Thursday, April 10, 2014

Collecting -- and collecting information 14

The Linemar Central Coal & Coke Co. dump truck (click on images to enlarge)
A recent acquisition filled in a little bit more of the Linemar 3" truck mystery. In the late 1950's-early 1960's Linemar (the Japanese subsidiary of Louis Marx Co.), issued some inexpensive friction vehicles. And they were issued as a set (see Part 13 for more details).

I now own four of the ten vehicles from that set: the Potomac Electric Power Company truck, the Bond Bread van, the NYC fire engine, and my latest addition, the Central Coal & Coke Co. dump truck.

The Linemar line-up. (L-R): Bond Bread van, PEPCO truck, NYC fire engine,
Central Coal & Coke Co. dump truck.
While I've been able to deduce quite a bit just from photos alone, it's still better to examine the objects up close. The dump truck is virtually identical in construction to the fire truck. Both share the same chassis, crimped to hold the body on. And there's more.

Note how the bread van and PEPCO truck chassis (left) are similar, while
the fire engine and dump truck chassis (right) are identical.
The cabs for both vehicles are also identical. Both have the same fenders and the same crease in the hood. This suggests to me that the dies for these toys were made at the same time, using the same pattern.

By contrast, the other two Linemar vehicles I have are of much simpler construction. The body is held in place on the chassis that double as bumpers. The stamping on the PEPCO truck is not quite as detailed as the fire truck or dump truck. And the Bond Bread van is little more than a rounded block.

Why two different manufacturing processes? I'm not sure -- unless both were already in use for other projects. But I haven't run across any 3" Linemar friction toys that weren't part of this set. So the mystery continues.
The Linemar vehicle set

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