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I have two sets that included 681 turbines with 12-wheeled 2671 tenders: 2167WS and 2173WS. They were both catalogued in 1950 and 1951. I have the 1950 set box for 2167WS and I am not sure about the other set.

In both cases, the locos look to have heat-stamped numbers. They are clear and white.

The McComas and Tuohy book indicates that the 681s in 1950 and 1951 had rubber-stamped numbers like earlier turbines. The Greenberg's guide I have indicates the 681s came both ways in 1950 and 1951.

Does anyone know what is correct?

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I believe the general consensus is that rubber stamps used a sliver paint where as the heat stamps were white. The transition between these markings is believe to have happened late 1950 or early 1951. Does any one really believe that Lionel changed processes overnight between Dec 31st and Jan 1st? One can go crazy trying to split hairs like this.

I agree with bmoran4. You have to remember it was a production process for toys.  Most likely there was a transition period of some length and even after the transition there would have been stock on hand for future production which would have been made using the earlier process. 

  If you really want to have fun with production changes try collecting pre-war American Flyer.  The standard joke about collecting pre-war Flyer is in order to have all of the production variations for a particular item you would need to own every copy of that item currently in existence in the world.

And the reason I was asking is that I posted a picture of the 2167WS set on Facebook and someone wondered if the set had its correct, original loco because it was heat-stamped.

That’s because some folks can’t see the forest for the trees,….as BMORAN4 stated, it isn’t like they cut the heat stamping machine off directly on midnight on the 31st of Dec. and started rubber stamping one second afterwards,….it ain’t like back then they were worried about some boob on Facebook ringing your chimes about heat stamping or rubber stamping,……I can see the engineering dept. at Lionel sitting around the discussion table in 51,… sweating to death about what the Greenberg’s guide is gonna think about this switch in 30+ years……..not,….

Pat

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