Trains.com

Pre War American Flyer Pictures - An Invitation

42738336 views
2560 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Friday, March 7, 2008 12:23 AM

 

 Watchman's Tower

Flyer cataloged the 92 Watchman's tower from 1928 until 1933.  The number was changed to 214 in 1934 and was cataloged until 1938.

Here are several examples:

This is the version that appears in the catalog illustrations

 

This is a similar tower, but I think it is a marriage of the shack and a pole for another accessory. It was a part of the items I inherited from the family collection.

Another version that I believe is from the earlier years of listing.

 

This last version appears in the 1938 catalog as the 214 and is lighted. The bell is actually manually operated, the wiring is for the bulb inside the shack. You have to disassemble the building to change or tighten the bulb.

These same lithographed buildings were used on several other accessories including the suburban station posted previously.  I will post them as I find them.

Northwoods Flyer

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • 913 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Friday, March 7, 2008 10:20 PM

  Electrifying Steam II

   In 1922 American Flyer listed, only as a footnote in the catalog, another electric steam engine.  The footnote is below the listing for set #1100 - "Set #1101 like #1100 except has electrically powered steam locomotive. 

 

 

This engine has the cast iron body of the clockwork #13.  

 

  As mentioned previously, Flyer stopped producing electrified steam in 1924.  According to the Greenberg guide Flyers decision to re-introduce electrified steam in 1930 may have been driven by the competition - Lionel's 1930 lineup.

  Flyer's 1930 offerings were #3195, #3197, and #3198.  Of the three, only #3198 was a really new casting.  The others were modifications of the old #16 clockwork casting.

 

3195, 3197

 #3195 and #3197 were the same engine except #3197 had a manual reverse.  The reverse unit is mounted in the cab and the lever which controls it protrudes from the back of the cab.   Both of these engines can be found either with brass plates etched with "3195"  or "3197" on both sides of the cab or with brass plates etched with the words "American Flyer Lines" or with a mix, one side with the numbers and the other with the  American Flyer label.  In SOME instances when the brass plates are not the numbered plates the identification number may be found rubber stamped on the underside of the engine cab.  The edge trim on the engines is either gold or reddish orange. 

  The earliest versions of 3195 and 3197 came without the visor for the headlight.  The sheet metal visor/bell combination is easily removed and the engines are often found with the visor missing.  Genuine early versions of these engines will NOT have a small tapped hole in the boiler front which is for the screw that holds the visor to the boiler front.

  The tender for these engines was, typically, #3196.  The tender comes either weighted with a cast iron coal pile, or unweighted with a sheet metal insert embossed to look like coal.  Sometimes there is a dummy backup light tabbed to the top of the sheet metal coal pile.  The tender has brass handrails and either blue green or orange paint trim around the tender collar.  The tender sides can either be plain, plain with paint filled slots for tabbing a name plate, or it can have brass nameplates etched with "American Flyer" attached to the tender sides.  In addition to these three basic variations I have found tenders with brass plates etched with the names "Hancock", "Madison", "Academy",or "Champion".

  The first three are the nameplates for the Presidential Special standard gauge cars.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there are tenders with "West Point" (the other car in the Presidential Special consist) plates as well. I wouldn't recommend paying any kind of a premium for a tender with these plates because reproduction plates are available and it is a very simple matter to change them.

  #3195 with "American Flyer Lines" brass plates under cab window (the plate "3195" is on the other side) and "American Flyer" plates on tender - engine has reddish orange trim, tender has a blue green collar trim.

 

 

 

#3195 with "3195" plates under cab window, gold paint trim and a tender with "Hancock" plates.

 

 #3197 with "3197" plates. Note the small metal lever for manual reverse control.

 

3195X

   This engine is the second modification of the #16 casting.  The Greenberg book indicates this engine is the later version of #3195. I agree 3195X came later (1931 vs. 1930) but rather than just being a later version of #3195 I think it is possible 3195X was intended to give the appearance of a different engine.  I say this because an examination of the catalog cuts for 1931 shows an engine with predominately 3195X features (set #1309 Red Bird) and on the next page an engine which is illustrated as being headed by the original 3195 (set 1319 Iron Horse). I've seen both of these sets new-in-the-box with original 1931 paperwork and purchase tickets and the engines were as noted.

 

#3195X with plain tender.  Tender has paint filled slots for tabs for the nameplates. Compare the #3195X profile to that of #3197 above.  3195X came with "American Flyer Lines" plates under the cab windows.  

 

The number "3195X was typically rubber stamped under the bottom part of the cab.

The pictures below provide a visual comparison of the similarities and differences of the two castings.  Particularly from the front, the two engines are visually very different.

 Side by side comparison of the other sides of 3195 (left) and 3195X (right)

 

Front end detail - similarities and differences

 

 

 

 3185

It should also be noted there is a #3185 which is either a very plain and very stripped #3195 or a #3195X.  Those examples I've seen come with either a plain tender with no brass or paint trim or a standard #3196 tender as illustrated below. 

