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Hi guys  recently was surprised to win an online auction. i had the need for a 20655 frontiersman freight. cheap as i  am i came across one without a box. i put a bid on it and forgot about it. opened my email two weeks ago with a notice that i had won the auction. i didnt pay too much attention to the pics when i bid. did i get what i paid for???  well the combine is ok but missing the stack, the flatcar has a broken step and side rail. but on the other hand the boxcar is rather nice. which brings me to the engine???? take a look at the pic. i swear i didnt see it when i bid.  can someone more knowledgeable explain? did i just get lucky?

21089CROP

i'd never seen one in my  40 years of train buying and selling. the loco actually matches the advertising for the set.i thought all the 21089's had the funnel stack like the Franklin. anyone shed any light on this engine

thanks  joee

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Last edited by joee
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gunny thanks i'm good with that. i was curious about the stack.  its different from the regular production .and i was curious about it. in 40 years i never saw another one like it? i didnt even notice it till i opened the box here.  it matches all the advertising for the washington loco but i didnt think any were produced that way.....joe

@joee posted:

gunny thanks i'm good with that. i was curious about the stack.  its different from the regular production .and i was curious about it. in 40 years i never saw another one like it? i didnt even notice it till i opened the box here.  it matches all the advertising for the washington loco but i didnt think any were produced that way.....joe

To the best of my knowledge, the Washington in its standard production form was manufactured only with the usual funnel stack. There were, however, non-Gilbert cabbage or "balloon" stacks made and offered later on the after market. The non-Gilbert part is usually made of metal, so gently tap on the stack (or observe the material under a paint chip) to try and determine its material. Also, how close is the shade of blue on the stack to the blue on the rest of the engine? Franklin and Washington stacks were made with black plastic and then usually painted. One requires determined provenance to make a claim for it being a prototype (a known sample does exist). A sample was made for the 1960 catalog (see below), but that piece is decorated very differently from the ones you and I and everyone own. I guess one should never say "never", but chances are that the stack on yours is the result of a some creativity by an owner in the last 60 years.

Nonetheless, have fun and enjoy your set!

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck

Bob thanks for your input i'll look into the stack being metal or painted plastic maybe a scratch in the inside... i was just at doug's website and saw he has aftermarket stacks. we'll see what i actually have tomorrow. just another part of the hobby trying to track down what you actually find  here is a pic with better detail from the inside the catalog.  but it looks like the artwork photo may have been adjusted  a bit as it looks squatted in the stack area.  again thanks i will keep digging.  joe



60SPREAD - Copy

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just an update i had to pull it out. my curiosity got the best of me. the stack is blue painted black plastic. but what else i found??? the tender was franklin green overpainted blue. the engine and tender have virtually no wheel wear at all like maybe a tiny amount of display run time. the tender trucks are black paintedmy normal production run loco has gold spray inside the lower cab . also looks like the loco shell was a franklin green one also. it has hints of green inside the cab but that could be dustor dirt. the more i look the more i'm believing it just might be. here are a few more pics

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@joee posted:

just an update i had to pull it out. my curiosity got the best of me. the stack is blue painted black plastic. but what else i found??? the tender was franklin green overpainted blue. the engine and tender have virtually no wheel wear at all like maybe a tiny amount of display run time. the tender trucks are black painted my normal production run loco has gold spray inside the lower cab . also looks like the loco shell was a franklin green one also. it has hints of green inside the cab but that could be dust or dirt. the more i look the more i'm believing it just might be. here are a few more pics

It was not uncommon for Gilbert to repaint shells in order to manufacture an alternate train item (e.g., Silver Comets painted over Santa Fe PAs, repurposed Pullman Bradley cars, etc.). The cabbage stack being blue-painted over black plastic appears to be Gilbert with the blue shades appearing to match in your pictures. It well known that Gilbert originally intended the 21089 to be fitted with a cabbage stack, as can be seen in the 1960 catalog and there is a known 'prototype' (preproduction sample) fitted with such a stack (See, my TM Illustrated Price and Rarity Guide, 2012 Edition, page 24). Your stack is correctly proportioned to the sample on the 1960 catalog cover (which I would go by over an artwork illustration). The set box insert for the 20655 set is cut out for a cabbage stack (my LN/OBs set is). Unfortunately for the forensics, the pieces have been separated from a set box, but it would seem that your 21089 came with a full set of correct rolling stock for a 20655 set.

The evidence you are sharing baring further physical examination suggests to me that your Washington was part of a small first production run. Congratulations on an fascinating find!

Factoid: Being that the 20655 set is a Civil War freight set, did you know that the name originally intended by Gilbert for the 21089 was Grant? Presumably, the name was changed to make the set more saleable both below and above the Mason-Dixon Line.

Enjoy!

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck

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