there are a lot of old store catalog pages on the internet, so i thought it might be a challenge to see how many advertised sets i could make up.  i'd like to keep this string with the theme of prewar tinplate, so if you have something to add, please be my guest.  i will probably revisit this topic from time to time if only for my own amusement.

to start it off, a 1923, all American Flyer catalog page from ...

the Chas Williams Store - NYC
according to Schuweiler's dating, however, most of the drawings represent 1922 production.

here is the complete page...

1923ChWill-p622

=====+++=====+++=====+++=====+++=====

A Complete Toy Am RR Syst 01

A Complete Toy Am RR Syst
headed up by the large Type XI locomotive, it is unusual to see a clockwork locomotive pulling 8wh cars.  i could probably come up with the track and switches, but i can see right off that the accessories on this page will be a challenge.  in 1923, an average labor union job paid on the order of $6-8/ day.

 

Southern Express 03

Southern Express
once again i had to timeshare my lone #120 tender to put together this 4wh passenger train.  from my observations, Type XII locomotives without siderods & a brake are much more common.  slight problem with this selection, however.  the mismatch of colors?  not according to a note by Schuweiler... "American Flyer offered sets with only 1107 passenger cars as well as combining different color baggage and passenger cars, so there are not always baggage cars that exactly match the passenger cars".  no, the bigger problem is that the 1108 baggage car is not sitting on a Type III frame but rather the later Type V frame not produced for another 2 years.  i'll have to keep working on this one.  might give me enough time to track down the telegraph poles... pretty sure i have some of those ...somewhere.

 

 Freight Train 02

Freight Train
a smaller Type XII locomotive was enough power for this 4wh freight.  since the Morris & Company reefer, M.R.L.X. 8136, came in configurations with any two of eight different sides & with many different door styles, i'm going to call the slight variation along with a nearly correct, aside from the roadname, sand car, ...close enough.

 

New York Special - Hummer 01

New York Special - Hummer
for less than $1? ... "It must be a Hummer!"

fun stuff...!
cheers...gary

Attachments

Photos (12)
Original Post
overlandflyer posted:

there are a lot of old store catalog pages on the internet, so i thought it might be a challenge to see how many advertised sets i could make up.  i'd like to keep this string with the theme of prewar tinplate, so if you have something to add, please be my guest.  i will probably revisit this topic from time to time if only for my own amusement.

to start it off, a 1923, all American Flyer catalog page from ...

the Chas Williams Store - NYC
according to Schuweiler's dating, however, most of the drawings represent 1922 production.

here is the complete page...

1923ChWill-p622

=====+++=====+++=====+++=====+++=====

A Complete Toy Am RR Syst 01

A Complete Toy Am RR Syst
headed up by the large Type XI locomotive, it is unusual to see a clockwork locomotive pulling 8wh cars.  i could probably come up with the track and switches, but i can see right off that the accessories on this page will be a challenge.  in 1923, an average labor union job paid on the order of $6-8/ day.

 

fun stuff...!
cheers...gary

I am a big paperwork person, and especially like the ones that show unusual uncataloged sets that included accessories.  American Flyer sold a number of "7000 series sets", with the 7000 numbers denoting uncataloged sets.  The original boxes, when found have a 7000 number on the box.  Unfortunately, there is little information on these 7000 sets and the only way to find information about these sets is a) finding an original set in the setbox, which can be difficult as dealers have historically switched items over the years or come across empty boxes and filled them with whatever; or b) finding advertisements showing the sets.

Here is a Butler Brothers catalog page showing two 7000 series sets.

Both of these sets are interesting as they are headed by the 3020 and feature Illini / Columbia cars as well as featuring accessories.  However, the most interesting set is set 7009, which shows the station flanked by 2 trees.  American Flyer did catalog a scenery set, which featured trees, in the early 20s and apparently had some trees left over.

A number of years ago, I acquired a 3020 set from the late David Garrigues at the Great Midwest Train Show in Illinois.  At the time I bought it, he stated that he had recently acquired it from the original owner's family.  I bought the set because it had a nice dark green Illini observation car, which are somewhat difficult to find, as American Flyer introduced the observation cars in 1925, with the early series of Illini cars being dark green and sometime c. 1925 switching the Illini car coloring to light green.  Oddly, the set I purchased features a dark green baggage, light green coach, and dark green observation.  The next month at the show, David offered me a box full of boxed track and switches and 2 trees that he said came with the Illini set that I had purchased.  I purchased the group and noted that the boxed track was all marked with Butler Brothers numbers.  It was only later that I connected my Illini set and the two trees to the above advertisement.  Once I had made the connection between the Illini set, the trees, and Butler Brothers marked track and this advertisement, I asked David if there were any accessories that came with the set, when he bought it.  He indicated that there were some accessories, but he did not recall the specific items.

