The Madison Hardware Cars
By Bob Mintz
I first moved to Greenwich Village in lower Manhattan in 1978 from The Bronx. My office was on 5th Avenue and 45th Street, where two train stores were located on 45th between 5th and 6th Avenues. Lunchtime was usually spent at both stores. On Thursdays, I serviced an accounting client located right next to Polk Hobbies at Fifth Avenue and 32th Street. Lunchtime again was spent eyeballing toy trains.
But the walk home on those Thursdays consisted of short walk down Fifth Avenue, past the former Lionel Showroom at 26th Street, and then slight detour two blocks east to Park Avenue at 23rd Street to the Mecca of toy train stores.
According to RM Auctions who had been chosen as the exclusive auction house to handle the sale of Mr. and Mrs. Kughn’s Collection and the Carail Museum and Madison Hardware (on September 24-26, 2004):
“In 1988, Dick Kughn learned that the owners of the Madison Hardware Company in Manhattan, New York, were interested in selling. It was the largest facility known to have purchased virtually every toy train part and overstocked item from all three eras of Lionel production. Dick, having secured Lionel, saw it only natural to have a vested interest in the Madison Hardware Company. Accordingly, he bought it - lock, stock and barrel - and had everything shipped to a warehouse in Detroit, Michigan. In 1989, Dick had commissioned a crew to unpack all contents, identify items, organize inventory, and repair models - and it took months.”
In 1991, Lionel made an uncatalogued item, the # 19816 Madison Hardware Operating Boxcar “190991”.
LCCA (Lionel Collectors Club of America) made # 52025 Madison Hardware Tractor and Trailer in 1993.
In 1999, Lionel issued a TOFC to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of Madison Hardware and the 10th anniversary of the Richard Kughn version of Madison Hardware, # 52187 Madison Hardware Flatcar with 2 trailers.
From these three cars, it would appear that the official color scheme of Madison Hardware would be gray and orange.
Lionel produced # 16323 Lionel Lines Flatcar with trailers in 1990.
With a little modification, I combined this flatcar with the # 52025 trailer to make yet another Madison Hardware car.