A MOST UNUSUAL MARX SAND (COAL) LOADER
By Dr. Paul Wassermann
This is a toy that I haven't seen before. Actually it is either
a prototype or a production sample model, made by Marx. It is
a very sturdy loader that utilizes a rubber tread from a tank
or tractor toy as a conveyor belt to carry the material dumped
in the loading bin to a waiting truck or train.
I purchased this item in an Ebay auction. I envisioned that
the loader would make a great accessory for my Marx Pennsylvania
coal train that includes a dumping coal car and electric dumping
station. Adding to my interest in the piece was the fact that,
painted on the bottom, was the following: Model No. 789 Girard
4-13-39. I believe that identifies this piece as a possible prototype,
and certainly dates the toy!
As I was cleaning and polishing the loader, something struck
me. It had a very familiar look to it. It has a very striking
resemblance to Lionel's # 397 Diesel Operating Coal Loader which
made its first appearance in 1948! Perhaps it is just a coincidence
of design, or perhaps, Lionel somehow got a peak at the Marx
piece I have and extended the concept to produce their very successful
coal loading accessory.
I would be very interested to know if any of you have seen this
loader. Was it actually produced (the fact that it was designated
model No. 789 would make you think it was, but again I have never
seen such a toy before)?