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Pre War American Flyer Pictures - An Invitation

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Friday, January 25, 2008 10:52 PM

Thanks for all of the great pictures that you are posting guys.

Paul - I love the pictures of the trains on the carpeting. Just the way most boys used to run them.

Spanky - it looks like your member has done a nice mixture of original items and some of the reproduction and repainted items that are available for the Flyer S gauge Circus set. Where can I find a description of the museum.

Here are some pictures of a common Pre War Flyer passenger set : The Oriental Limited

 

Keep those pictures coming,

Greg

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Posted by 37fleetwood on Friday, January 25, 2008 11:21 PM
 prewardude wrote:
 37fleetwood wrote:

you know I'm tempted by the MTH standard gauge B&O #384 Tin Plate Traditions set even if it is modeled after a Lionel set. it has protosounds 2.0 protosmoke very cool. the best of both worlds.

 

they even offer tin buildings!

Scott 

Just as a point of clarification, that is a 400E in the photo, NOT a 384E!

With that out of the way, let me just thank all the contributors to this thread. It has been thoroughly enjoyable seeing all of these great trains and accessories. Great job, guys! Smile [:)]

 - Clint 

 

Actually this photo was taken from the MTH web site.

I didn't notice 'til you mentioned it that this isn't the one in the catalog.

I am going to have to get a Flyer Passenger set. I really like the electric engines.

Scott 

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Posted by spankybird on Saturday, January 26, 2008 6:50 AM

Thanks Northwoods,

As I recall, this set is all orginal, but I could be mistaken.

Here are two links to The Western Reserve Model Railroad Museum

www.wrmrrm.org

and

www.wrmrrm.shutterfly.com

 

 

 

I am a person with a very active inner child. This is why my wife loves me so. Willoughby, Ohio - the home of the CP & E RR. OTTS Founder www.spankybird.shutterfly.com 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, January 26, 2008 9:10 AM

Spankybird,

Thanks for the links to the museum. I have heard you mention it in the Coffee Pot thread and wondered what it was like.  I will spend some time today during the snowy afternoon to explore it.

This is a page from the 1950 catalog. 

To my knowledge this is the only equipment that Flyer manufactured for the Circus set. There are some examples of the engine being painted yellow and the passenger car being red, but these are very uncommon from what I have been told. The extra equipment that you have shows up from time to time on eBay and I believe that they are re-manufactured pieces that one of the S gauge hobbiests or a shop have produced.  They look great and I have been tempted to purchase them.

The paper cutouts that came with the set are harder to find then the train itself.  They command a huge price. They were reproduced a number of years ago and when they show up on eBay now they are bringing quite a bit too.

Still you have a great set there and I bet it really draws attention when you have it running on the railroad.

Thanks for posting

Greg

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, January 27, 2008 12:04 AM

Flyer produced some beautiful motive power for its Wide Gauge line.  Here are a few:

Top engine is from the earliest President's Special

Steamer that Flyer aquired in the deal with Lionel to divide up Ives

Engine for the Hamiltonian passenger set

4644 - one of the more common engines

Enjoy,

Greg

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Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Sunday, January 27, 2008 3:33 PM
 Northwoods Flyer wrote:

Spankybird,

Thanks for the links to the museum. I have heard you mention it in the Coffee Pot thread and wondered what it was like.  I will spend some time today during the snowy afternoon to explore it.

This is a page from the 1950 catalog.  To my knowledge this is the only equipment that Flyer manufactured for the Circus set. There are some examples of the engine being painted yellow and the passenger car being red, but these are very uncommon from what I have been told. The extra equipment that you have shows up from time to time on eBay and I believe that they are re-manufactured pieces that one of the S gauge hobbiests or a shop have produced.  They look great and I have been tempted to purchase them.

The paper cutouts that came with the set are harder to find then the train itself.  They command a huge price. They were reproduced a number of years ago and when they show up on eBay now they are bringing quite a bit too.

Still you have a great set there and I bet it really draws attention when you have it running on the railroad.

Thanks for posting

Greg

A qiuck givaway if a 353 Circus Train loco is a repaint is to look at the painted circles around the headlight.  Most repaints don't try to paint the rings and a majority that do lack the detail.  As Greg says, the original set was flatcars with wagons and a passenger car, but the crane and caboose are really neat items.  I've got the repro paper set, and will likely make up a repro circus set because I can't afford an original!

Jim 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, January 27, 2008 4:44 PM

JIm,

Good point about the rings on the nose of the engine.  Years ago one of my collecting friends made up an O gauge Circus set by repainting an O gauge Royal Blue and a 494 coach.  I think he also made a spotlight car and a box car.  They looked great.  He dispersed his collection, and I have always wished that I had purchased the set from him. 

