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Fatman recently posted photos of an early Flyer Metzel type #1 engine that he found in Australia, wondering about its origins, so I thought I would post and discuss the variations of these engines and provide a timeline of the various changes that occurred to the castings/motors of these engines.

The first variation is the #0 from 1907

Features about this engine:

1) Red painted smokestack

2) Red stripe below the cab window

3) Red painted wheels, which have short flanges.  These wheels are significant, as they are only found on the 1907 engines.  The 1908 engines have wheels with taller flanges.  Also note that both the 1907 and 1908 wheels are red painted, as opposed to iridescent purple, as described in Greenberg's.  The red painted wheels are correct for the early engines.

4) 4 boiler bands (OK the front one is missing in this photo).  One thing to note about these 4 bands is that when compared to the later bands, they are narrower.

5) Although not shown, the motor does not have a speed governor.



The 1908 versions did have some carryover features from 1907, on some engines.  Here are 3 different 1908 engines

First off, these 3 photos show the difference between the #0 and #1 engines.  The #0 engine is the first photo shown, which does not have drive rods, as there is no hole in the rear wheel to install them, and more importantly, there is no hole drilled in the steamchest for the drive rod to insert into.  Additionally, the #1 engine has the handrail along the top of the boiler, versus the #0 which is missing the handrail.

The various features of the engines:

1) Note that the middle engine has the remains of a red painted smokestack, versus the other engines, which do not have the red smokestack

2) Note that all wheels have taller flanges than the 1907 engine and are still red painted.

3) Note the key pictured on photo 3's engine.  This is a correct 1907-1908 key.  I have two of them and they both came on my 1908 engines.

4) Although not pictured, the 1908 and later motors all have speed governors.

5) Note the 2 piece drive rods.  This type of drive rod is found on the engines that date from 1908 to c. 1910. 

6) Note the colors of the stripes below the cab windows.  In particular, I want to point out the gold painted stripe on the engine in photo 3.  Greenberg's does not report a gold painted stripe on these engines, yet here it is.  This engine came out of a boxed set that I purchased from the original owner's family, so I have no problem stating that it is original, due to the provenance of who I purchased the set from and the condition of the rest of the set.

I can only guess as to the dates of the next grouping of engines as being from c. 1909 to 1910.  Here are photos of the engines.

The primary differences between the above 2 engines and the 1908 engines are the iridescent redish/purplish wheels.  Again, these would be #0 engines, because they do not have drive rods.  They also have different color stripes below the cab windows.

The following engines date from approximately 1910 to 1911/12.  I cannot say for certain when the casting or number of boiler bands change on these engines, but those appear to be the approximate periods, so I leave the dates of these engines to being approximates.

So in approximately 1910 the boiler casting was changed on these engines.  Note that the cab roof is longer and extends beyond the end of the cab.  Also note that the steam chest changes to incorporate a guide for the drive rods.  The engines pictured are both #0 engines, as the rear wheels on them do not have a means to attach a drive rod.

Somewhere around 1912, the boiler again changes, but this time the change is very slight.  The 1912-1913 engines are pictured below

The change of the casting relates to the number of boiler bands, going from 4 bands to 2 bands.  There is also a change to some of the castings to include 2 holes below the cab windows.  My understanding is that Flyer thought of having number/nameplates below the windows, but opted not to do it for some reason.  I cannot provide any dating to when the holes below the windows occurred, other than to say that they do not appear on engines with 4 boiler bands and do not appear on the engines with later wheels.

A note on the top photo.  The engine has a set of brass boiler bands over a set of steel boiler bands.  I suspect that someone added the brass boiler bands at some point, but do not want to remove them.

The following engines date to 1914-1915

Each of the above engines have cast iron, machined, 6-spoke drivers, which are characteristic of 1914 and 1915 engines only.  I know that the #15 engines of 1914 & 1915 had red wheels one year and black wheels one year, but do not know if that is the same for the #0 & #1 engines of this era.

On to 1916 - 1917

These engines represent the last use of the Metzel type casting.  The casting again changes, this time to incorporate cast rivet detail.  The motors also get new 10-spoke cast iron wheels, which are no longer machined.

There are two different colors noted on the engines in my collection.  The red painted wheels appear to have come with 1916 sets and the black painted wheels appear to have come with 1917 sets.  Note also that the drive rod design changes for the engine with the black painted wheels.

NWL

Last edited by Nation Wide Lines
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NWL,

Attached is a picture of a No. 1 with gold (as in not yellow) trim paint in various locations, two bands, no boiler rivets, no drive rods, black wheels. It appears to be an apparent variation different from the ones you have pictured. I tend to believe that the piece is circa 1912, but please feel free to comment.

