@leapinlarry - Larry thank you for your thoughts and prayers for my wife. Unfortunately she is still in the hospital fighting (she is a fighter) this latest escalation of her cancer. The doctors have some tricks to try and hopefully she may be home soon. But since its T.E.T even though its nearly 2300 hrs I thought I would try and post something on one of my favorite threads...I am not sure how "rare" it is, and with Marx I always say "scarce" as he made so many trains perhaps "rare" is too much to describe most of his offerings. However, in the spirit of "Tail Ends" this one is at least "old" dating from the very beginnings of Marx trains- dating from 1937-1938 not long after Marx assumed control of the Girard Model works and brought out his first designs for what became the 6" line of 4 wheel metal lithographed cars that would actually stay in the Marx line up till the end in the 1970's.
Here is the Marx #556 caboose with the red/cream frame and square ends...this dates this gal to the 1937-38 time period.
Here is the non-railing end which also contains the only coupler (tab / slot at this early time). Note the "punched out" portholes on either side of the door and the punched out door window. In later years these would be replaced by lithographed openings which could be made at a much lower cost than puchout's
Here is the all important platform end ... Again to save cost, why put a coupler on the back side of something that is going to be at the back of the train? ...so no rear coupler. My example here has a bit of damage at the rear corner of the roof, which I generously refer to as "patina" !!
Thanks everyone for keeping my wife in your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate all who can add her to your prayer chain. her name is Sally.
All the best