I have an S gauge circus set that I have put together through individual purchases, and I purchased reproduction loads for the flat cars.  I have the reproduction paper parts for the Circus set too. I should have bought two sets though, one to "collect" and one to set up.  I have also seen tank cars, stock cars and searchlight cars repainted and lettered for the Circus sets.  Ebay has several flat cars for sale right now that have reproduction trucks lettered for the Circus, like the trucks on the 956.

 

Greg

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, January 27, 2008 5:38 PM

One of the things that I enjoy about collecting toy trains is learning the history of the company, the history of the individual piece, and the historical era in which the items were produced. Flyer and Lionel both responded to the factors present in the culture at the time. As a case in point, we talk about Pre War or Post War trains, etc.  My offering this time is pictures of the 1934 version of the Burlington Zephyer produced by Flyer.  It appeared in the catalogs from 1934 to 1938, in several configurations.

Flyer went on to produce a number of streamlined sets.  More of these later.

Greg

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Posted by ogauge on Sunday, January 27, 2008 6:00 PM
Northwoods, a 3/16ths O circus set would be nifty and different!
Dennis H. W. Lafayette, IN Too many trains feels just right....
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Posted by CSXect on Sunday, January 27, 2008 6:19 PM
I have no pics handy but started out as a Flyer Collecter Now I am a Diehard S gauger with a serious O gauge habitCool [8D] Great to see so many flyer guys posting hereApprove [^] I just bought an old 1947 Flyer instructions book for $1.50 today.
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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, January 27, 2008 6:31 PM

CSXect,

I started out collecting S gauge based upon a set that ran around our Christmas tree when I was a child.  I discovered that my Dad had other trains beside that one; several O gauge trains and a Wide Gauge passenger set.  I know that he bought all of them after the War for my brother.  I guess Flyer trains have always been in my blood. I would say that I am a die hard Flyer guy.

Thanks for checking out the thread, post any pic or question when you can.

Greg

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Monday, January 28, 2008 11:13 PM

Staying with a theme, here are some pictures of the Lithographed version of Flyer's Burlington Zephyr.  It was only listed in the Flyer catalog in 1935, although it was listed in other specialty catalogs for several years after.  It was intended to be a lower cost alternative to the cast aluminum set.  It came in several sets with different numbers of cars.  It came in either 3 or 5unit sets. I have a 4 unit set.  So that means that either I have an extra car that got added along the way, or one of the original cars got lost somewhere.  Ahhhh, another reason to cruise Ebay!.

Sturgeon-Phish, 

Jim,

The background is actually a few pieces from the 790 Trainorama.  I thought you would like to see it.

Greg

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 12:29 AM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110219386073
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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 7:08 AM

PATtheHAT.

Thanks for the lead on eBay.  Flyer's Hudsons are beautiful. That model is one of my collectiong goals for 2008.  I already have it on my watched items.

Thanks

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Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 7:40 AM
 Northwoods Flyer wrote:

Staying with a theme, here are some pictures of the Lithographed version of Flyer's Burlington Zephyr.  It was only listed in the Flyer catalog in 1935, although it was listed in other specialty catalogs for several years after.  It was intended to be a lower cost alternative to the cast aluminum set.  It came in several sets with different numbers of cars.  It came in either 3 or 5unit sets. I have a 4 unit set.  So that means that either I have an extra car that got added along the way, or one of the original cars got lost somewhere.  Ahhhh, another reason to cruise Ebay!.

Sturgeon-Phish, 

Jim,

The background is actually a few pieces from the 790 Trainorama.  I thought you would like to see it.

Greg

Greg

You are right!  When I saw the Trainarama, I did get excited.  The trainarama is a beautiful accesory.  Maybe one day .  .  .  

Jim 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 10:53 PM

This is another of the sheet metal streamliners that American Flyer produced.  It only appeared in the 1935 catalog.  It is known as the Illinois Central Streamliner.  It has also been known as the Green Diamond.  Mine has some issues with its paint, but it tends to be difficult to find.  All of the sheet metal sets are prone to damage by being bent or crushed.  I can just imagine someone stepping on the train by accident under the Christmas tree.

I just got high speed internet today.  I can't believe how much easier it is to upload and post pictures. 

Greg

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Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 7:55 AM

Greg,

Beautiful!  My bride accidently kicked my Franklin 88 and 20, 30 & 40 cars that were under the tree, luckily they are pretty tough.

Jim

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 11:45 PM

Jim,

Its a good thing that Gilbert production was made of sturdy plastic. I'm guessing that many trains have met their end by being stepped on.

I have one more example of the sheet metal streamliners made by American Flyer.  This is one called The Comet.  It was produced in 1936 only.  It never appeared in the Flyer consumer catalog, but I have read that it did appear in a seperate train brochure that featured low-end trains.  It is a another delicate train that could have been easily damaged.