I realize that the advertisement for the 7009 set indicates that the set came with maroon engine/cars (ie the Columbia series cars), but having acquired the set with the green 3020 and cars, I suspect that they ran out of Maroon engine/cars (as American Flyer phased out the maroon Columbia cars c. 1925) and substituted a green set.  

In late 2017, I began buying display cases and filling them with sets that came with accessories.  When filling the 3rd cabinet, I came up with an extra shelf and decided to put this set together, based on the Illini set and two trees and history of the set that was related to me by David Garrigues.

NWL

Overland Flyer,

I guess one thing to add is that the store advertising is generally based on artwork that is supplied by the manufacturer, so your 1923 advertisement that primarily shows 1922 equipment would not be unusual, as American Flyer often re-used its artwork in later years and simply changed the descriptions, if needed.

Finding an advertisement that is based on artwork not supplied by the factory is more interesting.  The advertisement below is from a Chicago newspaper and is c. 1917.  I have been told that this advertisement is not based on American Flyer supplied artwork and would have been created by either the newspaper or the retailer.  

NWL

well, my goal here is to recreate the ads, so as hometownish as local ads are quaint and about as generic as you can get, they're sort of impractical for recreational use.  especially for a company like Marx or Hafner who published very few manufacturer catalogs, the detailed artwork of store ads and catalogs are invaluable to collectors for reference.

nevertheless, all these old ads seem to contribute to the charm of tinplate.

overlandflyer posted:

there are a lot of old store catalog pages on the internet, so i thought it might be a challenge to see how many advertised sets i could make up.  i'd like to keep this string with the theme of prewar tinplate, so if you have something to add, please be my guest.  i will probably revisit this topic from time to time if only for my own amusement.

to start it off, a 1923, all American Flyer catalog page from ...

the Chas Williams Store - NYC
according to Schuweiler's dating, however, most of the drawings represent 1922 production.

here is the complete page...

1923ChWill-p622

=====+++=====+++=====+++=====+++=====

A Complete Toy Am RR Syst 01

A Complete Toy Am RR Syst
headed up by the large Type XI locomotive, it is unusual to see a clockwork locomotive pulling 8wh cars.  i could probably come up with the track and switches, but i can see right off that the accessories on this page will be a challenge.  in 1923, an average labor union job paid on the order of $6-8/ day.

 

Southern Express 03

Southern Express
once again i had to timeshare my lone #120 tender to put together this 4wh passenger train.  from my observations, Type XII locomotives without siderods & a brake are much more common.  slight problem with this selection, however.  the mismatch of colors?  not according to a note by Schuweiler... "American Flyer offered sets with only 1107 passenger cars as well as combining different color baggage and passenger cars, so there are not always baggage cars that exactly match the passenger cars".  no, the bigger problem is that the 1108 baggage car is not sitting on a Type III frame but rather the later Type V frame not produced for another 2 years.  i'll have to keep working on this one.  might give me enough time to track down the telegraph poles... pretty sure i have some of those ...somewhere.

 

 Freight Train 02

Freight Train
a smaller Type XII locomotive was enough power for this 4wh freight.  since the Morris & Company reefer, M.R.L.X. 8136, came in configurations with any two of eight different sides & with many different door styles, i'm going to call the slight variation along with a nearly correct, aside from the roadname, sand car, ...close enough.

 

New York Special - Hummer 01

New York Special - Hummer
for less than $1? ... "It must be a Hummer!"

fun stuff...!
cheers...gary

The sheetmetal loco in the NY Special set probably kept the costs down over its cast iron counterparts. 

Jim O'C

Upstate NY/So VT

Jim O'C posted:
overlandflyer posted:
...

 

New York Special - Hummer 01
for less than $1? ... "It must be a Hummer!"

fun stuff...!
cheers...gary

The sheetmetal loco in the NY Special set probably kept the costs down over its cast iron counterparts. 

the Hummer motor was also a much cheaper clockwork mechanism...

Hummer motor comp

l to r...  sheet metal Hummer locomotive motor, standard American Flyer clockwork motor, larger Hummer motor off a Type XIII locomotive.

Attachments

Photos (1)

the same Charles William catalog featured some individual items, too...

Flyer B&O boxcar 01b

Flyer boxcar ad
shpg. wt., 1 lb ?  ...  that was a good deal of rounding up !!

all i can figure with this closely related Flyer anomaly is that perhaps one day in a panic, the production line had to come up with a caboose ASAP.  nobody is going to notice the lack of windows or platforms... right?

