Did You Ever Have One of These?
A Find in the National Toy Train Library
Edited by Carol McGinnis, 95-41066
Recently a member of the Library Committee located an interesting mechanical Hafner train set with a very special price in the February 1935 edition of Premium Toys and Novelties”. Note: This publication offers sales premium give-aways and items for coupon redemption.
As shown below, page six illustrates and describes Hafner set No. 100 Switch Train with Electric Headlight and Tail Light. The narrative describes the set as having a 7 inch steel engine with ringing bell, headlight bulb, tender with coal, three 5 ½ inch passenger cars including a lighted observation, track, and two switches. The cost for this set or “other designs” was “far less than a dollar each" per set in minimum lots of twenty sets. This was an extremely low cost in the after-Christmas effort to clear away old stock to make way for new merchandise and the streamliners.
In the Hafner Scrapbook contained in the Library we find pages from July 1933 trade publications announcing “… two lights on all Overland Flyer mechanical trains … a white headlight in the engine and a red rear light in the observation car.” This would include the contents of the later 1935 premium set.
Geoge C. Lopes’ 1995 list of Hafner sets includes as 1934-1934 No. 100 Switch Train which is nearly identical to the No. 100 premium set but which included larger 6 ½ inch cars in place of the 5 ½ inch cars.
So, here is the question. Were any of our TCA members or their families lucky enough to receive a Hafner premium set No. 100 when purchasing a new vacuum cleaner or fulfilling their quota for magazine subscriptions?
The magazine, Premium Toys & Novelties as well as hundreds of other pieces of toy train materials in the National Toy Train Library is included in the Elin and Douglas Cotts Collection.