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Prewar Lionel

This Web Page Last Updated: March 2, 2015

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This page contains our current inventory of Prewar Lionel engines, rolling stock, cabooses, passenger cars, accessories, original boxes and other paper items. It includes both standard gauge and O-gauge trains made during the prewar era (1901 - 1942).

* * * Click on "Yes" in the Photo column to see a picture.
* * * Click on "Grade" in the 3rd column heading for an explanation of grading.

Prewar Lionel Sets, Engines, Cars and Accessories
Cat # Item GradePhotoPriceDetails
Prewar Engines & Tenders:
2224W Coal Tender E+++ Yes $195 A gorgeous semi-scale, deluxe "LIONEL LINES" whistling tender. Has a diecast body, white heat-stamped lettering and a full complement of railing detail with separate steps on each corner. Has four-wheel trucks with black journals and a box coupler.
Photo of the other side.
Minimal flaws! The coal pile is completely intact and the shell is very, very clean with nice vibrant paint and crisp lettering. The frame is also very clean with the "2224W" numbering on the underside completely visible!
Photo of the rear deck.
This sharp-looking tender has a nice sounding whistle.
An "aerial" view.

Correct tender for the 224 sold in 1939 and 1940; it is also the correct style tender for a few other prewar engines.
Prewar Accessories:
35 Boulevard
Lamp Post
Ex. Yes $ 25 A nice, medium-gray painted, die-cast lamp post from 1941-42: has an opalescent, octagonal lampshade that is topped by a cap shaped like a crown of thorns. The fixture measures 6 1/8 inches high. Made after WW2 as well as before but this is the prewar version.

Repair made to a crack in the globe plus the finial has rust on it and there are some scratches on the post. However, the flaws are not major and do not detract from the beauty of this unusual piece. It is very clean overall, all original and all intact -- and of course, the fixture does light!
Close-up of the globe where the repair was made.
Note that the close-up photo makes the crack appear to be worse than it really is.
Close-up of the base underside.

File Photo showing both a 1941-42 prewar version and a postwar version of the #35.
The postwar version is painted silver; the 1941-42 version of the prewar version is painted medium gray.
Close-up of the bases of both the prewar and postwar versions.

This useful layout piece is described in one guidebook as "a detailed replica of a prototype design that can still be seen in some American towns and cities." The gray-painted prewar version is the hardest #35 Boulevard Lamp Post to find.
184 Bungalow VG- Yes $ 60
SOLD
An illuminated, lithographed, stamped-steel cottage from 1923-1942:
Another view.
Red chimney, green peaked roof, dormer, separate green window inserts and an open porch area with a green shed roof.
Photo of the back.
Rubber-stamped "184-1" on the base underside. Measures 2 3/4 inches wide by 4 3/4 inches deep by 4 inches high.
An "aerial" view.
Some stains and scratches plus one corner of the porch roof has some paint loss. In addition, the base has some dried foreign substance on it providing evidence that this piece was once used on a layout.
Another "aerial" view.

The flaws are minor and actually add a little character and this piece looks presentable and realistic thanks to the colorful lithography! It lights and it is a great layout piece!
Prewar Lionel Original Boxes
#DescriptionGradePhotoPriceDetails
1662 Switcher 5 Yes $ 75 A box for the 0-4-0 Steam Switcher sold from 1940 to 1942:
Photo showing the non-original end flap.
Flaws: some dirt; tears; creases; lots of tape; one non-original end flap; three homemade inner flaps; homemade liner.
Photo of the liner found inside the box.
Lots of imperfections but the box is fairly clean and thanks to the homemade liner, it is square and sturdy!

Prewar boxes are not that easy to find in decent shape and a 1662 box has to be significantly harder to find than most.

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In the early years of the 20th Century, Joshua Lionel Cowen built a toy train company that became an industry giant. Thanks to high-quality products and innovative marketing techniques, the Lionel Corporation developed into a piece of Americana.

In the prewar era, Lionel offered some of the most colorful and ornate trains in their history. Although in many cases, they have a primitive look about them, they also possess an old-world charm unmatched to this day. The quaint accessories of this era were ingenious and impressive.

Increase the attractiveness of your modern-day railroad and add an alluring Prewar Lionel accessory or signal. Expand your collection by purchasing an engine or car from Lionel's wonderful early years.

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