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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:44 am 
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A friend recently purchased a somewhat broken up version of this lamp/call box. It says "Gong Bell Mfg. Co." on the call box. Was this a real company and did they make any other tinplate train accessories? Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:47 am 
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According to the Midlands Tinplate toy site:

Gong Bell Manufacturing (USA) Street Fire Alarm - unusual tinplate battery operated toy made in Connecticut USA featuring a tinplate lamp-post with street sign reading "State Street" and "Maine Street" figure posts, with rotary street fire alarm with ringing bell (lacks handle) - an unusual toy which is Good for display, 33cm high, c.1940.

Here's a photo of the call box only:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:47 am 
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Here's a photo of the one my friend is going to restore:

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Here's a closeup of the top of a more complete one found elsewhere - looks like a simple wood turning that you could probaby get at Michaels, or anyone with a shop could turn in a couple minutes.

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gong_bell_call_box_top_only.jpg
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The windows could possibly be replaced with mylar, if the lamp doesn't get too hot. That leaves the "roof" of the lamp part which would have to be fabricated. Still it is a neat piece and well worth restoration.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:43 pm 
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The reader just answered:

Paul,

You ROCK! Armed with the name of the manufacturer, I found lots of references and a ton of close up pictures of how this should look in its glory. I also read the forum response that you posted. It's funny that the auction house described this as a battery operated toy, when it has all those wires trailing from the base! The listing also references a "missing handle", but from the pix I've seen I think it may not have had a handle... I'll have to check when I have it in hand. To be continued, and thank you so much for your time and assistance!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:16 pm 
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I was so fascinated with this now that I have my own train--a real train--smile--that I decided to look at the company some more--here's what I found--there's even a 1940 catalog http://www.oldwoodtoys.com/gong_bell.htm


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:39 pm 
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COOL, thanks for tracking that down.

Paul


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