cast iron train question: model number JM103. Is this early Marklin?

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cast iron train question: model number JM103. Is this early Marklin?
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, May 03, 2007 9:33 AM


I have and old cast iron train. I'm not real familiar with trains, so I need some help. This piece was passed down through my family. I just aquired it from my Gramdmothers estate. She was an avid collector of antiques, and this particular piece held significant meaning to her. Unfortunately she had Alzhiemers, and so she really had no idea what it was, or where it came from anymore.

It is all black painted cast iron, steam locomotive with attached tender car, and passenger coach as a sperate piece. The locomotive/tender is 6" long. The coach is 5" from front hitch to couple hitch.They measure appx. 1 1/4" wide.

Both pieces are marked with incised stamp, JM103. The number on the engine is on the inside on the tender box on this side. The stamp on the coach is hard to find, located inside the coach beneath the windows. Th JM portion is partcialy concealed by the front wheel. But it is marked the same JM103. If anyone knows what this is or where I might be able to find that out, it would be greatly appreciated.











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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:06 AM
What you describe sounds like a cast iron floor toy, in which case it definitely would not be Marklin.  Cast iron toys of all kinds, including trains, were manufactured in the United States from the 1870's to the 1930's.  (Cast iron was never popular for toy making in Europe.)  Companies that made such trains included Arcade, Hubley, Kenton, Wilkins and Dent.  Also be aware, however, that in recent years there have been numerous cast iron toy trains made in the style of the originals.  The modern ones are usually very easy to spot, though, since they have fancier paint jobs than the originals with cast-in details being painted in gold.  Originals were never decorated in this way.  Floor toys aren't in my area of expertise, however, and I would suggest you browse on ebay in the Toys and Hobbies: Vintage, Antique Toys: Cast Iron categorty where chances are you might find the set you have and possibly be able to find out more informaton about it.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:24 AM

Thanks for getting back to me. I am familiar with American cast iron, and this just doesn't seem to fit any of the maufacturers you mentioned. It certainly is old, no repro. I have been collecting cast iron long enough to spot those pieces. What has me curious is the model#, it doesn't show up any where. That's why I thought Marklin. Apparently pre 1878 Marklin made small floor toys as a regional maufacturer. When the new designer came in 1878, they went to larger scale model trains. These early pieces are hard to identify apparently, because records where just hand written note books. Probibly just wishful thinking!

If I figure out the mystery I will let you know! Once again, thank you very much for getting back to me. 

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Posted by lionelsoni on Thursday, May 03, 2007 12:21 PM

Here is one on Ebay.  No manufacturer information, however:

Here is a race car identified as a "Hubley" "JM 201".  I saw several other cast-iron toys with the "JM" prefix.  So Hubley may be the manufacturer.

Hubley Manufacturing Co. apparently started in Lancaster, PA, in 1894 making iron toys.  In the 1930s they switched to zinc.  It lasted until about 1965.


Bob Nelson


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