Pre War American Flyer Pictures - An Invitation

799320 views
2100 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Wausau Wisconsin
  • 1,399 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, December 02, 2017 10:42 PM

Train No. 1102    -   1925

The only early catalog that I have is this one from 1925


My 1925 catalog is a black and white reprint so I don't know what color the No. 1102 is in the catalog, but I believe that my set is from 1925.  Does anyone have an original copy of the catalog in color?

The engine is a black 1096

There are two 5 1/2" 4 wheel #1120 Seattle coaches in green in the set.

Its a nice entry level set, and its amazing to think that it is 92 years old and runs like new.

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
  • 509 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Sunday, December 03, 2017 7:24 AM

Northwoods,

I have the cd rom with the catalog scans, which to my understanding was made using original catalogs.  The 1925 set 1102 shows a black 1096 engine with the red/maroon Seattle cars. 

The 1926 catalog shows the lithographed red/maroon 1096 with the later New Haven body (see below) that has the cast pantograph/headlight on roof and red/maroon Seattle cars.

Therefore, it appears that due to the body style of your engine, your set would date to 1925 or possibly early 1926 (as I believe the catalogs typically came out in the fall).

I know set 1102 was first cataloged in 1925, with the similar set using either the 1101 engine or 1095 engine (later years) was cataloged from 1922 through 1924. 

However, just because the catalog shows one color, with Flyer the colors certainly could have varied. 

The 1102 set in my collection matches the catalog, with black 1096 and red/maroon Seattle cars; however, I do not recall if it is a boxed set.

I know the colors varied in the late 1101 sets from 1924, as I have a set with brown 1095 and red/maroon Seattle cars and a set with black 1095 and green Seattle cars and have seen green 1095 engines.

NWL

  • Member since
    February, 2016
  • 17 posts
Posted by Heymrd1313 on Monday, December 04, 2017 9:25 AM

 Anyone wish to take a shot at the history of this 1218 ? I purchased it at a yard sale and the previous owner had no history or story to go with the engine. It is a dark ultramarine blue. I will let the photos tell the rest of the story.                          

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 509 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Monday, December 04, 2017 3:41 PM

Heymrd1313

 Anyone wish to take a shot at the history of this 1218 ? I purchased it at a yard sale and the previous owner had no history or story to go with the engine. It is a dark ultramarine blue. I will let the photos tell the rest of the story.                          

 

 

I will take a stab at this.

Dark Blue is a known color for a 1218.  It is a very rare color, as the blue did not typically adhere well to the steel/paint. 

The one true blue 1218 I have seen in person, was a factory overpainted black body and unpainted steel roof.  The blue paint was 99% gone from the roof and at least 50% gone from the black overpainted body.

As for your engine.  I see some things wrong with it and will note them

1) big thing wrong, is that there is a post sticking up through the body behind the headlight.  Not sure what that is or how that is attached, but it is not normal.

2) your motor has reverse.  The 1218 engines did not come with reverse, therefore, the motor appears incorrect.

3) the 1218 numbering on the opposite end of the motor from the headlight, is large and appears incorrect for 1218 engines.  After taking a second look at this, there appears to be an unusual plate with this end number on, which possibly covers a second light bulb hole?  Not sure, but this is very unusual and incorrect.

4) I note the motor frame has brass journal boxes, which is incorrect for a 1218.  1218 frames were not punched for journal boxes.

5) Overall the paint looks too good, with very few chips/scratches.

These factors lead me to question the authenticity of your engine. 

NWL

  • Member since
    February, 2016
  • 17 posts
Posted by Heymrd1313 on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 8:05 AM

Thanks for the evaluation. So the engine is bits and pieces from here and there put together to make this one. I have a Frankenstein 1218 ? Big Smile

  • Member since
    February, 2016
  • 17 posts
Posted by Heymrd1313 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 9:56 AM

After reading the points made by NWL I decided to do a bit more checking of the engine. I can report these items.

1. The 1218 cover plate on the back of the cab came off pretty easy and it did cover up a hole. The hole was punched, not drilled, into the body at some point since there was a slight burr on the inside of hole. The type of burr that is created when metal is punched. There was no socket for a blub behind the plate hole. This holed may or may not be original to the cab.

2. Looking through the hole the inside of the cab body is visible and I did see some bear spots in the blue paint. The bare metal of the cab is visible in spots and I could see no evidence of any other color paint but the ultramarine blue. It did not seem to have been repainted or blue over another color.

3. The cab and frame were apart at some point and were reattached with flat top split rivets with newer couplers having been added.