 

Leaning out the window looking back

The Comet is unique in that it has a powered head car and an identical unpowered car as the tail car rather than an observation.

There are two other sheet metal streamliners. The Hiawatha and the Minnehaha which is sometimes known as the New York Central.  I am still looking for good examples of these to add to the collection.

 Greg

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Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Thursday, January 31, 2008 4:42 AM

Greg

You have some beautiful items in your collection.

Jim 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:57 PM

O Wow!  Look its a box for me. Its from eBay!!!!.  I hope I can get it into the train room before my wife sees it.

I wonder why it took so long to come.  I'm sure that I mailed that money order at least 6 months ago.  Well, maybe it was only last week.  I can't wait to see it.

 

Hmmmmm  "Fra-gee-lay"  I don't remember sending to Italy for it.  Gosh this packing tape is really tough.

Wow look at all that paper.  At least it isn't packing worms.  I think I have the largest collection of those in North America.

Alright!  He remembered to send the roof.  Now where is the rest of it.

Ahh there it is.  What a great job of packing.

Its a bit different than I remember the picture in the auction.  Maybe if I squint.....

Yes!  The Blueboard Central has a new station.

Bring on the freight. 

 

This is the No 97 Freight Station Set offered from 1936-1939.  Flyer also used this same kind of configuration in its S gauge line after the War.  The number for that one is 712.  I have one but its packed away somewhere.  Jim do you have one to show?

Greg

 

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Posted by mersenne6 on Friday, February 1, 2008 8:44 AM

 

Soooo.....one down 13 to go and the addiction begins....you have the main base red/crane base gray with the crane on the left hand side now you will need

  1. Same but with crane on the right

  2. Same as above but with short decal on side of crane

  3. main base tan/crane base green crane on right and crane on left

  4. Same as above but crane base made from leftover #90 station bases - look for hole pattern to confirm.

  5. Main base red/crane base green crane on right and crane on left crane with short and crane with long decal

  6. #98 - main base red/crane base gray - crane replaced with new A.C. Gilbert crane.

  7. #98 - main base red/crane base gray - A.C. Gilbert crane and freight shed roof changed to bright crackle green, red chiminey, and no dormer.

 

 ....and then, of course, there are all of the possible variations with the chiminey colors .....

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Friday, February 1, 2008 9:08 AM

Do I even dare ask how many of those variations you have?  I will admit that this is the first version that I have aquired of the station set. I will have to watch more carefully now. Somehow I feel as if you just fed my addiction.Tongue [:P] I do have 3 variations of the watchman's tower, and I am working on a fourth, so this is not a new addiction I can assure you.  I have heard it said that it really isn't difficult to find variations of Flyer items; it is more difficult to find two items that are the same.

Greg

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Posted by mersenne6 on Friday, February 1, 2008 9:56 AM

 

  I have one of each of the main base/crane base color combinations, one with the crane base made from the #90 bases, and both of the #98's.  I have a left and a right hand crane and I've got one with the short and the long decal.  I've seen all of the versions listed but, I too have a way to go.

  My perception is that Flyer was never as tight as Lionel when it came to variation on the product line - they were toys and as long as they more or less resembled what was in the catalog and they passed the QC with respect to operating - they were shipped.  So I would agree - variation is more the norm with AF as opposed to Lionel.

  With respect to the #96/104 station (Flossmoor and Kenilworth) station all of those stations I have strongly suggest the green roof was supposed to be used on the #96 and the red roof on the #104.  This color difference along with the presence of an operating light appears to be deliberate.  It is also obvious that if green or red roofs were not ready at the assembly point then whatever was available was attached and shipped.  With the advent of the new litho treatment of that station in 1935 there were more colors/finishes available for the roofs but, Flyer still appears to have tried to use the roof color to differentiate between the lighted and the unlighted versions. 

  The Winter 1989 issue of CTT has an article on the #96/104 stations, The January 1996 issue has a follow up to the Winter 89 article and the March 2002 issue has an article on the freight stations.

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Friday, February 1, 2008 9:17 PM

mersenne6,

Thanks for the information. I always have difficulty identifying which one of the stations that I have.  I went and took a look at the ones I do have and I think I have it figured out now.

This is the early 104 Kenilworth Station. It has the light and a red roof.

This is the 96 Flossmoor Station.  No light and the green roof. This is a piece that has always been in our family and interestingly it has a Christmas tree socket and bulb inside, odd when you think that the only way it shows is through the door that is slightly ajar.   I just noticed that the lithography on the two chimneys is different

This is the later 104 Kenilworth station. It has an interior light.  It has a crackle orange roof and a green chimney.  I also have another one that is boxed and has a grey base, smooth red roof and a red chimney.  The variations just go on.

By the way, my wife wants to know; if you are married, does your spouse know how many variations you have and that you are still looking?  (Please say yes - my continued collecting depends on it.)

