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Saturday, December 6, 2014

What's in Your Closet?

My friend Brigid has a wonderful post up tonight on Pieces of History and as happens occasionally I was rummaging around here tonight as it is a rainy day here. 

I found this:

 I bought this little train set from Monroe Hardware when they announced they were selling everything and moving out of downtown Monroe. Sad really. The building is still there and I remember walking down the wooden floors so worn down by many shoes over the decades. 

A faithful reproduction of the "Hooker Chemical" scheme from back in the day, but sadly I think that would mean silicone and meth now. 

Then this:


See the difference in packaging? Doesn't the "Southern" look so much more appealing than the box below sitting on a retail shelf? This was made during the much derided "MPC Era". Another footnote in history. Inside we find this:


And everything else to run a train set. At least it says "Made in America" as Lionel is made in China now. 


"Pieces of history" my friend said. She wondered who in the future would cherish or discard items. This train is one of my most cherished possessions.

Not even a cataloged set. Apparently the hobby shop cobbled up something for my parents to buy from loose rolling stock. A much derided "Scout" engine to the purists. No matter. To me it is priceless for what it is and what it means. My Mother kept this train for decades and presented it to me a few years ago. I thought it lost in the haze of my youth. 

So now we do still run across some items of interest. 



  

 































ZW and KW train transformers. The largest made. They command a premium now as actually putting 275 watts of AC power on some metal track laying in the floor of the living room would make a corporate lawyers head explode now.

I fear in the age of Xboxes, PS, tablets, etc. that the era of these is done. I don't know who if anyone will be stewards of these pieces of history in the future. Sad, but I am glad they are here to remind me of the sacrifices made so long ago so I could run over green army men with my train! 

17 comments:

  1. I remember Monroe Hardware, and the red barn gas station on the corner. Memories. It's good to read you still have the trains, thanks for sharing the pictures. :)

    Anyway, I have two shirts with missing buttons in my closet. At least the dryer hasn't eaten any socks this year. pffft lol :)

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  2. Is that Zenith radio a short wave unit, does it work well?

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    1. That is one of the last TransOceanics. It works well! My Father bought it new. Good eye!

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    2. :) Anon beat me to it as I was going to comment, where did you get your Zenith TransOceanic? I had one in Vietnam and have been eyeing them on Ebay

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  3. I had a Lionel train set in the early 50's that my dad bought for (ahem) me. It had one of those big transformers and to this day I remember the smell it made and the little sparks inside. It was a sweet layout that took up the whole floor of the downstairs basement room. Sometimes, I was even allowed to run the trains. (smile)

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    1. Awesome! I get you on the (ahem). =)

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  4. I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one to mow green army men down with trains/race car tracks/Tonka bulldozers ... you know, the all metal ones.

    Thanks for the flashback!

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  5. Oh man, NICE collection there... I often wonder what happened to mine...

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    1. I'm glad my Mother kept my old train for me!

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  6. While Partner was in Vietnam on a 3 month project he built some beautiful little cars out of wood. Our whole upstairs in trains and train storage, the space big enough for two extra bedrooms but more fun with trains.

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  7. What caught my eye was "Hooker Chemical" ! They had a piece of ~property~ that my HS friend Jim's dad sold for them. He was a bigwig in their real-estate section and made a bundle off the transaction. But Jim's family had to move out West here from the East Coast when they became UN-popular at the Country Club. People found-out the after building a housing tract on it, that the property was contaminated and uninhabitable - a place called Love Canal...or something. Oops!

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    1. Yep! Thanks for that! Hooker did warn them though. Sorta =)

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    2. Jim's dad might have been a bit of a jerk. They had a LOT of serious money and a huge house - unlike my family. His mom (and sister) was very society-conscious and social-set driven. I think they joined the Palo Alto Country Club the first week out West...

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