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The Lionel 1950 Anniversary Set

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TJR
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The Lionel 1950 Anniversary Set
Posted by TJR on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 8:26 AM

Hi, I'm sorta new to the posting aspect of the forum, and I hope I read all the rules correctly. My question has most likely been answered before, so bear with me. Which Lionel set is really the 1950 Anniversary Set, the 1464W passenger car set or the 1467W freight set, or are both of them considered Anniversary Sets. The 1950 Lionel Golden Anniversary Year catalog specifically calls it the freight set and David Doyles catalog of Lionel Trains 1945-1969 description of the 2481 Plainfield (page 273) states that the 1464W set is often erroneously refered as the Anniversary Set.  Yet almost all of my research always finds the 1464W set called the Anniverary Set.  Heck, even the Lionel web site refers to it's re-issue (SKU: 6-38354) of the 1464W set as the Anniversary Set.  Thanks in advance for your help in clearing this up for me.  TJR

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Posted by cwburfle on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 8:58 AM

Postwar Lionel train collectors consider the 1464W passenger set to be the anniversary set. As far as I know, no other reference besides Doyle says otherwise.

The passenger cars are unique to that set, and were offered one year only.
The freight set has the same one year only engine, but as far as I know, the cars are nothing special.

I don't see where Lionel called either set an "Anniversary set".

Lionel did write copy "Brand new this year in celibration of Lionel's Golden Anniversary" to describe the freight set in the 1950 4-color catalog. I didn't see the copy repeated in the 1950 2-color catalog.

When I was still a kid, my next door neighbor gave me the 1467W freight set. I wish it was the more desirable one :)

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Posted by Rescuedtrains on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 5:51 PM

cwburfle is correct, Lionel never named any product in their 1950 catalog as an "anniversary set". The reference to the 1467W set is buried in the description of that set on page 13, hardly a real celebration. The big promotion in the 1950 catalog was the news of Magne-traction and that every locomotive would be equipped with it. This included the lowly Scout set. Lionel did not self promote its 50th year in business as businesses do now.

As to the reference of David Doyle's book, lets not forget the inaccuracies in the book along with the lawsuit  claiming plagiarism from Mr. Ambrose. That was settled out of court.

TJR
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Posted by TJR on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:26 AM

Thanks for your response cwburfle,  I sorta expected that was going to be the answer but wanted to clear up the David Doyle and 1950 catalog references to be absolutely sure.  I guess they were just red herrings which still gave me false hope. 

Regards,

TJR

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 12:50 PM

In Doyl's Sets book he states that "Lionel Collectors" refer to the passenger set as the aniversary set. That sounds right at least in my personal experiences I often use and hear this designation to describe that set.

Agree with CW, it was not an official Lionel designation.

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Posted by cwburfle on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 4:20 PM

I don't have his book handy. Wasn't he inferring that Lionel collectors had it wrong?

I think Doyle was an odd duck trying to put his mark on our hobby. He decided to title one of his chapters "House Cars" to describe boxcars and such. I looked up the term, and while he was technically correct, with over forty years in the hobby, I don't think I ever saw or heard of the term being used elsewhere.

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Posted by Frank54 on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 7:39 PM

TJR
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Posted by TJR on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 5:34 AM

Ok, I think I understand now. Lionel never really introduced an "Anniversary Set" in 1950,  that moniker was placed on the Lionel 2023 passenger set by collectors and enthusiasts.     

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 5:08 PM

A collector's term all right.  I believe "Madison car" is a collector's term as well that stuck fast.

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Posted by cwburfle on Thursday, May 19, 2016 6:31 AM

Just about every group coins their own terms and definitions for this and that.
Toy Train collecting has been around for a long time, and has its share of well established jargon.

I also beleive that "Madision car" is a collectors term.

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Posted by Frank54 on Thursday, May 19, 2016 11:15 AM

Interesting when I searched for Lionel 50th Anniversary Set I found this:

 

http://www.lionel.com/products/50th-anniversary-set-loco-5344-6-31705/

In 1950, the No. 2148WS Deluxe Pullman Set proved a thrilling achievement that capped the first fifty years of Lionel Trains. The set was touted as "the finest steam-type passenger set made!" This statement lead us to ask what would this train set look like if it had been made a half century later. We believe that our answer would make Joshua Lionel Cowen proud. A new version of our scale-sized New York Central J3a Hudson featuring all-new Boxpok driving wheels and plated cylinder caps leads a legendary consist of Pullman Heavyweight cars complete with authentically detailed interiors. The all-new, updated Lionel 50th Anniversary Set brings a new standard to 21st century O gauge railroading.• Set includes: J3a Hudson steam locomotive and tender, baggage car, 3 coaches, observation car

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Posted by Frank54 on Thursday, May 19, 2016 11:17 AM

Also found this old You Tube video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIG5_opIoNU

TJR
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Posted by TJR on Saturday, May 21, 2016 6:39 AM

Thanks Frank54, I guess even the current Lionel LLC can vary on their idea of the Anniversary Set based on the current business climate,  it appears though there was never actually a 50th Anniversay Set produced by the actual Lionel Corporation in 1950.  My cold case file is now closed.   Thanks for you help guys.  TJR

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Posted by stuartmit on Sunday, May 29, 2016 11:37 AM

 A few days late to the anniversary party. I recall never being aware of the passenger set and seeing it for the first time in the mid-80s on a visit to Trainworld in Brooklyn. I did receive the freight set because my dad was a buyer for Squibb and a vendor gave it to him for Hanukkah in December of whatever year that would've been. 1949 or 1950? When  I finally saw the passenger side at Trainworld, I asked naïvely and incredulously, "what is that? ".  The guy behind the counter answered, "oh, that's the anniversary set." At least he didn't make me seem uneducated or unknowing. I have been fascinated with the set and have four of them. Beyond those I don't have many collector pieces at all. But I do have those four sets in OK condition, but I love to look at them and run them. Happy Anniversart!

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, May 29, 2016 12:09 PM

Keep in mind collectors (of anything) like to fit things into nice, neat, categories.  It's easier that way.  Anniversary Set, State Set, Madison cars, and so on.

However, we also have to remember manufacturors, of anything, don't make things to fit into nice, neat categories, they make things to make money. 

At any rate, it doesn't matter as long as we're all on the same page considering the subject matter.

TJR
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Posted by TJR on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 6:44 AM
I am completely satisfied with the answer I received to my question and I am now on the same page. Thanks guys. TJR
TJR
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Posted by TJR on Friday, June 3, 2016 10:49 AM

Gentlemen, I failed to notice the orange caption on the right of this Lionel ad I had previously refererenced but did not include the image which supports your earlier conclusion that the "Anniversary Set" moniker was created by Lionel collectors and enthusiasts.  The End.   Wow

 

TJR
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Posted by TJR on Friday, June 3, 2016 10:57 AM
Uh-oh, I don't think the image I inserted accompanied my previous message so here's what the caption said from the new Lionel Anniversary Set ad SKU: 6-38354. "Famously dubbed the "Anniversary Set" by many collectors, #1464W is one of the most desirable of all Lionel postwar sets."
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Posted by ADCX Rob on Thursday, September 2, 2021 2:06 PM

Rob

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