Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Original Standard Gauge Train?

Well, maybe not. This is an unknown set, but best guesses are either Mason and Parker, Converse and Parker, or Reed, sometime between 1880 and 1900. Noel Barrett auctioned off a somewhat similar Converse and Parker set from the Ward Kimball collection that has almost exactly the same flanged wheels and truck bolsters as this set. In that auction, Noel said it was the only antique (pre 1900) wooden passenger toy train set known to have flanged wheels (there is a wooden train set from Shepard that has flanged wheels and wood track but it has coal cars). Actually I know of one other wooden passenger train set with flanged wheels, very much like the Shepard set, but in any event they aren't very common compared to the wood floor runners with simple wheels from Reed, Bliss, Milton Bradley etc...

So I asked myself what gauge the set might be so I can build some track for it. 2" gauge would have been the obvious guess because that is a nice round number. But when I measured it out, it was a bit larger than that. You can see in the pic how it measured out. Coincidence, or did JLC have one of these when he was a kid?



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