Manufacturer:A.C. Gilbert American Flyer
Manufacturer ID:300
Road Name:fantasy: American Flyer
Model Introduced:1946
Finishpainted & lettered
The main photo shows the original A.F. models produced in 1946, 1947, and 1952. The 1946-47 models have diecast boilers and sheet metal tenders, while the 1952 models typically have plastic boilers and tenders. There are six variations of the 1946-47 models and three variations of the 1952. The unit in the foreground of the photo is an early 1946 with an indented tender with silver lettering that read "Reading". Like the tender shell of the #350, the Atlantic tender shell was also a carryover from 1940. In 1940 tenders had separate numbers and the number for a 4-4-2 tender shell was #421. This unit, along with the next 1946 model in the photo, both have thin-shank link couplers that tended to break so in 1947 Gilbert made the shank thicker. The middle model in the photo is also a 1946 with silver letter, however it does not have the indented tender, which indicates it most likely was produced later in 1946, after most of the indented shell were used up. In the background, that model is an example of a 1947 #300 that has thick-shank coupler. However, the most notable difference is that, instead of the tender having "Reading" printed in silver on the side, the 1947 model has "American Flyer" in white letters with the reading logo. There are two reported variations of 1947 units with silver lettering like the 1946 model except they have thick-shank link couplers one of those two has an indented tender. Photo #2 is of Jack Sudimak's model converted to scale operation with the Nimco wheels replacing the Gilbert ones. Other than its scale wheels this model is pretty much in its original condition except that it has a repainted tender and a Delta type trailer truck added.
Photo #2
photo © Ted Hamler

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