Stephen Girard Set

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Stephen Girard Set

  • Hello everyone!  There's something that's been puzzling me.  We all know of Lionel's prewar Standard Gauge passenger set that's referred to as the "Stephen Girard" set.  I know who Stephen Girard was.  Question:  Why would Lionel name a set, well one of the cars in it actually, for an obscure early 19th Century businessman and philanthropist?  Certainly Mr Girard was well known at the time, but  who remembered him in the 1930's?   It's a puzzler.

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  • Interesting question.  With cars named Liberty Bell and Philadelphia it makes sense.  If you were from the Delaware Valley and of a certain age you would be well aware of Girard Bank, the impressive headquarters still stands in Philadelphia.  There is also Girard Avenue.  And his biggest contribution, Girard College, a school for orphan boys.  Two of my cousins attended Girard College during its post war heyday.  So, from a Philadelphia perspective, Girard was far from obscure, but quite well known.  Perhaps not as well known as Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross, especially in the 21st century, but quite well known into the 1970s.

    Stephen Girard wouldn't be out of place on a toy train with a Philadelphia theme.

  • To AF1963:  Thanks for the response!  It makes perfect sense.  Ah, now I can stop losing sleep over this one!

  • Remember this is just speculation on my part.

  • Hey, it's as good a theory as any.  No-one else I've asked seems to know.  By the way, check out Stephen Girard on Wikepedia, fascinating man and a true patriot. 

  • more like the  of Stephen Girard rather than a direct connection, but on the other side of the state, the Borough of Girard in Erie County, PA was named for Mr Girard, apparently a property owner in the area, which then spawned the Model Works named after the town, ...and we should all know that Joy!

    regarding the standard gauge cars, can anyone explain "Coral Isle"?
  • What a fantastic box cover!  What can you tell us about the "Joy Line"?  I've never heard of it, but then pre-war toy trains aren't my strong suit.

  • Firelock76

    ... What can you tell us about the "Joy Line"?  I've never heard of it, but then prewar toy trains aren't my strong suit.

    already owning a plant in Erie prior to the GMW acquisition and to avoid confusion, that division of Marx would keep its roots as the Girard Manufacturing Company.
    fun stuff.
  • To overlandflyer:  Thanks for posting the link, it's utterly fascinating what's there.  Truly, it's a wasted day if you haven't learned something new.