4. I could see the end of the pole and it was left long and then the end was mushroomed to attach it to the cab.

One other point I did find. American Flyer did make a train set for Montgomery Ward it's #7010. They used a 1218 body but put a reversing motor in the cab body. So if the engine could talk it could tell us how it got and extra hole, a pole and a reversing motor. Sadly it can't, so it will remain THE 1218 FRANKENSTEIN.

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Wausau Wisconsin
  • 1,399 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, December 07, 2017 1:49 PM

Heymrd1313,

Thanks for sharing your 1218 Frankenstein, and your observations.  While it may not be an original American Flyer issue it certainly is an example of a model railroader's creativity.  One of its previous owners obviously put a lot of time into that project. From gathering the parts (from toy train graveyards?) to developing the concept and painting the carcass and assembling it all, the person who put it together was a real artist.  

Here are some photos of the #7010 that was marketed through Wards.  I have only seen it come in green.

This is a cover from the 1929 Montgomery Ward Catalog

And the page showing the trains for sale.

This is the #7010

I have never seen a boxed example of the Wards set, but I think this is a representation of what the set may have looked like.

Enjoying the World's Greatest Hobby

Northwoods Flyer

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Wausau Wisconsin
  • 1,399 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Friday, December 15, 2017 10:24 AM

Accessories

#108 Switch Tower House

 

I recently bought myself an early Christmas present.  I have wanted one of these Switch Towers for a long time.  I finally came across one that was in an acceptable condition and at the right price.

The #108 was cataloged from 1929 - 1934. There are at least two color variations of this accessory; Schuweiler labels this one as variation A.

One of the really fun things about it is that the wiring instructions are pasted on the bottom.

 

There is a version that has no knife switches on it that NationWideLines posted a while back when we were posting trivia questions.  

"What is this (catalog number) and what year / years was it cataloged?

 

it is not the 108 Switch Tower.

This is a picture of the same view of the 108 Switch Tower, the differences are easily spotted when compared side to side.

 This is a picture of the other side of the 108 Switch Tower

 

 

I showed a picture of the entire item, because this is not an easy question or item to find.

I suggest you consult your catalogs.  I will give you a hint, this item was cataloged only 1 year. 

Here are pictures of both sides of the mystery item.  Compare them to the 108 above

 

 

What year was it cataloged and what is its correct catalog number?

NWL"

NationWideLines,

I finally had some time to look through my catalogs.  I never noticed that the listing for the 108 Switch Tower House had a paragraph offering the item you show in your photo.  Nice find!

Your photo is of the #4108 "Tower House" offered only in the 1932 catalog.  The catalog describes it as being the same as the #108 except without the knife switches.

 

One more item off the "Most Wanted" list.  Unless of course I start looking for a #4108 too.  Confused

Enjoying the World's Greatest Hobby

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • From: Ohio Valley
  • 638 posts
Posted by LL675 on Friday, December 15, 2017 12:42 PM

beautiful tower Greg. wouldn't mind one of those myself.

Dave

It's a TOY, A child's PLAYTHING!!! (Woody  from Toy Story)

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 509 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:01 AM

Northwoods,

Looks like you will have a merry xmas with a train running by the 108 switchtower. 

NWL

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 509 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:39 PM

My Xmas present to myself arrived in the mail today!  Being a box fan, I could not resist bidding on the following item.

The 1118 tank cars did not come with the box and I put several in for the photograph, so they do not all match.  My plan is to acquire 2 more of the high truck early versions to add to the 4 that are shown in the group.

This half dozen box goes well with my other half dozen assortment box, which was shown on an earlier page, as well as below.

 

NWL

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 39 posts
Posted by strainst on Sunday, December 24, 2017 7:54 AM

NorthWoodsFlyer & NationWideLines,
Very nice gifts. 
I was at  a train show a couple of weeks ago and a friend of mind picked up a empty American Flyer set box with the numbers 1438RT stamped on the label on the side of the box.  The label is the one from the mid to late 30's and it was on the side of the top lid, no label to the top of the box.  It is a large box, so maybe a standard gauge set of a deluxe O gauge set with building and tunnel?  I have not found the set number in any of my references.  Any ideas as to what came in this box?  A picture of the style of label is shown below.  This is not the actual label, dummy me forgot to take a picture of it.
 
strainst
Tags: 1438 RT
  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 509 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Sunday, December 24, 2017 11:16 AM

strainst

NorthWoodsFlyer & NationWideLines,
Very nice gifts. 
I was at  a train show a couple of weeks ago and a friend of mind picked up a empty American Flyer set box with the numbers 1438RT stamped on the label on the side of the box.  The label is the one from the mid to late 30's and it was on the side of the top lid, no label to the top of the box.  It is a large box, so maybe a standard gauge set of a deluxe O gauge set with building and tunnel?  I have not found the set number in any of my references.  Any ideas as to what came in this box?  A picture of the style of label is shown below.  This is not the actual label, dummy me forgot to take a picture of it.
 
strainst
 

 

Strainst,

I could not find that set number anywhere.  Please show a photo of the entire box and a close-up of the set number.