  The stripped #3195 engine has no brass buttons on the steam chest and a brass "3185" plate under the cab window. 

  I have also seen the stripped #3195 engine with no paint trim, no visor or bell, and no brass highlights (handrails and the brass buttons on the steam chests) the only adornment being the brass "3185" plates under the cab windows.

  By contrast, the #3195X engines with the #3185 plates appear to be nothing more than a #3195X with a different number plate such as the engine pictured below.

 

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, March 8, 2008 9:16 PM

The shed that was used on the Suburban Station and the Watchman's Tower appeared on several other trackside accessories as well.

The 236 Crossing Set was cataloged from 1933-1935.  It is a combination of the 214 Watchman's Tower which is lighted, 2021 Crossing Gate, and the 206 Danger Signal with a light added to it.  The tower also has a bell that is rung manually.  The base is only 4" wide so it sits nicely between two tracks.

The second accessory is the 235 Water Tank Set cataloged from 1933-1935.  I posted pictures of this accessory earlier in the thread but I will post the pictures here again. There is a light in the lithographed shed and in the top of the water tank.

Northwoods Flyer

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • 913 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Sunday, March 9, 2008 7:17 PM

  Electrifying Steam III

  The #3195 and the 3195X came in a number of different sets both cataloged and uncataloged. By 1931, across the U.S. and the world things were getting very serious financially.  The impact on Flyer is obvious if one looks at the 1930 and the 1931 catalog and also examines the 1931 train set composition list (a listing provided to salesmen and retail outlets.  The use of cuts from the 1930 catalog, the text in the compositions list with its repeated requests for the reader to refer to illustrations in the 1930 catalogs, the price reductions across the line, the modification of the existing line to cover every possible economic niche, all paint a picture of a toy company fighting the depression.

  The text of the compositions list essentially states Flyer will "build to suit" - in other words, if you as a retailer want some modification to the sets that you think will sell more Flyer will make the necessary changes. I think the number and variety of uncataloged sets from the 1930-31 period is probably due to this operating philosophy. The set below is one of those uncataloged sets.  In addition to pulling a consist different from any of the catalog sets the engine itself has a simulated Stephenson valve gear which differs from the production versions illustrated in the earlier post.

 

 

 

3198

  This engine was genuinely new for 1930.  Like #3195 this engine went through a number of changes.  The earliest version had a boiler front with a centered headlight and a small cast platform for a bell. 

 

 

This soon changed to a boiler front with no cast pedestal for the bell and this, in turn, was followed by a boiler front decorated with a the sheet metal visor with a bracket for the bell.

  Since it was the top of the line steam engine it came with the top of the line freight and passenger cars. It came with either a 4 wheel or an eight wheel tender.

The freight set, The Steel Mogul

 

  Note that the bell is missing from the top of the visor bracket.  This is not a case of a part falling off.  The enamel is unbroken and the curve to what should be a flat surface is obviously intentional.  What we have here is another case of if-it-isn't-ready-to-go-bolt-it-on-and-ship-it-anyway.

     Sometime in 1931 American Flyer dropped the #3198 casting as shown above and substituted a stripped down version of #3190.  This engine had an 0-4-0 wheel arrangement, a #3199 8 wheel tender, and was rubber stamped #3198 on the underside of the cowcatcher casting.

 

 

Underside Detail

 

 

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: 15 mi east of Cleveland
  • 2,072 posts
Posted by 1688torpedo on Sunday, March 9, 2008 7:30 PM

Hello Guys!

I have no Prewar or Postwar Flyer. However, I think that this is one of the best threads on the forum & sure does make for some very informative reading. And, I enjoy the photos also. Keep it up.Smile [:)]  P.S.  Here is a correction for one of the above posts. Lionel came out with Three Rail Electric Trains in 1906(Standard Gauge) In 1915, they came out with Three Rail O Gauge Electric Trains. The post I'm referring to implied that Lionel started making Three Rail Electric Trains in 1915, which is inaccurate. 1906 is the first year they did this. Take Care all.

Keith Woodworth........Seat Belts save lives,Please drive safely.
  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: New England
  • 6,241 posts
Posted by Jumijo on Sunday, March 9, 2008 7:37 PM

More great stuff since the last time I peeked in. I agree with Keith in that this is one of the best threads on the forum.

Jim

Keith,  you owe me a RED Corvair!!!!!  Wink [;)]

Modeling the Baltimore waterfront in HO scale

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • 913 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Sunday, March 9, 2008 7:39 PM

 

  That's true Keith. I was thinking about O gauge and I should have stated that in the text. Thanks for the correction.

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: 15 mi east of Cleveland
  • 2,072 posts
Posted by 1688torpedo on Sunday, March 9, 2008 7:54 PM

Hello All!

Mersenne6- You're very welcome & like I said before, this is an excellent & informative thread & I do hope it keeps on growing also.