Flyer B&O ccaboose 01b

cheers...gary

Attachments

Photos (3)
overlandflyer posted:

the same Charles William catalog featured some individual items, too...

Flyer B&O boxcar 01b

Flyer boxcar ad
shpg. wt., 1 lb ?  ...  that was a good deal of rounding up !!

all i can figure with this closely related Flyer anomaly is that perhaps one day in a panic, the production line had to come up with a caboose ASAP.  nobody is going to notice the lack of windows or platforms... right?

Flyer B&O ccaboose 01b

cheers...gary

Gary,

Actually, the timing of the B&O caboose is more than just a day of panic, where the production department had to come up with a caboose.  The B&O caboose on boxcar body was introduced in 1917.  Ask yourself what happened in 1917?  The US enters World War I and German toy imports to the US stop.  

American Flyer was a relatively small company in the early years and the freight cars and many of the accessories that American Flyer cataloged in the 1914-1916 era were made by German manufacturers.  

So the introduction of the B&O caboose was due to WWI.

That caboose, on the boxcar body, is not the only one that American Flyer made in that style.  American Flyer's first 6 inch caboose also featured a boxcar body with no platforms at the end.  This caboose body is also slightly wider than their later 6 inch cabooses and the roofs are not interchangeable.

Although one can find pictures of this caboose in advertising and catalogs through the early 1920s, I suspect that was due to the re-use of artwork, as these early 6 inch cabooses are somewhat difficult to find.  

A gaggle of Cabeese.

I guess I should also add a photo of a similar set to the advertising.  Sorry it is not exact, but I have the caboose with an electric engine.

NWL

thanks for that insight into the B&O caboose... so, WWI ... i suppose that could be a sorta "panic", no?

here is an ad excerpt from Chicago based, N.Shure Co., with the tag line of "World's Largest Novelty House".  from the Flyer Champion line and headed up by a Type VII electric locomotive, The Conquerer...

Conquerer 02 1200

Conquerer ad
unfortunately i've heard a rumor that the formula for the "NONBREAKABLE HEADLIGHT" has been lost ... 

so i'll take a stab at it, but i believe the Champion line was created as a bridge to transition the less expensive Hummer and Empire Express sets of the 20's and early 30's into this very small American Flyer niche.  these 5" cars started to appear in 1932 and were last seen only 4-5 years later.

the set shown is one of the earlier versions including cars with sliding doors, a caboose with cupola and separate riveted couplers.  as this line matured, the cars were modified to lower production costs. 

Flyer 5in auto boxcar comp 01
operating doors were replaced with simple openings and couplers were changed from separate pieces to formed extensions of the frame...

Flyer 5in caboose comp 01
and the caboose lost it's separate cupola piece.

Flyer 5in sand car 01
a sand car was the only other 5" car in the Champion line.

Flyer 5in stock car comp 01
the only variation i've seen is the door colors.

 not a set as far as i know, but i'm willing to say there was something close to this...

Champion cars train 01
a few of the Type XV clockwork locomotives ran into this time period and there were clockwork Champion sets offered.  more than likely one or more of the low end sheet metal locomotives took over this assignment after the first one or two years.  if or when i find an ad i'm sure i will be able to modify it to match.

fun stuff...!
cheers...gary

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Photos (7)
overlandflyer posted:

thanks for that insight into the B&O caboose... so, WWI ... i suppose that could be a sorta "panic", no?

here is an ad excerpt from Chicago based, N.Shure Co., with the tag line of "World's Largest Novelty House".  from the Flyer Champion line and headed up by a Type VII electric locomotive, The Conquerer...

Conquerer 02 1200

Conquerer ad
unfortunately i've heard a rumor that the formula for the "NONBREAKABLE HEADLIGHT" has been lost ... 

so i'll take a stab at it, but i believe the Champion line was created as a bridge to transition the less expensive Hummer and Empire Express sets of the 20's and early 30's into this very small American Flyer niche.  these 5" cars started to appear in 1932 and were last seen only 4-5 years later.

the set shown is one of the earlier versions including cars with sliding doors, a caboose with cupola and separate riveted couplers.  as this line matured, the cars were modified to lower production costs. 

Flyer 5in auto boxcar comp 01
operating doors were replaced with simple openings and couplers were changed from separate pieces to formed extensions of the frame...

Flyer 5in caboose comp 01
and the caboose lost it's separate cupola piece.

Flyer 5in sand car 01
a sand car was the only other 5" car in the Champion line.

Flyer 5in stock car comp 01
the only variation i've seen is the door colors.

 not a set as far as i know, but i'm willing to say there was something close to this...