Typically the 1400 series numbers refer to standard gauge sets, but I am unaware of the O gauge label being used on a standard gauge setbox.  I am not saying it could not have been done for a late set or a special set, just have never seen one.

 

NWL

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 39 posts
Posted by strainst on Sunday, December 24, 2017 2:30 PM

NWL
 
Unfortunately as I stated in my earlier email, I did not take any pictures of the box.  I have sent an email to the owner requesting the photos.  I also asked if he is doing the next Greenberg Train Show in Richmond, VA.  I have asked him if he is willing to bring the box so I could see it again, take pictures and look inside of it, which I did not do at the last show.  I will post the information when I hear from him.
strainst
Tags: 1438 RT
  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 509 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Sunday, December 24, 2017 4:40 PM

My misunderstanding, I thought you owned the box. 

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • 852 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 8:27 PM
  American Flyer Sets #932 and #933
 
  Back on pages 5 and 6 of this thread I wrote a series of posts with the lead title of “Electrifying Steam”.  There are a total of 6 articles covering the various American Flyer electric trains with cast iron superstructures.  In the last post (Electrifying Steam VI) I described the demise of the cast iron superstructure locomotives and also commented on the introduction of a small cast iron superstructure engine #915 in the 1932 catalog which, because of its frequent sightings at various train meets, I thought had been either manufactured for a longer period of time than was indicated by the catalogs or perhaps had been offered for separate sale to outlets like Montgomery Wards.
 
  In the post “Electrifying Steam V” I described the brief history of the uncatalogued cast iron engine #1084.
 
 
 
Engine #1084
 
  This engine headed up a passenger set (#932) and a freight set (#933) which were illustrated in the 1931 American Flyer Dealer Price Sheet and were called “Express Electric Trains.” The evidence I had back in 2008 indicated these sets disappeared in 1931 along with the end of the production of #1084.
 
 
1931 Dealer Price Sheet illustration
 
 
 
 
Set #932
 
 
     Time has passed and I have continued to add to my knowledge of these trains.  Recently I found an interesting footnote to the production of Express Electric Train Sets #932 and #933. The footnote is in the form of the set illustrated below.  The set label is #932T (the “T” indicates the inclusion of a transformer). 
 
 
 
Set Box Label
 
 
 
 
Boxed Set
 
 
 
 
Set contents
 
 
 As you can see the contents of the box are the cars for the #933 set with a #915 locomotive substituted for #1084.
 
  This would suggest in late 1931 American Flyer had leftover #932 boxes and components for the #933 set which were complete save for a supply of #1084 locomotives.  It would appear that rather than scrap the boxes Flyer chose to substitute a #915 locomotive for #1084, ignore the set number designation and ship what they had until the supply was exhausted. 
 
  An additional point: the #915 in this #932T set is different from other 915 engines I have seen in that the headlight is mounted on a strap inside the engine superstructure instead of screwing into a light socket and protruding from the boiler front.  Since I have seen this headlight difference on other Flyer engines from the period I think this is just a case of my personal first sighting of a #915 engine with this headlight treatment.
 
 
  • Member since
    December, 2012
  • 15 posts
Posted by RoyalBlue1972 on Friday, January 05, 2018 9:47 AM

Just picked this beauty up from a seller on Etsy.  This will probably be one of my earliest Flyer trains!  Now I need to research when it was from and get all the info I can on it!

This photo is from the seller.  I'll post some more when I get it.

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 509 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Friday, January 05, 2018 7:00 PM

RoyalBlue1972

Just picked this beauty up from a seller on Etsy.  This will probably be one of my earliest Flyer trains!  Now I need to research when it was from and get all the info I can on it!

This photo is from the seller.  I'll post some more when I get it.

 

Assuming the box is original, it would date to approximately 1928.  I say that because the box indicates "Over 6 Million" and that label first appeared in 1928 and was shortly superseeded by the "Over 6.5 Million" label. 

The frames on the cars are certainly after approximately 1923-1924 due to the style of the frame. 