Jim A- I'll have to get together with Bruce Webster & find a Red Corvair for you!Wink [;)]Wink [;)]Tongue [:P]Clown [:o)]Clown [:o)]  Maybe he'll sell me one out of the Trunk of his Car! Wink [;)]Wink [;)]Tongue [:P]Clown [:o)]  "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a Corvair out of my Hat."! Tongue [:P]Tongue [:P]Clown [:o)]Clown [:o)]Clown [:o)] Take Care.

Keith Woodworth........Seat Belts save lives,Please drive safely.
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 8:34 AM

The Steel Mogul

Following up on part of mersenne6's post.  The Steel Mogul was apparently a popular selling set.  It appears in the catalogs that I have from 1930 to 1934(the latest catalog that I have at this point).  It varies each year, including the engine, type of trucks, color of frame, and types of identifying plates or decals. 

This is the catalog entry from 1930

 

I will try to post the other catalog illustrations later.

I have the components for the Steel Mogul, but not all from the same year.  I keep this group together because the trucks all match and the cars and tender all have brass plates.

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

 

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    November 2006
  • From: Southington, CT
  • 1,326 posts
Posted by DMUinCT on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 9:19 AM

  Northwoods,

      As a long time Lionel collector, heavy into Pre-War, I often looked at the beauty of 1930s Flyer.  One locomotive I have looked at, and might buy someday, is the#431, it has charm.  In looking in my AF 1939 & 1940 catalogs, the 434 and #436 would also fall into the same group (that would fit into a Lionel Collection).  I always liked the Pre-war Flyer tinplate cars.

   What should I look for, what, if any, are the problems with the above locomotives.

   I do most of my shopping at TCA-York.

Don U. TCA 73-5735

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • 913 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 6:37 PM

 

   DMUinCT,

     Here are my thoughts on the scale Atlantic and Pacific.  Northwoods may have some additional thoughts on the subject.

     The biggest problem is diecast swell which results in all sorts of odd warping.  I would recommend taking a ruler with you when looking at one of these engines.  You will have to check it from the top and the bottom and both sides looking for bowing either up or down or from side to side.  The reason for the ruler is that the warp in any one of those directions can be subtle but if it is there you can forget about running the engine.  To a lesser extent you will have to do the same thing if the tender is the diecast version.  I would never buy either one without actually examining it in person.

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • 913 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 8:29 PM

 

  Electrifying Steam IV 

3190

  The top of the line steam engine for 1931 was #3190.  The engine is essentially a stretched #3198.  The casting featured a different treatment of the cab windows and the front pilot was turned into a separate casting with the pilot moved further forward to permit clearance of the lead pony wheels.  The screw support for the more advanced valve gear meant the loss of the simulated brass air tank on the side of the locomotive and the bell was moved from the position on the visor to a place just behind the smoke stack.  The engine had "American Flyer" on brass plates below the cab windows, a blue green running board stripe and gold paint highlights on the inside of the smoke stack and the running board steps on the front.

 

From the standpoint of scale the engine is comparable in size to a small O scale engine ( note the O scale Lobaugh 4-4-0 in the background).  With its tapered boiler and center mounted headlight the engine also has the visual appearance of then current real steam engines.

 

 

The engine came as either a 2-4-0 or a 0-4-0 without any reverse, with a manual reverse or with a remote control reverse.  Identification numbers for the engine were rubber stamped on the underside of the pilot.

The numbers for the various combinations I've seen are

3190 R/C - 2-4-0 - remote control

3190 M/C - 2-4-0 - manual reverse

3180 - 0-4-0 no reverse

3180 R/C - 0-4-0 - remote control

3180 R/C - 2-4-0 - remote control

 As mentioned in Electrifying Steam III there is also a hybrid that isn't part of the above number sequence. Some of the Iron Duke sets in from 1931 came with a 3190 casting with an 0-4-0 wheel arrangement and a manual reverse identical to the #3197.  The ID number on the underside of the pilot is #3198. 

  Tenders were either a #3189 4 wheel tender or a #3199 8 wheel tender.  Based on the catalog it appears Flyer intended to use the 4 wheel tender with the 3180 and the 8 wheel with the 3190 but I have seen all possible combinations of the engine ID's above and these two tender types.

  The earliest valve gear consisted of die cast main and connecting rods with plated sheet metal piston rods. 

The die cast valve gear is very fragile and I suspect the fragile nature made itself apparent even when the first 3190's were rolling off the assembly lines because there are a number of variations of the valve gear each one stronger than the last.  The first thing to change was the connecting rod which became a sheet metal stamping. 

Next the main rod became sheet metal which meant the final valve gear assembly was all sheet metal. It was the valve gear used on the die cast #3308 steam engine in 1932.

