model train set on track

American Flyer Prewar Set 7025

e*Train Issue: Aug 2011   |   Posted in: ,

By Leon Sweet

As a collector of Prewar American Flyer, I am always looking for interesting and unusual sets and enjoy the research that sometimes related to them.  Within the last 12 months I purchased a boxed Prewar American Flyer O gauge set identified as set 7025.  The set was purchased through eBay, but was in actuality, a locally purchased set, as the seller lived about 15 miles from me in Southeast Wisconsin.

The set, as purchased, included an oversized set box that is rubber stamped 7025, a 1249 transformer in its box, a 1096 lithographed red engine, a blue 1205 6.5 inch baggage car, and two red 1306 6.5 inch baggage cars.  Although the set appears to be of an odd configuration with the red lithographed engine, blue lithographed baggage, and two red lithographed coaches, as well as a smaller sized engine that typically did not come with these larger sized cars, I thought I recalled seeing a similar set previously.

At the beginning of my research I asked a good friend and fellow Prewar American Flyer enthusiast, who shall remain nameless, about the set and his first comment to me was “that set was never sold that way”.  Of course one should never say that with Prewar American Flyer, as W.O. Coleman was noted for putting special sets together for retailers.

The second step of my research involved looking through any old auction catalogs.  Sure enough, in one of the Stout Auction catalogs from the 2004-2005 era, I found a listing for a set 7025.  The auction listing showed an identical looking set box that was similarly rubberstamped with number 7025, as well as a picture of a train with the red 1096 engine, blue 1205 baggage, and two red 1306 coaches.  The photos showed that the box was a bit nicer than the box I had, so I was also able to confirm that the set I purchased was not the one sold on the auction.

Now the last mystery to solve was “what else came in the oversized set box?”  The set box, which measures 11 inches wide by 12 inches long by 7 inches high, is the same size box as the 1930-1931 Clipper set that included a tunnel, 93 Suburban Station, two signals, 3103 engine and three 6.5 inch freight cars.  I was sure that the 7025 set likely included other items, but the question was, “what other items?”

Recently, while re-reading every TCA Quarterly article relating to American Flyer between 1954 and 1997 (Yes I printed every single article relating to American Flyer printed in the Quarterly between these years from the TCA on-line archive)  MEMBERS ONLY SECTION–I found my answer.  There in an article written by Joe Kotil TCA 60-496 from the early 1980s, with the following memo.

The memo is great in that it confirms that set 7025 included the small 1096 engine with the three larger 6.5 inch cars and listed the contents of the set to include the amount of track, a 1249 transformer, a 90 station, two signals, and a small tunnel.  More importantly it shows a date of late 1926 and indicates that this was a special set for the Boston Store.