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Toy Trains

A cousin once asked if there were some way to capture our family stories. This blog presents, at least for now, the best way to do that until I can actually get them written. This blog also lets me showcase another of my (too) many projects, which is to catalog all of my family artifacts. When my grandparents were moving to assisted living, many years ago, my grandmother told everyone to come and take whatever they wanted; whatever was left would be put to the curb. This disturbed me, tremendously. When I realized that no one else wanted the hassle of collecting up and shipping things, I told her I'd take it all . . . of course, I didn't realize just how much there was. So, as I've moved from place to place over the last thirty years, I've taken my family heritage with me, lock, stock and barrel (almost literally). But, I haven't done anything but pack things in boxes and think "one day". Well, that day has come. And this blog is helping me. Today's picture is of the toy train my grandfather used to put around the Christmas tree when I was growing up. Somewhere I got the idea that it was his when he was a child, but as I photographed and researched, I came to learn that it was actually one he bought when my mother and aunt were children. It's a Stream Line Steam Type Electrical Train, Remote Control "O" Scale train set consisting of an engine, caboose, bed car, coal car, oil tanker, and cattle car, with track and transformer manufactured between 1946-1954 by Louis Marx & Co., New York. I remember being completely absorbed, at around age six or seven, with flipping the transformer lever back and forth, starting and stopping the train as it made its way around the Christmas tree. I would put any number of little items, like burnt out tree lights, into the cars and pretend they were cows and sheep. I can only wonder if my mom and aunt did the same thing when they were my age.

St. Louis, Missouri, 1946-1954.

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