Whatta I Got? Please Help Identify

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unclepugh

New Member
My father gave me this model sometime in the 1980’s. It came with a framed sign that said something to the effect that “this train was displayed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair”. No documentation of its history was offered, and I suspect a dealer somewhere along the sales chain became creative, but I really have no idea.

The engine weighs over 37 pounds and the tender is upwards of 24 pounds! The locomotive is about 38” by 9 1/2 “ square, and 14” tall. It is displayed on a 6 foot long wood trestle that is 21” of the ground, so it looks really cool “riding the rails.”

Some of the detail is quite remarkable. Look at the backhead and the inside of the smoke box!

I can not find any markings on the model to indicate who built it, or when.

Any help I can get identifying this model and its worth would be greatly appreciated.

pugh at comcast dot net

IMG_0831.jpgIMG_0825.jpgIMG_0819.jpg
 
Hi. The loco looks British but with a cab like that it looks like British built for India.
Coincidentally the site linked in Stoker's post ( Chasewater) is about 20 miles from where I live !
Regards, Colin.
 

logandsawman

Well-Known Member
I would call this a salesman's model. Something that sales people would carry around to demonstrate to prospective buyers.

That would explain the intricate detail and superb craftsmanship. Anyone selling (or buying) steam locomotives would definitely be "upper crust"

lasm
 
Colin, are you referring to the cab sides being open perhaps meaning it was meant for India?
Yes, that and the fancy roof edges.
As you say British locos have enclosed sides for some weather protection ( except very early locos ) .

I said Indian but on reflection it could have been for any hot colonial country.
Regards, Colin.
 

unclepugh

New Member
Thanks folks for the replies. Does anyone have a suggestion as to where to look for more specific information? My friend Fred Fraily at TRAINS suggested I contact a British model train forum, but I haven't figured out how to do that.
 
I've had a look in some books showing old locos but cannot find a match.
British model train forums may be a help but they usually cannot help with live steam large scale models so a British Model Engineering forum may be a better bet. I think they would help as there is a big interest in old and historic models.
I don't think I am allowed to mention any specific forums here so search for U.K. Model Engineering forums in general. There aren't many of them in the UK although the Model Engineering hobby is strong.
I model 5" gauge live steam as well as H0.
Bet of luck in your search.
Regards, Colin.
 

scroggin

Member
The large driving wheels with curved wheel spats makes me think that is a model of an early British built Engine my guess is pre-1900's . It has English Chain and buffer couplers and looks to be standard or broad gauge. That would rule out some of the colonies.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
It could be a Egyptian state railways class 401 built by Neilson and Co of Glasgow

http://orion.math.iastate.edu/jdhsmith/term/slegesr.htm
I would say you've hit the nail on the head there, certainly the open air cab is a definite clue. How'd you find that one. I bet the BBC 1 TV program "The Antiques Roadshow" would love to have that model on one of their programs (bit hard to get it to them though). Needs a specialist antiques valuer for it.
 

scroggin

Member
I would say you've hit the nail on the head there, certainly the open air cab is a definite clue. How'd you find that one. I bet the BBC 1 TV program "The Antiques Roadshow" would love to have that model on one of their programs (bit hard to get it to them though). Needs a specialist antiques valuer for it.
google knows everything
 

unclepugh

New Member
Many thanks for the interest in this thread. Got some interesting leads to other sites where I have posted inquiries. (active thread on RM WEB UK http://tinyurl.com/mb6m9vv and finscalerr.com http://www.finescalerr.com/smf/index.php?topic=2284.0 )

@stoker....wonderful photos of the Chicago Fair and thanks for starting the finscalerr thread. The smokestack drawings are a hoot. Your Chicago Fair comments make sense, maybe this thing was used to promote the builder’s products.

@Colin...haven’t found any “model engineering” sites yet...still looking

@Ray D...can’t seem to post to gscalecentral

@ scroggin...Egyptian seems to be the choice so far

Important detail I originally omitted: the rails are 6 inches apart. Is this a common modeling gauge?

I’ve put some more photos at: http://tinyurl.com/msuen69

Bottom line is that I really haven’t learned much about this wonderful model. Who built it and when? I really find it hard to believe that such a handsome piece of craftsmanship wasn’t marked it someway my its creator!

Whadda ya think my next step should be? Contact a high end auction house?
 
Tootnkmin:

The Museum of Science and Industry is the only building left from the 1893 Exposition. All of the others are long gone. The site itself has been turned into a variety of uses. If you read Ad. Dan Gallery's book, U-505, you can get the story of how that sub was moved from Lake Michigan to the Museum over Lake Shore Drive. The Drive runs on what was part of the site's grounds, too.

Photoman475
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
G'day photoman475, good to see you're having a poke around the forum threads, never know what will turn up. Thanks for answering my question. Wonder if the OP ever got a valuation on the train model?
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Weren't the rest of the buildings either burned by vandals or razed within a couple of years of the exhibition?
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
This one really has me curious. It looks a lot like a live steam locomotive, especially when viewed from inside the cab. Some of the items in that are not to scale, but are sized as if it was a live steamer.

On the other hand, the smokebox end looks like it's made for small boiler tubes. However, they also don't actually look to be there. Is this a screen in front of the actual boiler area? Are there boiler tubes, or can you see all the way through the boiler, which would, of course, mean it doesn't hold water and so could not be live steam?

In any case, very interesting and very well made indeed!
 

logandsawman

Well-Known Member
Has there been a consensus that this is a model train to be used for recreational purposes?

With my experience as an expert tv viewer of Antiques Roadshow, it appeared to be something a sales person used; the salesman sample. In that case, it would make sense that no markings would be found.

Being at an exposition, it makes sense a company would show off a small copy of their product when it is not feasible to bring the entire locomotive to the show.

lasm
 

Burlington Bob

Well-Known Member
By Bob;

It looks a lot like a live steam locomotive, especially when viewed from inside the cab. Some of the items in that are not to scale, but are sized as if it was a live steamer.

On the other hand, the smokebox end looks like it's made for small boiler tubes. However, they also don't actually look to be there.
That's exactly what I thought. The tube sheet (where the ends of the boiler tubes would be) looks as though you can see behind it as if there were no tubes, just holes. Also, there is no indication of the tubes being rolled (the way boiler tubes are sealed to the tube sheet) which should show as a flared end at the tube openings.

Really is an interesting model and I'm curious as to the determination, if any, as to the origins and/or value of the model.
 




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