I cannot say much more than that, as there is no visible set number on the box.  Had there been a set number, it might help identify if what you purchased matched the set description

 

NWL

 

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Wausau Wisconsin
  • 1,399 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Monday, January 22, 2018 6:59 AM
Happy Anniversary

January 22, 2008  -  January 22, 2018

 

Celebrating

10

 years

of

Pre War American Flyer Pictures

 

      I find myself shaking my head when I realize that another year has passed.  It is amazing to think that the thread is celebrating its 10th anniversary – an entire decade.  In that time we have gathered a wealth of information that stretches on for almost 69 pages.  In this year alone there have been approximately 150 postings; the counter on the main forum page says that there have been 2,057 replies to my original posting and invitation on a cold January night ten years ago.  During 2017 we passed the ¾ million hit mark; and there are still approximately 100 hits per day.  Those numbers don’t even come close to describing the number of hours of photographing, researching, and writing that have gone into this thread by every person who has posted a photo or a question, offered a comment, or provided some valuable information. 
   
     I am grateful for all of the contributions to the thread, and fascinated by the new bits of information about Flyer that are posted and the variations that keep turning up. It is amazing to see the different aspects of the American Flyer hobby that are woven together here that combine to make this more than a thread, it has become a fabric.  That is one of the reasons I refer to “we” when I talk about the statistics.  I may have started the thread, but each of you have been an important part of making it what it has become.
     
     More than anything, I treasure the relationships and friendships that I have experienced because of this “fabric”.  I have met and continue to meet some fine people here.  Some of them I have even met in person.  I don’t think you will find a nicer, more enthusiastic and helpful group of folks in the train collecting hobby than you will here.
 
      Thank you to Kalmbach for another year of making this endeavor possible, and for providing a place for American Flyer enthusiasts to gather and enjoy their trains for the last decade.
 
     So let me take you all the way back to that first post from 10 years ago:

My current passion in collecting trains is Pre War American Flyer.  I like the looks of Wide Gauge, Narrow Gauge, 3/16 O Gauge, accessories, or anything associated with Flyer.

I'd like to invite other Flyer fans to post pictures of the items they have in their collections or to ask questions.  I am not an expert, but I know that there are folks with a wealth of knowledge and experience that do read and post.  I enjoy seeing what others have gathered, and I never seem to get enough of seeing Flyer. 

…. I thought it would be nice to have a thread that was devoted entirely to Flyer pictures. 

And here we are 10 years later.  Let’s get started on the next 10 years.
 
 
Enjoying the World’s Greatest Hobby
Northwoods Flyer

 

Greg

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • 852 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Monday, January 22, 2018 7:39 AM

 A 10 year anniversary - now that's electifying news! In the spirit of electrifying news and the count of 10 here's a 10th anniversary picture - 10 American Flyer sets all headed by electric outline motive power and the entire display backed up by American Flyer catalogs from the teens, 20's and 30's.

 

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 509 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Monday, January 22, 2018 2:37 PM

mersenne6

 A 10 year anniversary - now that's electifying news!  

Seems appropriate, as 100 years ago, in 1918, American Flyer introduced its first electric locomotive.  Now that was electrifying news!

In honor of the 10th Anniversary and 100th Anniversary of American Flyer electric trains, here is a photo of some c. 1918 electric steam locomotives and cars.

The engine in the foreground with gold cab roof on engine, is believed to be one of the 50 motors produced to test the market or an engineering sample, as it features a non production motor with tube brushes (which were not formally introduced until 1925), unpainted and un-machined cast iron wheels, and a crude method of holding the armature / brushes in place.

The engine in the background is more typical early motor with machined and painted wheels, standard copper finger brushes, and standard method of holding armature / brushes in place.

Happy 10 / 100

NWL

 

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • 852 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Monday, January 22, 2018 7:47 PM

The American Flyer #509 Tender

 

 

 

This tender was first listed as part of 1930 clockwork set #134 The Queen City. 

The tender came in 10 different road names:

Rock Island, C&NW RR, Great Northern, Illinois Central, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, Pennsylvania, Baltimore & Ohio, NewYork Central, and Nationwide Lines.

While the tender was only cataloged as part of set #134 the frequency of the appearance of these tenders at train meets suggests they were part of other train sets and according to the Greenberg Guide for American Flyer Pre-War trains the tenders were manufactured from 1930-1933.

  The 1931 Dealers Price Sheet illustrated a series of otherwise uncataloged train sets identified as the 700 Series - Empire Express Trains

Four of the five sets were headed by clockwork steam locomotives and all of these featured sets included a #509 tender.