Greg

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Posted by mersenne6 on Saturday, February 2, 2008 7:17 AM

 

  Yes, my wife is very much aware of the hunt for variations and the number I have.  Since train collecting/running is my only major hobby I made sure she understood the pecularities of the hobby and the fact that I had no desire to drop the hobby after marriage.  We agreed on a budget and we also agreed that it could be negotiated up or down depending on such things as desires and family needs.  Obviously family finances come first. We've been married for 20+ years and the arrangement has worked very well. 

  Your Kenilworth is the last of the series before the transition to the new lithography in 1935. Your Flossmoor is the second version.  The general order for those two stations is as follows:

1923-24 - No 96 only - solid red brick litho with an olive roof - no embossing on roof and no light available.

1925-26 - No 96/104-Variegated brick and the green roof/red roof with external light option - no embossing on roof and neither the baggage nor the waiting room door cut.

1927 - Same as above except baggage door cut and bent in.

1928?-1932 - same as above except roof now embossed - earliest embossing included ridge lines around area where chiminey is tabbed - later versions did not have this.  1928 - first time catalog gives the stations names - Flossmoor and Kenilworth - Trivia - These places, like Hyde Park (the very small #90 station) and Terminal and Union are all places/stations in the Chicago area.  Flossmoor was more of a blue collar neighborhood and Kenilworth was more upper class. These stations cover all directions from Chicago except west. Hafner - a competitor - chose Glen Ellyn for their station name. This town is west of Chicago.

1933?-1934 same as above but cut door changed from baggage to waiting room.

1933? Chiminey litho changed from small brick to large brick.

1934? External lamp changed from brass stamping to chromed steel. Change to enameled chiminey.

1935 Complete change in litho treatment - light now internal for 104 or not present for 96. Roof/Chiminey treatments - many - smooth enamel/crackle enamel in red/orange/green. Chiminey treatment smooth or crackle enamel red/green/yellow/orange.

  Throughout the run the base was painted gray.  However, sometime between 1930 and 1935 for a very brief period the base was painted tan.  There is a possibility that this was done only for stations included with train sets because the only time I've ever seen one of these stations was as a part of a boxed set, however, this is my conjecture and since I've only seen 3 of these the sample size is rather small.

  There are some interesting factory errors. I have one station with two fronts, a red roof, and no light.  I have another where the walls were fed into the cutting press upside down and all of the tabs are on the roof line which makes the roof sit higher.  With no tabs on the base, small holes were punched into each side and a brass washer with a tab was riveted to the inside and the tab bent over to hold the wall to the base.  The last one really makes me wonder about the actual cost of station production vs. the sales cost.  That is a lot of re-work.

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Posted by ogauge on Saturday, February 2, 2008 11:31 AM
I've had the 612 and moved it on, but I like that litho one, I think I needs me one...
Dennis H. W. Lafayette, IN Too many trains feels just right....
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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, February 2, 2008 6:15 PM

 mersenne6,

 I grew up on the Northwest side of Chicago in the Logan Square area and the names of the Flyer Stations have always fascinated me.  It makes sense since Flyer was manufactured in Chicago during those years.  It makes me feel right at home to be surrounded by those names.

Thanks for all of the information on the 96/104 variations.  It helps to have the progression of changes listed in one place instead of hunting through each entry in the Greenberg guide. I have two of the variations of the #90 station and hope to have other representative samples at some time.

Do you have a place to display your collection?  Do you focus on Flyer or does your collecting include other manufacturers? My wife and I have been married 25 years and I started collecting shortly after we were married, with the family trains being the core of the collection. She has always been very supportive.

Greg

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Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Saturday, February 2, 2008 9:24 PM

It is really neat to see the tin litho.  My only piece similar is a Marx Station.  I don't have a picture of it.  I will try and take a picture and post it.

I think the tin litho has a charm all it's own.  It may not look "real" but I feel good when I look at it.

Jim 

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Posted by 37fleetwood on Sunday, February 3, 2008 12:16 AM

it is my opinion that the more toyish it is the more satisfaction I get out of it. some guys get too wrapped up in scale and realism. more power to them but for me its all about the play value. I think that is the best thing about the prewar tin stuff. there is no hope of figuring out scale. I love that my Marx guard shack has a guy who is 35 feet tall and all blue and lets not forget he's pinned to the door! I love to watch my Flyer run around the track at several hundred miles an hour (adjusted for scale). I think the Flyer and Marx litho stuff is absolutely the greatest. and as for you Greg, I feel you have entirely too much way cool stuff and think we need to redistribute it among us with less. to stimulate the hobby. its for the best really. the photo is for all the scale modelers. to me this is what it is all about. My nephew pumping gas into the cars on his layout.

Scott 

 

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Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Sunday, February 3, 2008 6:21 AM

Well said,

Jim 

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