attached to some Flyer (O gauge) track (just as an example, it was the handiest piece of track i had laying around)...

lock-on 01
and other angles...

lock-on 02

lock-on 03

actually i was wondering if there was a comprehensive listing of various makes/ types of power connectors ever published(?)



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Original Post

Here are pages from Lionel, Ives, and Flyer catalogs.  Looks to me like Flyer and Ives are snap-on type, only Lionel has the rotating lever to lock the clip on the track?

Click on these photos to blow them up so you can read them. These are my dad's old catalogs, I scanned them at 300dpi so they should be legible if enlarged.


Flyer 1929Ives 1926Lionel 1923


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thanks David...

i looked at my oldest Lionel catalog (1928) and sure enough they were still in use then, but in my defense not as boldly advertised as the 1923 catalog you pictured.  looks like they were used up until 1936 changing in 1937 to a so-call universal lock-on ... maybe due to T-track?

sort of surprised not to find an "L" somewhere on it.

It is funny that they aren't marked; but the things are mostly fiberboard, maybe there wasn't enough metal to mark?  I have also wondered whether these were outsourced maybe to somebody who made them for everybody?

they weren't exactly featured prominently in the catalogs...

I always thought that "universal" referred to the lockons that fit both O Gauge and Standard Gauge... (Flyer called it narrow and wide gauge). I have some, and they actually do go on both sizes of track - on SG the metal clips go inside (between) the center and outside rail; for O Gauge they clip on the same rails but on the outside of each rail, if you catch my drift there...  It saved keeping inventory of two different items.




The universal lock-on simply indicates those that fit both 0 and standard gauge.  Not quite as common but definitely made by Lionel.


The type I'm familiar with used the same lever to lock and unlock.  lever at 90 degrees to track was the unlocked position.  Move the lever to the left or right locked the UTC to O or SG respectively


Completely designed with your mind in mind.

thanks, Steve... the operation of the universal (Std/O) lock-on is much more apparent in your photo than in the catalog illustration.  the double-sided Std gauge lock-on is very interesting (and likely rare?).  and keep at your friend, that would be an invaluable aid. 

seeing the print on yours, i also took a closer look at my pictures...

prewar Lionel lock-on - detail

i can barely make it out, but it does look like it was once imprinted with "LIONEL <something>" which is now completely worn off.

frankly since my original question has be answered, feel free to post other lock-on questions or comments.  the subject line is general enough.



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Steve "Papa" Eastman posted:

Here are 4 types I have with the cam lock.  The one on the right is O, the one on the left is O & Std depending on which side of the cam is engaged, the others are Standard.


Lock Ons

The basic Lock-on patent was awarded to Louis Caruso <>

These special Lock-ons were developed for Lionel new accessories introduced in the mid-20s.Special Lockons The left one was furnished with "0" gauge 080 Semaphore; center was provided with the Standard gauge 80 Semaphore; right was provided with the Standard gauge 78 Block signal and the three-wire 82 Semaphore (there was also an "0" gauge version of this Lock-on for the 078 and 082 signals).

Ron M


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