  The sets headed by clockwork steam were essentially stripped down versions of the #134 set from 1930.  In addition to no accessories and very little track the passenger cars for these sets were, with the exception of set #746, smaller and cheaper than the cars offered in the Queen City set.

Set #742

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • 509 posts
Posted by Nationwidelines on Monday, January 22, 2018 8:29 PM

mersenne6

The American Flyer #509 Tender

 

 

 

This tender was first listed as part of 1930 clockwork set #134 The Queen City. 

The tender came in 10 different road names:

Rock Island, C&NW RR, Great Northern, Illinois Central, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, Pennsylvania, Baltimore & Ohio, NewYork Central, and Nationwide Lines.

While the tender was only cataloged as part of set #134 the frequency of the appearance of these tenders at train meets suggests they were part of other train sets and according to the Greenberg Guide for American Flyer Pre-War trains the tenders were manufactured from 1930-1933.

  The 1931 Dealers Price Sheet illustrated a series of otherwise uncataloged train sets identified as the 700 Series - Empire Express Trains

Four of the five sets were headed by clockwork steam locomotives and all of these featured sets included a #509 tender.

  The sets headed by clockwork steam were essentially stripped down versions of the #134 set from 1930.  In addition to no accessories and very little track the passenger cars for these sets were, with the exception of set #746, smaller and cheaper than the cars offered in the Queen City set.

Set #742

 

 

 

 

 

Nice.  I only have a NWL version that came in a boxed Queen City set with NWL components, a Southern Pacific, and the C&NW RR variations of the 509 tenders.

 

  • Member since
    January, 2018
  • 2 posts
Posted by PChase on Friday, January 26, 2018 4:02 PM

Greetings, all! Love the posts but I am a rookie having just inherited an American Flyer Lines locomotive and car! First attempt at a post. My father-in-law had this train when he passed away. I've tried to find out something about it but since is has no number or identifying mark I've not had much luck. It was the search, though, that led me to this forum. I'm going to try to attach a photograph of it. If it makes it, I would love any information anyone might have about it. Thanks! 

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Wausau Wisconsin
  • 1,399 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, January 27, 2018 2:10 PM

Welcome  PChase,

I'm glad that you found the thread.  Since this is your first post to the forums your post was delayed for a while.  I am pretty sure we can help with information if you can post a photo or give a description of the engine and car.  You will need to have an online photo hosting account with Shutterfly or a similar site.  If you can't post the photo perhaps you could send the photos directly to me.  Looking forward to seeing your engine.

Enjoying the World's Greatest Hobby

Northwoods Flyer

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    January, 2018
  • 2 posts
Posted by PChase on Sunday, January 28, 2018 6:08 AM

Thanks for your reply! I don't do Shutterfly but would be happy to send photos directly to you.  Where do I send them? Also when I signed in this morning I noticed that in my posting it showed the photo of the engine that I included. Curious that it didn't make it to the message you saw. Regards.

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Wausau Wisconsin
  • 1,399 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, January 28, 2018 3:48 PM

PChase;

You can send the photo(s) to me.

Looking forward to seeing your engine.

Update:

PChase and I have been in contact and a post with photos will be available shortly.  The engine is a Type XX with a mechanical whistle.

Enjoying the World's Greatest Hobby

Northwoods Flyer

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    April, 2006
  • 6,127 posts
Posted by fifedog on Sunday, January 28, 2018 5:52 PM

Northwoods Flyer - Congrats on the 10 year milestone.  Your enthusiasm inspires us all.  Bravo, ol' chap.

YesPirate

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Wausau Wisconsin
  • 1,399 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, January 28, 2018 6:03 PM

Thanks fife!

Part of the fun of hosting and being involved in this thread is knowing that there are eager and interested readers.  I am looking forward to seeing how your new layout build is progressing.  Its good to hear that you have incorporated American Flyer (S gauge) into your planning.

I appreciate your enthisiasm and sense of camaraderie. 

Don't you think you should have a Civil War era Flyer engine running on your layout?

Enjoying the World's Greatest Hobby

Northwoods Flyer

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    April, 2006
  • 6,127 posts
Posted by fifedog on Sunday, January 28, 2018 7:00 PM

Santa actually brought Fifey a Washington 4-4-0 for Christmas.  Not the best smoker, but a good looking and running engine.  I have found that 600 series cars, with the silver journal box covers, look right at home behind her.  And of course, the vintage look and handle of my 15B adds to the nastalgia.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month