Champion cars train 01
a few of the Type XV clockwork locomotives ran into this time period and there were clockwork Champion sets offered.  more than likely one or more of the low end sheet metal locomotives took over this assignment after the first one or two years.  if or when i find an ad i'm sure i will be able to modify it to match.

fun stuff...!
cheers...gary

My question would be "how do you know the earlier cars had separate riveted couplers?"  The description of the set does not specify the type of couplers.  

I know from passenger sets from that era, that the couplers being part of the body was something that is found on cars from the 1928-1932 era and possibly later.  I suspect the freight cars without doors, is simply a way of cheapening the cars/sets that they came in, and possibly the types of couplers is another way, but that these methods of cheapening the cars/sets may not have anything to do with the era that the cars were produced.  Possibly these differences may be attributed to windup versus electrically powered sets. 

I cannot say you are incorrect in your assumption, but that there is simply no printed material that I know that specifies when or why they switched from couplers that were part of the body to couplers that were riveted on (or the other way around).  

It may be that Flyer was having issues with couplers breaking off the body and revised the cars in later years to have riveted couplers due to these issues.  

NWL

Nation Wide Lines posted:
overlandflyer posted:
..., The Conquerer...

Conquerer 02 1200

Conquerer ad

;;;

the set shown is one of the earlier versions including cars with sliding doors, a caboose with cupola and separate riveted couplers.  as this line matured, the cars were modified to lower production costs. 

Flyer 5in auto boxcar comp 01
operating doors were replaced with simple openings and couplers were changed from separate pieces to formed extensions of the frame...

My question would be "how do you know the earlier cars had separate riveted couplers?"  The description of the set does not specify the type of couplers.  

I know from passenger sets from that era, that the couplers being part of the body was something that is found on cars from the 1928-1932 era and possibly later.  I suspect the freight cars without doors, is simply a way of cheapening the cars/sets that they came in, and possibly the types of couplers is another way, but that these methods of cheapening the cars/sets may not have anything to do with the era that the cars were produced.  Possibly these differences may be attributed to windup versus electrically powered sets. 

I cannot say you are incorrect in your assumption, but that there is simply no printed material that I know that specifies when or why they switched from couplers that were part of the body to couplers that were riveted on (or the other way around).  

It may be that Flyer was having issues with couplers breaking off the body and revised the cars in later years to have riveted couplers due to these issues.  

NWL

0010a
with articulated couplers the train measures out to 29"... with the body mounted couplers it is an inch shorter.

Schuweiler on 5" cars... "American Flyer offered these cars again in 1934.  The consumer catalog has only a windup set, while the advanced catalog also offers a Champion electric set.  The deluxe version of these cars are in the Champion electric set while the stripped versions appear in the windup set.  American Flyer may have planned to differentiate their Champion sets in this way, but it is just as likely that all production switched to the simpler versions."

i cannot say your coupler revival theory doesn't have merit either, but i went with Schuweiler's "just as likely" alt-path since i tend to believe things only get simpler when economics is at hand and i can't think of a better time in history when kids needed cheaper toys.

he also seems to imply that eventually the only sets advertised in the later years were windup.

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Photos (1)
Jim O'C posted:

Some of the Empire Express sets came with the cupola-less 536 caboose and sheetmetal loco.

Empire Express set

yup... there is that uncataloged sheet metal loco i've started referring to as a Type XXI.  Schuweiler lists the electric version as Type XXII (early to mid 30's), but he does not mention the clockwork motor version i've only ever seen in red...

Flyer Type XXII eledt + Type XXI unk comp sm

this would be a perfect fit for the low end Champions cars.  simple with a low end windup motor and with the nice touch of a working headlight.  adding battery pickups to the tender frame would apparently be a feature worth the cost.

as to the box, i cannot say i've ever seen a box marked as "Champion".  quite possible the Empire Express boxes were assigned another task?  are you sure all that stuff + track will fit in that one?

all IMO... of course...

Attachments

Photos (1)
overlandflyer posted:
Jim O'C posted:

Some of the Empire Express sets came with the cupola-less 536 caboose and sheetmetal loco.

Empire Express set

yup... there is that uncataloged sheet metal loco i've started referring to as a Type XXI.  Schuweiler lists the electric version as Type XXII (early to mid 30's), but he does not mention the clockwork motor version i've only ever seen in red...

Flyer Type XXII eledt + Type XXI unk comp sm

this would be a perfect fit for the low end Champions cars.  simple with a low end windup motor and with the nice touch of a working headlight.  adding battery pickups to the tender frame would apparently be a feature worth the cost.

as to the box, i cannot say i've ever seen a box marked as "Champion".  quite possible the Empire Express boxes were assigned another task?  are you sure all that stuff + track will fit in that one?

all IMO... of course...