  Some of the train sets:

 

The Paul Revere - engine has die cast main rod and connecting rod

 

and

The Railroader - engine has all sheet metal valve gear

 

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 11:56 PM

 

DMUinCT

Don,

My collecting began with Gilbert S gauge and has expanded to Pre War Flyer O gauge and Wide Gauge.  I have to admit that I have not put a great deal of effort into collecting those Pre War items produced after the sale to A.C. Gilbert in 1938.  Once I reach my limit in these other areas I think I may put some effort there.

The engines that you describe are indeed impressive and it is obvious that Gilbert was changing the look of the entire line. And the roots of S gauge are to be found in the items that were produced before the war.

I would echo mersenne6's information about the castings and the tendency to warp and deteriorate.  There was one engine from this era in my family collection.  It was a 435.  By the time I had possession of it the boiler casting was swollen and distorted and as I handled it, it crumbled into pieces.  I still have the rubber stamped "435" piece of the casting from under the cab window somewhere in my parts box I think, but the rest of the casting is long gone.  I have always heard that this occured because of impurities in the metal.

Use the skills that you have developed from collecting Lionel in selecting a Flyer engine.

As a Lionel collector you might enjoy this story.  My very first purchase on my own of a toy train was when I was 12, back in 1966.  I stopped in a hobby shop near my home in Chicago on my way to the library one Saturday.  The owner was chatting with a customer about a box of old trains that he had just taken in and wanted to unload.  I peered into the box that he had sitting on the counter and saw a steam engine, cars, and lots of track.  I must have been a collector even at that age.  I asked how much he wanted for the box, and he said $15.00. (Remember this was 1966).  I asked him to hold it for me and I ran the 5 blocks home, begged my dad for the money and ran the 5 blocks back to the store pulling my sled through snow. The shop owner was delighted to get rid of the stuff and I trudged home with the heavy box on my sled.  When I got home I started going through the items.  At the time I just thought it was a bunch of fun trains.  In later years I came to realize what I had purchased.  It was a 226 and tender and almost all of the 2800 series cars with the automatic couplers.  Some of the cars have the nickel plates and some have the rubber stamping.  I have a black hopper with rubber stamping and a red hopper with nickel plates.  The engine purred like a kitten and I felt very fortunate to have a "new" powerful steamer.  Years later when I discovered the Touhy and McComas books I found out what a real treasure I had discovered. Nothing like starting a collecting career with a find that was going to be very difficult to match.

Good luck in your hunt for these Flyer beauties. Keep us posted when you come home with your treasure.

 Northwoods Flyer

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    November 2015
  • 3,584 posts
Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Thursday, March 13, 2008 8:29 AM

Neat story.

Jim 

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • 913 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Thursday, March 13, 2008 8:59 PM

  Electrifying Steam V

   1084

  The Great Depression was on and so was the demand for less expensive trains.  American Flyer offered the 1084 to their dealers in the Set Composition List for 1931 but never illustrated the engine or its sets in the catalog.  The Composition List indicates two sets were offered: Set #932 - a two car passenger and Set #933 - a two car freight. 

The two car freight consisted of one of the 5 1/2", 4 wheel litho gondolas and a 5 1/2" IC caboose.  In keeping with Flyers choice of names for its low priced sets these were called "Express Electric Trains" - a close verbal relative to the American Flyer clockwork Express trains.

 

 The engine was painted a glossy, deep black finish, with highlights in either all red or red and yellow.  The highlighting was applied to the piping, cast railing, windows and cowcatcher.  The "two tone" version had red window trim and pale yellow highlights on the boiler piping and hand rails. There is also a version that has a single band of red paint across the center part of the cab.

  The engine itself has all of the features of a real steam engine of the period - Elesco Feedwater Heater, tapered boiler, and a center mounted headlight with visor.  The "problem", if you want to call it that, is the size.  The engine has been called a cast iron cartoon and it certainly looks like one.  I have one of these engines and every time I run it the first comment from almost any observer, regardless of gender, is "it's cute."

  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Flyer attitude in 1931 seemed to be "build to suit" as far as set consists were concerned and it appears the two sets for the 1084 were not exempt. In addition to boxed 932 and 933 sets I've also seen a boxed 932T set with 1084 and 3 passenger cars. What I find interesting is that the cars, unlike most of the toy passenger trains of the period, are not a matched consist.

 

Set 932 - engine with all red highlights

Set 932T - engine with red and yellow highlights

 

...and, just like the situation with the #3198 mentioned in a previous post, when Flyer ran out of components for the sets headed by #1084 they just substituted another low priced cast iron engine and shipped it.

Set #933 with a #915 locomotive

 

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • 913 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Friday, March 14, 2008 8:08 PM

 

   Electrifying Steam VI

  915

   The Last (Cast) Iron Horse.

   In his book The Glory and the Dream, William Manchester's chapter title for the history of the year 1932 was "Rock Bottom".  A reading of the opening paragraphs of American Flyer's Set Composition List for that year suggests it was indeed.

 

"Simplified Line

  Complying with countless request we have restricted our train numbers to representative popular sellers. You can carry twice the stock with the same investment and half the space. Obviously, a "boiled down" line reduces sales resistance to a minimum in that the prospects can quickly determine his requirements."