No. 1 no rivets or drive rods

Thanks.

Bob

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Images (1)
  • No. 1 no rivets or drive rods
@Bob Bubeck posted:

NWL,

Attached is a picture of a No. 1 with gold (as in not yellow) trim paint in various locations, two bands, no boiler rivets, no drive rods, black wheels. It appears to be an apparent variation different from the ones you have pictured. I tend to believe that the piece is circa 1912, but please feel free to comment.

No. 1 no rivets or drive rods

Thanks.

Bob

Bob,

The casting details certainly date it to the 1912-1915 era as it does not have the cast rivet detail and has the two boiler bands.  I can't make out the stripe detail/color very well in the photo you posted.

Something appears incorrect with the motor versus the age of the casting, as the key is a later style key, which makes me think that the motor is incorrect for your casting.  That style of key threads on to a post that protrudes from the motor.  All motors for this engine from 1907 to 1915 have keys that are threaded and screw into the side of the motor.  The key is also on the wrong side of the motor, for the earlier motors.  The 1916-1917 motors have a different design, which uses that key and has the key on the same side of the motor that you pictured.  Additionally, your photo does not show the wheel style very good, but they do not appear to be 6-spoke wheels, which again point to the motor being a later motor in an earlier casting. 

It could be possible that this is a transition motor from 1916 that uses the earlier style casting with later motor, but I cannot be certain and the color of the stripe below the window appears wrong for the 1916 era, as to my knowledge the stripes were always red on the later engines.

NWL

Last edited by Nation Wide Lines

Bob,

The casting details certainly date it to the 1912-1915 era as it does not have the cast rivet detail and has the two boiler bands.  I can't make out the stripe detail/color very well in the photo you posted.

Something appears incorrect with the motor versus the age of the casting, as the key is a later style key, which makes me think that the motor is incorrect for your casting.  That style of key threads on to a post that protrudes from the motor.  All motors for this engine from 1907 to 1915 have keys that are threaded and screw into the side of the motor.  The key is also on the wrong side of the motor, for the earlier motors.  The 1916-1917 motors have a different design, which uses that key and has the key on the same side of the motor that you pictured.  Additionally, your photo does not show the wheel style very good, but they do not appear to be 6-spoke wheels, which again point to the motor being a later motor in an earlier casting.

It could be possible that this is a transition motor from 1916 that uses the earlier style casting with later motor, but I cannot be certain and the color of the stripe below the window appears wrong for the 1916 era, as to my knowledge the stripes were always red on the later engines.

NWL

Thanks for the comments.

I believe you to be correct about the motor and boiler not being in the same time frame. I had the same feeling about it. The wheels have ten spokes. The only accent color is a faded gold (as in metallic gold, not yellow) and that includes the band under the cab windows. I posted the picture to gain your feedback, so now we know. It was purchased in Silver Hall for a modest sum to run and have fun with. It runs like crazy!

Thanks.

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck

Where was this thread last week when I was frantically googling mah fingerz to the bone

Here is the little beastie again ...

And I also have to concur with Tinplate Art above and add in a little extra

"impressive scholarship" indeed , that is only made even more special by the effort and time you take sharing it with us all NWL !

ALL THREE of you gentlemen have a reverence for, and detailed knowledge of, these early artifacts based on skilled observation of these wonderful trains you have judiciously acquired over the years. TRUE collecting and scholarship, indeed!

Thanks.

The sharing of information in this hobby is important, because if we don't share our knowledge, it dies with us, which would be a true loss. 

It saddens me to see items listed on the bay and elsewhere, which do not go together, or are wrongly described, because if people use these items/descriptions as gospel, then they are simply spreading the same misinformation.

NWL

Thanks.

The sharing of information in this hobby is important, because if we don't share our knowledge, it dies with us, which would be a true loss.

It saddens me to see items listed on the bay and elsewhere, which do not go together, or are wrongly described, because if people use these items/descriptions as gospel, then they are simply spreading the same misinformation.

NWL

THIS! I agree 100%

Thanks.

The sharing of information in this hobby is important, because if we don't share our knowledge, it dies with us, which would be a true loss.

It saddens me to see items listed on the bay and elsewhere, which do not go together, or are wrongly described, because if people use these items/descriptions as gospel, then they are simply spreading the same misinformation.

NWL

I’d just say though... that on EBay... not everyone that sells things “know” what they’re selling(not their fault) so that can be either a “plus” or a “negative“ for the buyer.

In my experience, finding something “misinformed/mislabeled”, that’s a plus for me!(buyer) Score!!! 😊

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