@Steve "Papa" Eastman- Steve with all of your fabulous collection, I can hardly believe we might have some things in common. I loved your picture of the Pride Lines set with the Marx motor. In my case, its a Hornby shell, originally clockwork (like most Hornby) and repowered with a Marx motor to convert it to electric operation. Repainted as well before completion and it runs really great.
@Jeff2035- Well Jeff your question is quite an interesting one (source of postwar Marx) and the answer is "almost anywhere", Marx made more trains (in number) than the other 2 major players (Lionel and AF) added together. In addition, Marx is not as easily divided into pre-war and post war as several of his lines simply carried over...like the 6" 4 wheel lithographed freights which were offered from about 1936 till the end of Marx in about 1970. Some lines, like the 3/16 th inch scale cars only lasted from the late 40's till about the late 50's (S scale but still 0 gauge). Marx plastic freights were composed of 3 lines (collectors have dubbed them, "light weight", "middle weights" and "deluxe" but Marx never used those names). The "deluxe" cars had more features like opening doors on boxcars and were sometimes slightly larger. The "middle weights" lasted from about 1955 (8 wheel cars) until Marx closed. The "light weight" cars are all 4 wheel and consist of a simple decorated plastic casting that is hollow underneath. Like the other manufacturers, the item which seemed to change most often was the coupler and the higher end cars typically had the fork coupler made in both in plastic and metal. Other couplers included "one way" (pre-war only), tab / slot & plastic knuckle. Some are compatible with others and some not, but you can always use a "transition car" - car with one coupler on one end and another on the opposite end..
Remember, Marx started making trains under his own name about 1935 far later than either Lionel or American Flyer. Prior to that point Louis Marx was an "agent", sort of a middle man distributor for various toy companies and he mostly used the Gerard Model Works of Pennsylvania for trains and they sold under the name of "Joy Line". Remember also that unlike Lionel or American Flyer, Marx was a TOY company making many, often famous, toys other than trains. In fact for much of the of the 20th century Marx was the largest toy maker in the world.
So back to your original question. Where do you find pw Marx ? Well as I said almost anywhere, except for some rare variations (and there are some), it is generally available in most places you might find collectable antiques (flea markets, swap meets, auction houses, your local newspaper ). I would also recommend e-bay it has a special listing just for Marx trains and it typically runs around 100 pages.
Don, thank you so much for your very informative essay on Marx trains. I appreciate the thought you devoted to writing this. I printed it and will keep it with my reference books on toy trains. I appreciate the information on # of wheels, different couplers, metal and plastic, scale, and now I know what Joy Line is. I took a look at the eBay listings, and they are overwhelming, which is a good thing.
Thank you again. I am ready to start expanding my Marx collection at York, in October.
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