  In other words "build to suit" didn't work so now it was time to make some drastic cuts, tighten the belt, batten down the hatches, jettison all excess baggage, and try to ride out the economic storm.  Cast iron was part of the baggage that was thrown overboard.  3198, 3195, 3195X, 3190, 3180, 1084 were past tense and all that remained was a hint of what had once been - a new addition to the bottom of the line train sets - #915.

  The engine has two different configurations - often referred to as the "inside gear" and the "outside gear" these indicating the location of the reduction gear connecting the engine drive wheels to the electric motor. 

 

Inside Gear

 

Outside Gear

  The engines came with the small, single piece, lithoed sheet metal passenger cars or with the 5½ inch lithoed freight cars.  The engine can be found with either die cast or stamped steel drivers. #915 was cataloged with set #907T but it is obvious that it was head end power for a large number of uncataloged sets as well. 

 

Set #907T

 

 

Uncataloged Freight Set

 

 

   Some final comments on cast iron steam.

  While #915 was only shown for one year the shear number of these engines that show up suggests it was either produced for a much longer period of time, it took American Flyer several years to move the trains they had produced in 1932, or perhaps like other American Flyer engines, it was offered for separate sale by one of the big outlets like Montgomery Wards.  

  An examination of the set pictures in the posts preceding this one indicates Flyer did not scrap anything during that period and they continued to produce trains of a given type as long as there were parts that could be used to build them.

  I have no proof other than my own observations but given what I have seen and photographed over the years I think the sequence of reduction of parts inventory for the cast iron engines was as follows:

  Superstructure castings for everything except #3190/3180 were exhausted by the end of 1931.  I suspect, but can't prove, this may have been a result of simply stopping production of everything except the #3190/3180 casting early in 1931 and then trying to build engines using only the 3190 superstructure. I say this because I have seen more variations of the 3190 than any of the others and I have seen these variations in sets that otherwise were the same as those illustrated with a #3198 in the 1931 catalog.

  Freight car trucks were used up next.  The #3199 tender for 1930 and 1931 came with the Type VII trucks as did the cars in their sets - The Steel Mogul Set (The Steel Mogul and Electrifying Steam III)  is a good example.  According to the Greenberg reference these trucks were made 1930-1932 with the Type VIII replacing them in 1933. If you look at the pictures of The Railroader (Electrifying Steam IV) it has all Type VIII trucks and this on a set that came and went from the catalog illustrations in 1931.

  The next thing to go was the sheet metal visor and the lead truck assemblies. I have seen many 3190 castings with paint filled machined and tapped holes on the boiler front.  These same engines have either a 2-4-0 or an 0-4-0 wheel arrangement and come with either 4 or 8 wheel tenders that may or may not have finishing details like brass grab irons. 

  Finally, the early version of the #3199 tender was replaced with the newer 1932 version. The last thing to be used up was the cast iron 3190 superstructure.

  The very last of the remaining #3190 castings needed some minor machining on the left side to permit clearance for the manual reverse lever of the motor used in the new for 1932 #3307 engine.

  To be fair to those 1932 managers, even without the world economic crisis, the dictates of economics and technology which favored sheet metal and high pressure die cast would have resulted in the end of cast iron as a material of choice at some point in time. 

 

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, March 15, 2008 7:35 PM

 

 Steel Mogul (continued)

mersenne6,

Thanks for the great analysis and pictures of the cast iron locomotives produced by American Flyer.  It is very helpful and has already helped me in making some decisions about purchases.

In one of your earlier posts you showed a picture of the Steel Mogul set pulled by the 3198, and I followed up with pictures of some of the cars that I have and the catalog illustration from 1930.  I have done a bit more work and have some pictures of the Steel Mogul set as cataloged from 1930 to 1934. I am missing the catalogs from 1935-1938 at this point. I know the Steel Mogul did not appear in the 1938 catalog, but I am not sure about the years '35,'36 and '37.

Update: mersenne6 provided the information that the "Steel Mogul" also appears in the 1935 catalog for the last time. The same consist appears in the 1936 catalog, but Flyer renamed it as the Baltimore and Ohio Freight set.   Thanks mersenne6

1930

The Steel Mogul    #1349

This set has the 3194 engine and tender combination consisting of:

3198 Type IV Cast Iron engine      0-4-0        No reverse

3199 Type IV tender

Consist:

3216 log    3207 Sand (gondola)  3208 Automobile (box car)   3211 Caboose - lighted

Cars have black frames with type Vb black trucks

These are pictures from mersenne6, posted earlier, that illustrate the Steel Mogul set from 1930.

1931

New Steel Mogul   #1349

The catalog uses the same illustration from the 1930 catalog

The set has the 3191 engine and tender combination consisting of

3190  Type V cast iron engine     2-4-0  with remote control reverse,  it has a pilot truck with brass stantions for flags

3199  Type IV tender

The consist contains the same four cars.