Can't say for sure OF, this photo was from an online eBay sale in October of last year. The empire express coaches are the same length but the loco may be too large for all to fit in that box.

empire express set w box

Jim O'C

Upstate NY/So VT

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Photos (1)

i've been dwelling on the other part of that Champion ad for a few days now...

unknown Champion locomotivejpg
the cars & tender, no problem... but what is the locomotive?

0010 unk loco
it seems to show evidence as being derived from other known Flyer CI locos of the early 30's...

Flyer Type XVI 1b
aside from the feedwater heater, the top features & pilot match clockwork Type XVI.

Flyer Type XVII 2b
although the piping & the length stated as 7¼" (really 7" as noted in the Schuweiler text) is closer to the larger Type XVII.

Conquerer loco
but the Type XVII was changed to an electric type.

Conquerer ad loco
that is the one in the previous ad i posted.  aside from the casting changes made to accommodate the electric motor and later the gears, the pilot was changed to fit in a working headlight.

but the last cast iron electric shown in the Schuweiler text is Type VII.  from that point on, Flyer only made sheet metal and die cast locomotives.  of course the ad does not specifically mention cast iron, but the wording of "Features heavy ... locomotive with black Japan finish, ...", to me indicates cast iron.

has anyone seen this locomotive?

Attachments

Photos (7)
overlandflyer posted:

i've been dwelling on the other part of that Champion ad for a few days now...

unknown Champion locomotivejpg
the cars & tender, no problem... but what is the locomotive?

0010 unk loco
it seems to show evidence as being derived from other known Flyer CI locos of the early 30's...

Flyer Type XVI 1b
aside from the feedwater heater, the top features & pilot match clockwork Type XVI.

Flyer Type XVII 2b
although the piping & the length stated as 7¼" (really 7" as noted in the Schuweiler text) is closer to the larger Type XVII.

Conquerer loco
but the Type XVII was changed to an electric type.

Conquerer ad loco
that is the one in the previous ad i posted.  aside from the casting changes made to accommodate the electric motor and later the gears, the pilot was changed to fit in a working headlight.

but the last cast iron electric shown in the Schuweiler text is Type VII.  from that point on, Flyer only made sheet metal and die cast locomotives.  of course the ad does not specifically mention cast iron, but the wording of "Features heavy ... locomotive with black Japan finish, ...", to me indicates cast iron.

has anyone seen this locomotive?

I suspect that the Type XVII that you are showing is the engine that came with the set in the advertisement.  The artwork may not match exactly, but it is very close to the Type XVII engine.  

For instance, the artwork does not show any brushes / brush tubes, yet Flyer cast iron engines of this era had the brushes / brush tubes on the side shown in the ad.  

You should not expect that the advertisement artwork match all the details exactly.  These were toys. 

overlandflyer posted:

i've been dwelling on the other part of that Champion ad for a few days now...

unknown Champion locomotivejpg

although the piping & the length stated as 7¼" (really 7" as noted in the Schuweiler text) is closer to the larger Type XVII.

 

So here is a similar advertisement for Set 907-T from Butler Brothers.

Note that this description lists the engine as being 6 1/2 inches long.  

Another issue I am noting is that both of the descriptions indicate that the tenders have "imitation coal"

Since the 509/328 tenders never had coal loads, I would question which is correct, the description or the artwork?

 

Nation Wide Lines posted:
overlandflyer posted:

 

Conquerer loco
but the Type XVII was changed to an electric type.

Conquerer ad loco

...

For instance, the artwork does not show any brushes / brush tubes, yet Flyer cast iron engines of this era had the brushes / brush tubes on the side shown in the ad.  

You should not expect that the advertisement artwork match all the details exactly.  These were toys. 

i have to smile a bit at the "details" missing.  you could also mention they left out the rivet that attaches the headlight and the head of the connecting rod that pieces together the two half of the casting and is typically not ground down.  all the things they left out are physical details not related to the actual locomotive,  but clunky details that are necessary to make a working model... artist's license... make it look good.

setting aside the errors in the text, the part i still can't figure out... every other piece pictured is not just a generic shape.  even some very minor details in the actual models are represented in the drawings.  the artist was probably working from actual models which would make sense since every other piece actually existed.  how is it that the one locomotive shown does not seem to exactly match any known locomotive, yet it shows so many features of locomotives that did exist.  did Flyer plan on making an electric version of the Type XVI clockwork locomotive or a smaller version of the Type XVII?

i might have to revisit this topic some day.

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