Pre War American Flyer Pictures - An Invitation

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Posted by Spanners on Friday, April 3, 2020 12:50 AM

Awesome pieces, gals, and guys! 

For something a little different, here is the tale of one-and-three-quarters (AF) Prewar Hudson's...

American Flyer Prewar O gauge is simply glorious. There are many categories, all of which deserve attention, but this post highlights the bigger O gauge Hudson locomotives (next I'll highlight the Northern's) and the precursor to the fantastic and omnipresent, 3/16th's scale / S gauge Postwar offerings after Gilbert took over. 

The 2-6-4 "Hudson" - Locomotive # 1681 - Circa 1936-1938, featuring an aluminum tender, and simple bar couplers (please disregard the missing journal cover on the trailing truck):

The great thing about almost all Prewar locomotives, regardless of manufacture, is the crude motor design, somewhat sloppy tolerances, but incredibly, if properly lubed, nearly silent operation, notice the firebox glow, per usual: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/187546244@N08/49730116442/in/dateposted-public/

 

 

 Fast-forward approx. two years to 1940, Gilbert is now at the helm, and Lionel is the ever-present target for market share in toy-trains. The fantastic 700E set the benchmark for realism in O Scale, and Gilbert brings out a Hudson numbered 570, being 3/16th's scale, however, it's running on O gauge track. I think you'll recognize the casting.. ;-)

   

Notice the bulbous tender trucks, although from a casting standpoint, identical in appearance to the later S gauge variant that would show up Postwar, six years later and the reverse unit in the boiler, located in the same spot as the later smoke-in-tenders in S gauge would end up (same casting). 

 

Here again, the locomotive literally runs like a sewing machine, nearly silent. I should note that the T-Rail track it's running on, is not fastened down, and under the carpet is Hommasote: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/187546244@N08/49730138157/in/dateposted-public/

And there you have it, your "useless knowledge of the day", brought to you from the sheltered-in-place, in beautiful Colorado! 

Thanks for listening and more to come!

Jeff

 

 

 

 

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Posted by JonEddy on Thursday, April 2, 2020 8:16 PM

Northwoods Flyer
Thanks for posting your new acquisition.  Have fun with it.

Thanks, of course now I need a caboose and some freight cars for it.......Wink

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Thursday, April 2, 2020 4:45 PM

No, I suspect the castings with the pierced fireboxes lasted until around 1933, as there are other differences to the castings other than the cast headlight visor.  I suspect they just changed the mold at some point to remove the pierced firebox.

NWL

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, April 2, 2020 4:01 PM

NWL,

I thought that the 1931 #3300's (#3301) had a headlight visor.  Do you suppose that the pierced fireboxes with a brass headlight ring are castings left over from 1931?  I have been looking for a 3301 with the visor to head up my Ambassador cars.  I realize that finding one with the origianl die cast valve gear is very unlikely.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Thursday, April 2, 2020 3:45 PM

Northwoods Flyer

I believe this one is unusual because there are holes in the skirting that allow the firebox light to show through  I have not run across another one.

 

 

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

Northwoods,

The lighted firebox is a feature of the earlier engines.  I have four 3300 engines from 1931 in my collection and all of them have lighted fireboxes with the holes in the sides of the firebox.  Some of my other 3325 engines also have the lighted fireboxes, but I cannot specifically date those years.  The other engines which I can date are from 1935 or after and do not have the holes in their fireboxes.

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, April 2, 2020 12:55 PM

Spanners,

I agree with Roy, thanks for posting the photos of your collection.  Keep them coming.

 

Jon,

The Type VIII engines (1931 - 1937) are among my favorite.  I think I have at least 4 of them.  One of them is in a family set that ran around our Christmas tree for years.

I watched this one with my head on the living room carpet for years.

I believe this one is unusual because there are holes in the skirting that allow the firebox light to show through  I have not run across another one.

I particularly like it paired up with the semi-Vanderbilt tender as yours is.

This one came with a set of Man of War cars.

This one was an impulse buy.  It was on ebay and has been completely restored.  The firebox light and the ringing bell both work as well as the headlight.  It makes me think of what these engines must have looked like when new on Christmas morning.

Thanks for posting your new acquisition.  Have fun with it.

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Posted by JonEddy on Thursday, April 2, 2020 7:42 AM

I just got this delivered yesterday, AF O-gauge 3325 with 3323 tender. It has some play wear but everything works even the firebox light.

     Jon

 

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Posted by wrmcclellan on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 9:30 AM

Spanners - thx for posting! 

All - Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

Regards, Roy

            

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Posted by LL675 on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 10:55 AM
that is a great collection and layout Jeff

Dave

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, March 22, 2020 3:28 PM

Wide Gauge

Passenger Cars

#4331 Pullman

1931 -1936

There are only two variations of this car listed in the Greenberg guide.  They match the two observations that are shown back a few entries.

Variation (A) 

Variation (B)

 

And a comparison photo:

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Posted by Spanners on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 8:34 PM

No worries Becky! The biggest giveaway is the third "plaque" under the center window on the Colonel, along with the additional brass bits, however, I have seen a President with the three plaques, but many of these sets were Frankensteined to cobble a decent looking, albeit non-original set. 

If my pic blows up on your end, you may also note that the cars have four vs. six-wheel trucks, which is not correct either. The second set of Pres cars behind the piper is as it should be. 

I know I have some Colonel cars packed away somewhere that I will dig out, no engine though, however. 

Thanks,

 

Jeff

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 8:11 PM

Sorry, I should have been more specific.  I was referring to the locomotive itself which had a different paint scheme than the President's Special.