There is no description of the trucks , but it is likely that they are the same Type Vb black truck,  car frames may have changed to to match the color of the body of the car.

     Dates for the use of specific frames and trucks can be difficult to determine because Flyer may have shown old stlye frames in catalogs and ads after changes were implemented, or they may have used up old stock on uncataloged items in later years -  a point that mersenne6 makes in his final comments about cast iron engines.

1932

Steel Mogul #1352

This set has the 3316 engine and tender combination consistion of

3315  Type IX Die Cast Locomotive  2-4-2    with remote control reverse and a ringing bell

3199  Type IV tender

The consist has the same four cars.

The catalog illlustration shows the change of engine style and illustrates that the frames of the cars match the body colors of the freight cars, the trucks are grey Type VII.

1933

Steel Mogul   # 1352 RC

The catalog illustration and description of the set are identical to the set shown in 1932

This is a picture of the 3115 and 3199 tender

 

1934

Steel Mogul    Set #1377RCT

This set has the 3323 engine and tender combination consisting of:

3322  Type VIII Die Cast locomotive  has remote control reverse, no ringing bell, but now has a red firebox light

3199  Type IV 3199 tender with Type VIIIb trucks

Same consist of four cars.

The catalog illustration shows the correct model of the engine and has a red glow under the engine to illustrate the glow of the fire box.  The trucks on the tender and cars have changed to grey Type VIIIb

This is the 3323 and 3199 tender

1935

mersenne6 checked his catalogs and provided the information that the Steel Mogul also appeared in the 1935 catalog for the last time.

1936

In 1936 Flyer renamed the same same consist the Baltimore and Ohio Freight

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Lancaster, Ca.
  • 102 posts
Posted by 37fleetwood on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 12:34 AM

really diggin the fire box glow!!Big Smile [:D]

Scott 

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 8:37 AM

Wide Gauge  -  The Eagle

The Eagle first appeared in Flyer Catalogs in 1928.  It continued to be cataloged until 1931.  It is a nice entry level passenger set.

 It is the green set on the lower shelf.  The red set is the Hamiltonian

During the run from 1928 through 1931 it was made up of the same three units.

 

The 4644

The 4151  America Coach

The 4152 Pleasant View Observation

This is a comparison of the Wide Gauge and a Narrow Gauge (O gauge) observation, in case you are unfamiliar with the difference in size.  It takes a lot of living room floor to run Wide Gauge trains.

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • 913 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 8:17 PM

   Billboard Reefers

 

  Consider, if you will, the 4 reefers in the picture below:

 

 

Now, let's turn the cars around and look at their opposite sides.

 

  Question:  Which one of these cars is the rare variation (factory error) and which one of these cars is normal production?

 

  Answer: Some people would say the Morris reefer in the lower left hand corner fits the description because it has mismatched sides but they would be wrong. In fact all four cars are normal production - there isn't a rare variation or factory error in the group.

  The reason for pairing the two American Flyer Morris refrigerator cars with the two prototypically correct Atlas billboard reefers is to point out yet another case of a toy manufacturer incorporating elements of the prototype in the toys they produce.  In this case we are looking at the sometimes prototype practice of different ads on either side of the same freight car (the Krey's is symmetrical and the Nuckoll's Packing isn't).

  According to the Greenberg reference and an article in the TTOS journal the lithoed sides for the Morris cars were delivered to the assembly point in bulk and the factory worker would just reach into the supply of car sides, draw out two at random, and begin the assembly process.  As a result you could have cars with either matched or mismatched sides. 

  Until Atlas began producing their series of scale 36' and 40' billboard reefers the fact of asymmetrical advertising on the sides of a billboard reefer was not widely known even among scale modelers. This, coupled with the general lack of knowledge concerning Flyer's assembly practice for these cars, has resulted in a lot of people thinking a Morris reefer with mismatched sides was either a rarity/factory error, a toy train flight of fancy or perhaps a little of both.

  Not counting the Nationwide reefer (which does have symmetrical side litho) there are 6 different Morris ads (Supreme Marigold Oleomargarine, Hams & Bacon, Canned Goods & Specialties, Large Fancy Eggs, Full Cream Cheese and Fancy Creamery Butter). 

  This means if you are lucky/persistent you could have all six sides in a collection of 3 cars.  Add the Nationwide and you could have it all in 4 cars.  Of course, if you are a glutton for punishment, you could decide that to be a truly complete collection of Morris cars a person would need to have a collection of all possible side combinations. Including cars with matching sides and the Nationwide car this would require 22 cars.

Morris Side 1

 

Morris Side 2

 

 

Morris Side 3

 

 

Morris Side 4

 

Morris Side 5

 

 

Morris Side 6

 

 

Nation Wide Lines

 

The cars came with Type III and Type V frames, doors that were either painted or lithoed in five or six panels, and black, green, or orange roofs.

