I am doing a memory check on activating the Gilbert 314AW tender whistle.  I remember hearing that the Lionel transformer and the sound activation buttons used with American Flyer by Lionel engines will activate the 314AW whistle.  Is this true?

Thanks 

Original Post

Flyer Rich, Actually there was never a record of any legal suit filed by Lionel.  It seems it was a rummer started later.  The real supposition is Gilbert quit making it because it was such a repair problem for service stations.

Anyone......Please let me know the answer to my question?

Thanks 

I thought that  rumor had been put to bed years ago. There was a post on this board  about this many years ago (wish I could find it).  detailing that  there is no record of any litigation over this matter.

I remember that Reggie Karnes showed a a copy of the Gilbert memo in his AF VHS video years, where it was explained that due to maintenance problems the item was being  discontinued.

Marshall Frisbie, Gilbert's chief engineer told me over lunch at the time that he had no recollection of any problems with Lionel about the whistle.

Also according to Mr. Karnes Mr.Gilbert was upset because they were going into DC and that whistle would blow constantly on   a DC powered layout. Gilbert's plans for expansion of DC were interrupted by the Korean War which made Alnico 5 unavailable and put end to the venture .

Herb Wasserman

FlyerRich posted:

That's always been my understanding of it. Hence the patent controversy.

Perhaps I should have included the word "rumored". Anyway Bill, you ignored the rest of my comment so I will elaborate: Your memory is correct!

Just because Lionel never actually filed a lawsuit doesn't mean that is not why Gilbert dropped the whistle. A legal threat between lawyers would start the decision making to begin. According to A C Gilbert's Heritage book, it is noted that "the whistle was activated in a way that infringed on Lionel's patent and was dropped sometime in 1950". It may have been difficult to repair, but that is not a good reason to drop the best and most realistic whistle you have simply because some repair shops where moaning about doing a little tedious work. If AC was going to poo poo the idea because he and the board wanted to go DC, then the idea would have been cancelled before they spent the money on the tooling and other production costs.

Tin

Depends on who wrote the article. Years ago I recall reading a series of interviews with Maury Romer. I am not saying he is the source on this rumor, I don't remember any details. I would like to find the articles and reread them.

 

Roundhouse Bill posted:

Flyer Rich, Actually there was never a record of any legal suit filed by Lionel.  It seems it was a rummer started later.  The real supposition is Gilbert quit making it because it was such a repair problem for service stations.

Anyone......Please let me know the answer to my question?

Thanks 

Yes. Modern or Lionel-style whistle controller will activate a 314AW whistle. It's the same DC relay technology that Lionel used.

50 years ago, the story was that Lionel squawked about infringement. It might have been a conversation between company bigwigs that did the deed.

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