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Milwaukee Road Rob posted:

Looking for some photos of the Ives transition Standard gauge set from around 1929.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hard to tell what you are asking about.  There's a bit of disconnect between your thread topic heading "381E Help", and your first post.  There were several Ives transition standard gauge sets; but the 381 is not related to Ives in any way.  Can you describe a little more what you might be looking for?

david

 

Ah, the mystery solved!  Nice photos, and very nice trains!  The loco is the Lionel 381E, nothing to do with Ives, and did not originally come with these cars.  Magnificent loco, top of the line Lionel.

The cars are "transition" period Ives.  Actually late transition period, 1931.  In 1928 and 1929, "early transition period" after Lionel and American Flyer bought out the failing Ives Co., the Ives passenger cars were made by Flyer.  Starting in 1930, Flyer dropped out of the deal and Lionel used its own equipment to sell as Ives.  They are the Lionel 418-419-490 passenger cars in Apple Green, with Ives decals over the Lionel rubber-stamping over the windows.  There are no Ives parts on these cars, they are all Lionel, just re-decaled to sell as Ives. 

Here's the page in the 1931 Ives catalog: (click on the image to enlarge to read)

Ives 1931 catalog

The cars would have been available separately, but they were also sold in this set #1730, with the 1760 steam locomotive, which was a Lionel 384 re-badged as Ives.  This is the late Ives transition period, which is a little sad really, there is no more Ives production, just Lionel stuff with Ives labels on it.

Regardless of that, they are beautiful top-of-the-line 1931 cars in great condition and look fine with the Lionel 381E, which was contemporary with the cars, made 1928-1936, so very appropriate for the 1931 cars.  

 

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  • Ives 1931 catalog

Those cars were sold that way by Ives. They took Lionel 418 cars and put Ives stickers on them. They had Lionel trucks and couplers. The engine is a Lionel 381E with Lionel badging . Maybe the cars have Ives stickers on the bottom. Possibly the engine does also. 

This was sold as a set in 1931 only and called the 381 Special.  

reference Ives book page 83 3rd paragraph top left of page.

some of the rarest of the rare Ives stuff.

Last edited by F&G RY

I think Hojack is referring to a Lionel 390E with Ives badging as the engine has a trailing truck. Would have come with a Lionel coupler. 

Both the #10 and 381 are based on a bi-polar. The 381 just happens to be about twice as big.

I have the Apple Green cars in reproduction and I will run them with a 381e.

 

Last edited by F&G RY

Good research Jim, thanks.  I am going to respectfully disagree with you on both points however.

Catalog drawings were notoriously inaccurate.  It was quite common for catalog artwork, particularly in the difficult transition/depression period, not to match the actual item sold.  The loco described in the catalog copy text is the 1760, which is the Lionel 384, which was sold the year of this catalog, 1931.  Later, in 1932, the Lionel 390 was rebadged as the Ives 1770, but here in the 1931 catalog with the Lionel apple green cars it is the 1760/384 that came with this set, regardless of the fanciful illustration. 

The note about the one known example of a "381 Special" is based on the presence of a set box so labeled.  Absent the set box, since the note says the Lionel 381 was not in any way marked Ives, there is no way to support such a claim.  Any of us could park our 381 next to our Lionel/Ives 418 Apple Green set and say it is a super-rare "381 Special", but no appraiser would accept that designation without the presence of the set box.  It is a very nice Ives transition passenger set, and a very nice Lionel 381, trains to be proud of for what they are, without resorting to dubious and unsubstantiated over-the-top claims to being "the rarest of the rare".

IMHO of course, FWIW...

 

F&G RY posted:

Those cars were sold that way by Ives. They took Lionel 418 cars and put Ives stickers on them. They had Lionel trucks and couplers. The engine is a Lionel 381E with Lionel badging . Maybe the cars have Ives stickers on the bottom. Possibly the engine does also. 

This was sold as a set in 1931 only and called the 381 Special.  

reference Ives book page 83 3rd paragraph top left of page.

some of the rarest of the rare Ives stuff.

three cars have Ives sticks on the bottom. The add on car has the lionel sticker on the bottom

Ok the 1760 is a 384. The 1770 is a 390. I saw the trailing truck and went for the 390. 

Without the boxes the 381 special would be difficult to authenticate. The engine impossible as it is just a Lionel engine maybe an Ives sticker on the bottom. The cars probably just had an decal stuck on above the Lionel Lines rubber stamping at the factory.

If the moon,sun and stars all came together. Boxes,documentation,expert examination. It would be quite rare.

The biggest problem is that it would be to easy to fake.

A couple of years ago I saw on the STG Yahoo group someone buying cars like this and paying quite a bit. I did not know about them and like everyone else thought they were Lionel cars with Ives stickers added as the National Limited and Chief cars have snake couplers and Ives trucks. A little research proved me wrong and they really were Ives cars. I knew something was up as the way the buyer wrote one could tell he knew his stuff. As for me I just read it in a book. 

Jagrick posted:

Ives transition stuff was all made by Lionel at Lionel's plant. Part of purchase required this and then transition away, For years Lionel kept Ives name by using only on the lowly track connector plates. I collect the transition stuff and have most of the offering they made

For most of the so-called "transition period", most of what was sold as Ives trains were not made at Lionel's plant.

The transition period started in the fall of 1928 when Lionel and Flyer jointly bought the Ives company.  Nothing in the purchase agreement mandated where product was to be made. For 1928 and 1929, most of the passenger and freight cars sold as Ives were made by American Flyer and shipped to the Ives plant in Bridgeport CT for painting in Ives colors, and adding Ives trucks and couplers. "Pure" Ives items like the 1134 steam locomotive, the 3245 electric locomotives, the 184 series small passenger cars, and some freight cars like the flat car and the coke car, continued to be made at the Ives plant in Bridgeport.

For 1930, Lionel bought out Flyer's interest, (in that deal, Flyer got the rights to the Ives 1134 steam locomotive) and Lionel freight and passenger car bodies were sent to the Ives plant in Bridgeport, to get the Ives trucks and couplers.  "Pure" Ives items such as the 184 cars and the 3245 locomotives, continued to be produced in the Ives facility in Bridgeport CT. 

It was only in 1931, nearly at the end of the "transition" period, that the Ives factory in Bridgeport was closed, no more "pure" Ives articles were produced, and purely Lionel equipment, on Lionel trucks and with Lionel couplers, were sold as Ives, with Ives plates, tags, or decals.  Lionel retained the "Ives" name as a brand for another year, into 1932, and even introduced a new Ives locomotive, the 1764, and its matching cars, which were made at the Lionel plant in New Jersey.  By 1933 it was all over, and there was no more Ives made, although it may have taken some time to sell existing stock.

david

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