Col:

Pres:

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 3:15 PM

Wide Gauge

Passenger Cars

#4332 Observation

1931 - 1936

There were two variations of this car during its run in the catalog.

Variation

(A)

The primary identifiers are decal doors, a clear circle in the brass platform railing and white painted number identification on the bottom of the car.

 

 

Variation (B)

Primary identifiers: Brass doors, no hole in the platform railing and black number identifer stamped on the bottom.

Some comparison photos:

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Posted by Spanners on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 7:59 AM

Oops, you are of course correct, it's the Presidents Special, got my names mixed, sorry about that. 

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 7:05 AM

If the set has litho cars, it cannot be a Flying Colonel set.  The Flying Colonel set always had enamel painted cars.

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Posted by Spanners on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 12:19 AM

Thanks all! 

You nailed it, Becky. The engine has been repainted unfortunatel, and the litho is rough, but I dig "use". It's an awesome reminder that these were, and shall always be, toys. 

I believe John DeSantis said it best, that he feels sorry for mint trains, as they didn't get the enjoyment they deserve. 

Thanks for the note! Jeff

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 7:22 PM

Great collection Spanners!  Dinner  A feast for the eyes!  Dinner

Is that the Flying Colonel on the second from the top shelf?

Becky

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 7:19 PM

Northwoods Flyer
you will find things that you forgot you had

Aint it funny how that just happens? 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 12:39 PM

Hi Jeff,

Welcome  to the thread.

Thanks for posting the photos. You have some great trains there from a variety of manufacturers.  I can tell you have been gathering your wares for a considerable amount of time. I hope that you will share more of your photos with us.  If you are going through your collection I am sure that you will find things that you forgot you had.  I know I have.

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Posted by Spanners on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 11:04 AM

  Hello!

I've been living under a rock as of late but thought I'd share my wares. I'm fully addicted to tinplate / prewar bits but am a "rubber gauger" - as most of us toy folks are!

I'll add more pics as I go through stuff, and you may notice that there are sets behind sets, so I'll rotate the same around if of interest. Everything works as intended and gets run often. 

Thanks for starting this thread (those many years ago!!). 

Jeff 

 

 

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, March 14, 2020 9:17 PM

Hi Penny,

The Ives steamer is indeed a beautiful model. You can see why Flyer was eager to have it join their roster after the bankruptcy. This is what Flyer did with it in 1929 and 1930 before they designed a steam engine of their own.

and paired it with their Pocahantas cars.

The brass piper is Fyer's own design.

Improving the detail on the Ives engine may have helped them, however I have read that some of their problems were caused by the large amount of handwork that went into making their trains and the policy of taking their products back if the customer was not satisfied.   They sometimes replaced broken items with a brand new piece of equipment.

BTW I really like the Ives Circus set too.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, March 14, 2020 7:03 PM

I've always wondered if Ives had put the same level of detail on the original model as Flyer ended up doing later on if it wouldn't have helped Ives fortunes a bit.  Don't get me wrong, I love the Ives versions, especially the Circus Train:

http://www.ivestrains.org/

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Posted by fifedog on Saturday, March 14, 2020 7:35 AM

Left HugFifedog love PiperRight Hug

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Friday, March 13, 2020 5:07 PM

Wide Gauge

4696  Brass Piper Engine and Tender

1931 - 1935

After posting the previous entries of Wide Gauge freight cars I thought it was time to post motive power that might have pulled them.

The 4696 is the number used for the combination of the 4695 locomotive

and the 4693 Vanderbilt tender.

I think this is one of the most beautiful combinations that Flyer put together.

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Monday, March 9, 2020 11:27 AM

Ken's post just showed up today, and here are his photos of the car he found.

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Posted by Zepherfan on Friday, March 6, 2020 6:50 PM

I picked up an interesting car today. It is a red 8 1/2" observation with type X trucks and VIIc couplers. It has a small brass framed window between the brass door and the strip of 6 brass framed windows on the fireman's side, but is missing that window on the opposite side. So that would make this car half a 3177c for having the window, and half a 3177b for not having it, if I am interpreting Schuweiler's guide correctly.

i can't post pictures here using my phone, but I will foreword them to Northwoods and hopefully he can post them.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Friday, March 6, 2020 9:51 AM

JonEddy

 

 
Nationwidelines
I would suspect that it is a 211 Bridge, listed on page 88 of Greenbergs, which is described as 28 inches long, as the 213 Bridge is slightly different and does not have the black ties or American Flyer tags on it.   NWL

 

Thanks, I believe your right, I have seen a few of each on eBay since I posted these pics. It would help if the Greenberg book had actual pictures of the bridges, not to mention there isn't even a drawing of the 211.

 

  Jon

 

 

You think the guide is bad for Bridges, you should try and figure out American Flyer Tunnels, using the guide.  I have 20+ different Flyer prewar tunnels and the guide describes only a few of the standard gauge tunnels. 

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Posted by JonEddy on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 11:31 PM

Northwoods Flyer
Nice finds Jon.

Thanks, I wasn't sure if I'd find any Flyer prewar stuff at the swap meet since I didn't see much prewar stuff at  the Great American train show last month. I sure didn't expect to find  a bridge. Smile

     Jon

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Posted by JonEddy on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 11:24 PM

Nationwidelines
I would suspect that it is a 211 Bridge, listed on page 88 of Greenbergs, which is described as 28 inches long, as the 213 Bridge is slightly different and does not have the black ties or American Flyer tags on it.   NWL

Thanks, I believe your right, I have seen a few of each on eBay since I posted these pics. It would help if the Greenberg book had actual pictures of the bridges, not to mention there isn't even a drawing of the 211.

  Jon

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