A.F. Product Gallery: #978

Manufacturer:American Flyer
Manufacturer ID:978
Category:Passenger Cars
Road Name:American Flyer Lines
Road Number:Grand Canyon
Year Introduced:1956
This car was produced from 1956 through 1958, in two variations. The first variation has three steps while the second variation, shown in the photo, has four steps. The #978 is one of a very few cars produced in 1958 that still had the older three-digit number on the car. The #978 was offered in 1958 as #25039 however, none was ever produced with the number on the car. Additionally, the #978 was part of the very rare #24963 four-car set produced in 1958 in which the #978 was packaged in a box with the number 25039 stamped on the end. Today the four-car set (advertisement shown in Photo #2) is extremely rare and commands a very high price. Finally, the mechanism that causes the brakeman to pop out from the rear platform on the #978 is the same as it is on the #977 and the rare #25031 Action Cabooses. The U.S. Patent for the mechanism is 2,861,391, which was filed on May 24, 1956 and approved on November 25, 1958. It is titled "Toy Caboose With Animated Flagman" that lists W. R. Smith as the inventor. Mr. Smith, who holds many Gilbert inventions, was an engineering department employee of the A. C. Gilbert Company.
Photo
Photo #2
model owned by Ted Hamler
photo © Ted Hamler

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