So I can at least make physical comparisons between the box cars. I think the evidence is clear: these box cars were made by the same company.
|The Straco Express box car (top) and the mystery set|
box car (bottom). Identical construction and chassis lithography.
|Straco Express (left), mystery train (right). |
The ends were something of a surprise. There's no real reason
for a graphic redesign. All that was necessary was to change
the red color plate to blue. Note that the couplers
are also identical.
|And here they are together. A colorful (and patriotic) pair of boxcars!|
Some questions remain, of course. Who made these sets? What pieces were in the State of Maine boxcar set? Who was this mystery set made for -- was it also Fred Strauss and Co.?
Based on this, though, I'm confident the caboose I saw in that auction is also a companion piece to the Straco Express caboose. That locomotive, though...
|What's missing from this set?|