I'd like to hear some history on this prewar American Flyer O-gauge switch. It's for clockwork trains, obviously. The curve matches O-27 but the tubular rail is 3/8" high like standard O. (Ives also made O-27 curves with big rails). The design appears intended to accommodate a switch throw mechanism but this doesn't have one. The switch points can be moved manually but they float. Interested to know years of production and types of clockwork AF trains in that era.
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Not sure of the exact year of manufacture, other than likely 1920s or 1930s due to track design.
That switch design was meant to be accommodated by a second switch that had a throw and your switch was designed to be the second switch in the line, with the first switch being the primary switch to direct trains to an inner or outer loop, with the engine/cars causing the switch to move as it went through the switch.
American Flyer made the same thing for 3 rail. What you have is a #344 Automatic switch - it is spring loaded so a train approaching on the straight part heading into the switch will push the switch point and let the train pass after which the points return to the curved direction. A train approaching from the other direction will just go through the curve.
The earliest catalog listing I can find for the switch is 1927 and the last I can find is 1930. As NWL noted - it was part of a pair with the other switch as mentioned.
Thank you both for the interesting information. My switch is missing the spring but I can see where it would hook on.