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I was pleasantly surprised to find an Electoy 1 gauge freight set at the TTOS Cal-Stewart meet this past weekend. Electoy were an obscure brand of US-made toy train in production from only 1911-1913. Refer to the TCA Western Division Electoy page for more details: http://www.tcawestern.org/elektoy.htm This particular set consists of a 903 0-4-0 loco and tender with three freight cars and a caboose. The engine and tender are a combination of brass and steel parts, with a lot of nickel plating on the engine. The engine and each car has the ornate Electoy logo engraved on it, you can see it clearly on the photo of the locomotive cylinder. Note also the interesting spring-clip couplers, they just insert into an opening on the adjacent car. One is broken off (on the tender), but I just noticed that Joe Mania makes reproduction Electoy couplers so I'll have to get one. Testing the engine with some clip leads it runs fine, what I need now is an oval of 3-rail 1 gauge track so I can set it up in the living room for the Holidays and run this and my other 1 gauge items. If anyone has any 1 gauge track they want to sell, please let me know. Pictures attached, enjoy!

Elektoy set 1Elektoy set 2Elektoy set 3Elektoy set 4Elektoy set 5Elektoy set 6Elektoy set 7Elektoy set 8

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Congratulations, that's a very nice set. A word of caution: the Electoy motor commutators are prone to exploding on these locomotives. I suggest strengthening the fiber commutator ring with a coating of epoxy. Here's a link to a video of my similar set:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwTnGlRQF_4

The set will run on regular 1 gauge track, e.g., Bing or Marklin, but the original Electoy track, if you can find it, has a unique design. Here's a photo:P1210041 

 

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Last edited by Jim Kelly-Evans
Jim Kelly-Evans posted:

Congratulations, that's a very nice set. A word of caution: the Electoy motor commutators are prone to exploding on these locomotives. I suggest strengthening the fiber commutator ring with a coating of epoxy. Here's a link to a video of my similar set:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwTnGlRQF_4

The set will run on regular 1 gauge track, e.g., Bing or Marklin, but the original Electoy track, if you can find it, has a unique design. Here's a photo:P1210041 

 

Jim- great video! And thanks for the suggestion on the motor, I gather you had the commutator come apart on yours?

The other Electoy item I'd really like to find is one of these No. 934 electrics. These seem to be exceedingly rare, I can find only one past sale on the various auction sites. 

elektoy420112122_1_x20112122_2_x20112122_3_x

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Tinplate Art posted:

Very nice acquisition! I imagine such a rarity brings a premium at a show or auction? (yes or no answer) THANKS! ☺

Yes- like anything else rarity and condition will drive prices, although admittedly not everyone is looking for this type of thing so they could be a slow mover at a local meet. I'm no expert on Elektoy, but I gather that these 903 type steam engines (in either the brass like mine or black paint) are more common than the electric outline locos. I saw a set with the 903 at York last year, and in fact there is a 903 engine for sale right now on Ebay.

Here's another Elecktoy item I'd like to find, a 904 electric, this one is at the National Toy Train Museum at Strasburg:

Elektoy 904 at Toy Train Museum Strasburg

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  • Elektoy 904 at Toy Train Museum Strasburg

Hello all ...the Elektoy window of manufacturer/ sales  is a bit shorter ..per Playthings magazine ..Tad Cody did quite a detailed article about Elektoy in a TCAQ many moons ago .... Elektoy was all about variations...they came and went in a flash ...   first described in Playthings July of 1911 ....but first ad February 1912 ...some big ads  for a few months ..then smaller ...then gone by with last ad October .... they tried to make it big ....but fell short ...cute stuff ....even if "durable"  would not be a word you would use to describe them ...  amazing amounts of it has survived ...   interesting as Elektoy was fading from the scene ...Ives was introducing their electric 1 gauge line ....   to make it big you need a big distributor....  oh yes a good product at a favorable price point ..and a proven track record ...      buyers for big chains would be hesitant to place an order with a start up company  for their Christmas  stock .... no matter how shiny the engine was 

in the Elektoy  ads they push dry batteries ..that is so 1909 ....Thoradson had come out with a good cheap transformer in 1910 which jump started the electric toy train world into safe and cheap to use ..now a practical toy ...for the masses ... sales would be  taking off exponentially ...in 1912/3  --and onward ..

 

Cheers Carey  

 

 

 

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Carey- many thanks, very interesting stuff!

And here's another Elektoy trivia item- one of the things that catches your eye about the Elektoy cars are the unique trucks. I was looking at the stamped side frames thinking that they looked like they were made to have springs installed, but none of the cars in my set have them. Looking at other photos however, I see that a few cars do have truck springs. For example, see the hopper car in the photo below, and also the photo from the Toy Train Museum posted earlier. The springs were just decorative and no doubt were easily lost.

Elektoy set- hopper car has truck springs

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  • Elektoy set- hopper car has truck springs

Mea culpa! :-( The first toy train company to introduce a working toy train headlight was Howard, and NOT Electoy, as I previously stated. The Howard Miniature Electric Lamp Company of New York City made both a line of 2" gauge electric trolleys and trains in the first decade of the 20th Century. They were also known in their relatively short years of production for their quality built three-pole electric motors. The reference article  by Case Kowal in Toy Trains of Yesteryear is on pages 9-13. Toy Trains magazine originally published the separate historical columns by Case Kowal, that were later compiled into the Toy Trains of Yesteryear collection published by Carstens.

 

Last edited by Tinplate Art

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