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, March 20, 2008 7:03 PM

Wide Gauge - The Eagle II

This is the page from the 1928 catalog showing the Eagle with the 4644 and the cars with grey trucks.

On the same catalog page is listed an entry level freight set - The Trail Blazer

Here are the components of the Trail Blazer

It also used the 4644, but in red.

The 4017 Sand Car in Emerald Green

The 4011 Caboose in Ivory and Khaki

 

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

 

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • 913 posts
Posted by mersenne6 on Sunday, March 23, 2008 1:21 PM

  Steeple Cabs

  The steeple-cab engine is probably the most common of the American Flyer O gauge electric trains.   The engine in various configurations was produced from 1920-1931.

  There are 3 basic types of construction

   1. All sheet metal construction - that is both the superstructure and the chassis are stamped sheet metal.

    2. Sheet metal superstructure and sheet metal chassis with cast iron pilots.

    3. Sheet metal superstructure and extended chassis with cast iron pilots.

 The numbers one can find on the sides either as a rubber stamp or as part of a brass plate are 1101, 1201, 1211, 1217, 1218, 1270, 3103 3110, 7010, and 7011.

 The first of the series was 1218 and its poor cousin 1201.  The difference between them was the matter of an operating headlight.  1218 had one and 1201 didn't.  As with the cast iron 1226 discussed earlier the headlight was recessed into the front of the cab.  Apparently, in an attempt to use up the 1201 superstructures American Flyer reworked some of the 1201's and added a headlight.

  1218

 1218 and its variants (1201, 1211, 1217, 1270) is typically found painted black with rubber stamped identifying numbers.  It can also be found in green, red, or yellow livery and with either a bell and a pantograph or just a bell. 1218 was last cataloged in 1926.

  In 1928, along with all of the other train products, the steeple cab was given a facelift.  The chassis and superstructure were the same but now all of the rubber stamping, as well as some aspect of the stamped details of the 1218, were changed.  The door handrails became separate stamped brass attachments as did the journal box covers.  Etched brass plates replaced the rubber stamped identification on the locomotive side.  The new number was 3110

 In 1930 the chassis of 3110 was changed to sheet metal sides and cast iron pilots.  The new engine was given the identification number 3103.

  3103

  A comparison of the picture of 3103 with 1218 above highlights the different treatment of the handrails.  The first handrail stampings stuck out like fins at either end of the cab body whereas the second version twisted the handrails as they pass the end of the cab nose.

  #3103 made its debut in the American Flyer Catalog with the 1930 set The Clipper.

  AF Set #1316

 

 

  The Montgomery Wards catalog for 1929-30 illustrated two Flyer engines #7010 and #7011.  7010 is very similar to 1218 but it is painted green and has rubber stamped "Motor 7010" on the sides.  #7011 was the upgraded 1218 superstructure (3110) but painted green with rubber stamped identification "Motor 7011" instead of etched brass plates.

 

 Uncataloged versions

  There is also an uncataloged version of the 3110 which looks like the #7011 except it has the #3110 superstructure and is all black.  I've seen two examples of this engine.  Once as part of a general collection of steeple cabs and once as part of a passenger set.

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Monday, March 24, 2008 7:55 PM

Steeple Cabs (Addendum)

Here are a few additional photos from my collection to illustrate mersenne6's entry

1218

Side stamping

End Stamping

Headlight Placement

1201

This is a scaled down version of the 1218

Side stamping

End stamping

1217  this appeared in 1921

Side Stamping

End stamping

3110

This is the version from 1928-1929

The 3110 had two oval metal plates on each side

My stable of steeple cabs

1201             1217              1218                 3110

Notice the difference in the handrails on the 1218 and the 3110

And the back end of each engine

1270

Here is a recent aquisiton to the collection of Steeple cabs.  The 1270 was cataloged in 1927.

It has the same mounted in the body headlight and a bell. This one is abviously missing the bell, which I will be replacing.

The rear is also rubber stamped with the number.

The 1270 is basically a 1218 without its handrails, which you can see if you compare the two. side by side.

Edit 9/27/2008

We have a new addition to the stable of steeple cabs.  This is a recently arrived 1218 in yellow.  It has definitely been well loved and used. It runs like a well oiled machine and the headlight still operates, it is missing its bell.  I think some cleaning will improve its appearance.  I have more pictures of it ahead on page 17.

 

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, March 27, 2008 8:19 AM

Wide Gauge  -  Electric Outline Locomotives I

During the years of production of Wide Gauge American Flyer had three different styles of Electric Outline Locomotives.  They called these The New York Central Style Box Cab,The New Haven Stlye Box Cab, and The St. Paul Style Box Cab.

 New Haven Style

The New Haven was the second style introduced, in 1927. The numbers for this style include 4643, 4644, 4644 R/C 4653, 4654, 4684, 4743, 4753.

I have several of these in my collection.

4644

This version has a grey frame

Front view

This is the version with a black frame, which is identical to the grey frame version except for the frame color.

