.

 

 

 

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Posted by bearestir on Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:09 PM

Here's an American Flyer "Sample" set - sold second hand in the late 50's/early 60's by Middleton's Train Shop at Knott's Berry Farm.    In pic 3, you can see the"sample" notation on the box by the car's roof line.   All boxes in this set were marked 'sample."

 

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Posted by bearestir on Friday, September 15, 2017 4:42 PM
I posted some pictures of another "sample" set but I'm waiting for the moderators to clear the message. Something may be wrong as it has been two days.
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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, September 16, 2017 9:55 AM

They didn't make it this way but if they had.....

Over the years I have posted to a number of sites that feature tinplate trains.  I have always tried to post something different on each site so that I don't replicate the information, in case there are folks who visit multiple sites.  One of the sites has been going dormant for many months.  One of the threads that I started over there has the title listed above.  I decided to move the contributions that I made to that thread to this one.  Other folks contributed to the thread as well, but I am only moving my "What if..."  Pre War American Flyer postings.

After all; part of the fun of tinplate trains is indulging in "Let's Pretend"

So here is the first one:

As a collector I generally prefer the items in my collection to be in original paint and original condition.  However, over the years I have seen some very interesting and fun things that people have repainted in colors that the original manufacturer never offered.  They have made me stop and think "That is a great paint scheme or a clever alteration.  I wish they had made it like that."  I have several items in my collection that are like that.  I thought it would be interesting to see what folks have done with original Pre War American Flyer equipment to alter it in color, road name, or some other change.   I'm not trying to start a discussion about the ethics of changing original equipment.  We all know that some items are in such poor shape they can't be restored.   I will admit that I have purchased my items, I haven't moved into the aspect of the hobby of doing my own painting or alterations - yet.

 

Let me start out with an example.  American Flyer produced a streamined steam engine in O gauge prior to the war, it is most widely recognized as the #556 Royal Blue engine.  In 1941 they produced another version of it in grey as the #553 with a 4-4-2 configuration.  It came in one passenger set.  What if they had offered that engine other years with an expanded passenger consist?  It might have looked like this:

 

The Scarlet LetterImage Enlarger

 

 

 

The 553 is in its original condition and has been a part of my collection for a while.

 

Scarlet Letter 2Image Enlarger

 

 

 

Scarlet Letter 3Image Enlarger

 

 

 

I found the cars on eBay when someone was selling off the estate of a modeler who did some repainting, decaling and adaptations.

 Scarlet Letter 4Image Enlarger

 

 

  Scarlet Letter 5Image Enlarger

 

 

 Scarlet Letter 6Image Enlarger

 

 

  Scarlet Letter 7Image Enlarger

 

 

  Scarlet Letter 8Image Enlarger

 

 

 This is the car that really caught my attention.  Flyer never produced an observation for this line of passenger cars, but this clever hobbyist designed his own.

 Scarlet Letter 9Image Enlarger

 

 

 Scarlet Letter 10Image Enlarger

 

 

 Scarlet Letter 11Image Enlarger

 

 

 

While the quality of the work is not what I would call excellent, I was intrigued by what this set might have become if Flyer had actually produced it.  If the War had not come along perhaps it would have appeared in a cataloged offering and been know as "The Scarlet Letter" or perhaps "The Scarlet Letter Carrier"  Wink

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, September 17, 2017 3:17 PM

What if......

I purchased this engine on pure impulse.  It was a Buy it Now on eBay and my enthusiasm outran my common sense.  I have tried not to give in to buying repaints but this one was just too gorgeous to resist.

3326 1Image Enlarger

 

 

 

This is American Flyer's #3326. It is painted in a high gloss black which is unlike anything that Flyer used. The person who painted it did a top notch job. It looks like it had just come from the factory.

 3326 2Image Enlarger

 

 

 

What caught my attention in the original posting on eBay was that all of the add on features had been repaired and were working.   It has a headlight, a red firebox light and a ringing bell that works.  I have been looking for a model like this for a while and I have rarely seen one offered that had all of the features, and when I have seen them for sale I usually lost out on the bid.

 

3326 3Image Enlarger

 

 

 

3326 4Image Enlarger

 

 

 

I began to imagine what it would have been like if Flyer had matched up this top of the line steam engine from the 1930's with their top of the line passenger cars from the 1920's.  The Illini cars.

 

illini carsImage Enlarger

 

 

 

So in my fantasy its 1932, the first year of the Chicago World's Fair (and coincidentally the year that my parents were married).  American Flyer has a pavilion at the Century of Progress exhibition.  Chicago's top retail store Marshall Field and Company approaches American Flyer to produce a train set that will be available only at their flagship State Street Store. After much discussion Field's buyer and Flyer's salesman agree upon a passenger train that has never been offered before.  It will match up Flyer's #3326 in a bright and shiney black paint, and a string of passenger cars in what is pretty close to Marshall Field's signature green color.

They name it The Chicagoan

The ChicagoanImage Enlarger

 

 

 

Its an instant success and the 100 sets ordered by Fields disappear in the first month that the Century of Progress is open. What a lucky guy my father was, my mother knew how much he loved trains and bought one of those sets at Marshall Field and Company.

Well its a great fantasy. Smile  And its a way to explain why this beauty is running on my railroad.

 

The Chicagoan 2Image Enlarger

Enjoying the World's Greatest Hobby

Northwoods Flyer

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 470 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Sunday, September 17, 2017 3:35 PM

Northwoods,

Interesting imagination. 

American Flyer actually did make an uncataloged set in 1932 that used the illini cars with a steam engine.  The steam engine is somewhat unusual in that it uses a pre-1932 motor in a 1932 die cast engine shell.  The motor is uncataloged, as evidenced by the numbered original box that it came in.  The cars have the slightly later 1932 style grey trucks on them. 

This was a boxed, buy-it-now special from ebay.

 

NWL

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Wausau Wisconsin
  • 1,374 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, September 17, 2017 3:45 PM

Hmmmm, maybe I have a better imagination than I thought.  I originally posted that "What if..."  set over 5 years ago.  Maybe I was channeling some long gone person from the Flyer Marketing Department.  Confused

Enjoying the World's Greatest Hobby

Northwoods Flyer

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 470 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Sunday, September 17, 2017 4:32 PM

Northwoods,

The uncataloged set is really interesting.  The set is like new and looks as if it was barely used.  As I stated, the motor is more common to an earlier cast iron engine, which has a reverse lever that goes up and down in the cab.  There is no trailing truck due to the reverse lever being in the way.  The boiler is also interesting, as it has an earlier style brass bell that is screwed on to the shell instead of a copper bell that would be pressed into the shell.  As I mentioned, the engine came in its original individual box and it had a previously un-reported number on it (which I do not recall at the present time).

The tender is unique as it is one of the tenders that is punched for the standard gauge sized square plate on the sides and top, but has labels instead of plates. 

The cars are also interesting and are the latest set of illini cars that I have observed, due to the gray trucks with the added spring detail at the center of the opening.  The doors on the baggage are dark green (indicating 1925 and prior construction) and have the cast door handles, which were found on these up through 1927.  The coach has the small, higher, arched windows that are not punched out, which indicates these are late bodies. 

My guess is that this was a special set for an unknown retailer, for which Flyer used a number of odd components that were pre-existing.  The only new items for 1932 found on this set are the boiler shell and the trucks.

I have seen one or two of these odd boilers (with unusual bell) over the years and at least one tender that would match the set, but have not seen any other complete sets. 

NWL 

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