And a red version with a grey frame.

All three of these examples have a manual reverse that is activated by a lever that extends through the roof of the engine cab.

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, March 29, 2008 1:39 PM

Wide Gauge - Electric Outline Locomotives I

New Haven Style II

Here are two additional examples from the American Flyer roster of New Haven style locomotives.

4654

This engine number was cataloged from 1928-1931. It is basically a renumbered 4644 that is now painted orange.

Front view. The brass overlay on the front is one of the upgrades that Flyer did between 1927 and 1928.

My 4654 had its wheels replaced at some point.  The replacements are solid brass that have been drilled to simulate spokes.

But for some reason only 3 of the wheels were replaced.  Has onyone ever seen this kind of replacement wheels?

4684

This engine appeared in the catalogs from 1928 to 1931.  It is very similar to the 4644 and the 4654 except that it has a remote control reversing unit instead of the manual version.  It comes with green, red, or orange cabs.

Northwoods Flyer

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 1:06 AM

Street Lights

Flyer marketed street lights as early as 1914.  They cataloged street lights that could be used with either Wide or Narrow Gauge. Here are several examples.

2109

This Single-Arm Arc Light was marketed in 1926 and 1927.

2110

The Double Arm Lamp Post was also marketed in 1926 and 1927. It matches the color of the earliest President's Special.

In 1928 Flyer upgraded these styles of lamp posts by adding a brass colored finial to the top and changing colors.  These stlyes appeared in that catalog until 1935 and went through several changes.  (My aplogies for the poor framing of the picture.  I cut the top off, but this version was without the finial anyway.)

2209 Single Arm Lamp Post

All green version - green base, post and lamp shield

medium blue base, turquoise shaft, medium blue lamp shield

2210

Double Arm Lamp Post

There are several versions

This version has lost its finial

Original Box

Notice the difference in the shades of orange used

And the difference in the colors of the lamp shields

And one final version in my collection

There is one version of the 2210 that has a simulated concrete base and the orange post and lamp shields that has eluded me up to this point.

Northwoods Flyer

Edit 06/12/2008

All good things come to those who wait.  I finally came across an example of the 2110 with the simulated concrete base so I thought I would add it in here.  There are a few more pictures of it up ahead on page 12.

 

Northwoods Flyer

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1,959 posts
Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, April 5, 2008 12:38 AM

Wide Gauge Electric Outline Locomotives II

New York Central Style Box Cab Electric

Flyer entered the Wide Gauge market with their first style of electric outline locomotives, the New York Central Style engines, in 1925. Eventually there would be nine different numbers used for the NYC style engines.  This style was used to pull all three versions of the top of the line sets  - "The President Special".  The numbers for this style include 4000, 4019, 4039, 4667, 4677, 4678, 4686, 4687 and 4689.

 Here are several examples

4000

1927

This engine has been restored in a black color.  Its original color is a very dark green that looks black.  There are original examples of black engines in this number.

This is a comparison of the size of Wide Gauge and Narrow Gauge or O gauge.

Perhaps a contrasting color would help.

4019

1925 - 1927

 

4039

1926

This is the locomotive used to head the first version of the President's Special

Mine is in very poor shape and a candidate for restoration one day.

 

4678

1928 - 1929

This version had the most brass accents of all the NYC style engines

It also had a unique ringing bell mechanism that rang an internal bell and moved a bell on the top of the engine.

It headed up the Hamiltonian Set shown on the top shelf in this picture.

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

 

 

The Northwoods Flyer Collection

of

American Flyer Trains

"The Toy For the Boy"

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, April 5, 2008 10:56 PM

 I noticed a few of you out there looking for prewar american flyer parts as well as i few posts mentioning our parts . Just to let you know I have moved and we have a new catolog available , my new address is :  

Eric Trickel

541 north charlotte street

pottstown pa 19464 

trickelcastparts@yahoo.com

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Willoughby, Ohio
  • 5,231 posts
Posted by spankybird on Sunday, April 6, 2008 6:22 PM

Here a great find that has been donated to The Western Reserve Model Railroad Museum. It is a Diecast Clock work engine.

We even have the track!

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 

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • 28 posts
Posted by x2000 on Monday, April 7, 2008 11:59 AM

Hi Everyone,

 My first electric train was an American Flyer 3-rail set given to me when I was 4 years old.  I can't recall the numbers but it had a die-cast Atlantic with metal tender.  There was a plug-in tether connecting the engine and tender.  The cars included a white box car, a flat car with logs wrapped onto the body, and a caboose.  All of the cars were metal with link couplers.  Over the years, I have casually looked for this set at train shows but have never seen one.

It was an entry level set with no features other than a headlight, but I sometimes think it would be fun to own it again!  The train ran well with my Lionels.  It was probably among the last of the pre-war sets before Gilbert introduced 2 rail track.

Any information about the numbers of the rolling stock and where a set might be had would be appreciated.

Thanks, 

X2000

 

 

 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month