There was a recent discussion on the TCA’s Toy Trains Mailing List concerning Prewar Lionel Dealer displays.  Since I own one, I am posting a photograph of it here to invite comments and to establish conclusively just what this is.

Click anywhere on the image to see a larger version.






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As I posted on the TTML, when I was a teenager, I once saw three complete sets of these panels sitting next to each other at a small dealer I bought a lot of stuff from.

There is a large rectangular panel that is a sky background.  The only marking on the panel other than the sky is a yellow, 3" x 7" Lionel Electric Toy Trains herald in the lower right corner.  The panel isn't sky-blue (in the current sense), but it gives the impression that you are looking at the upper reaches of the sky on one of those days when there is a layer of high, white clouds.

A second cardboard piece sits in front of the sky background.  The cardboard background is cut out in the shape of a mountain.  Mine is green and gives the appearance of being snow-capped (or granite-capped, like in NH or Vermont).  There is a picture of a prewar-style electric loco racing through a twisty curve on its way to a village.

The dealer told me that he had a friend who was interested in one of the three, that he was going to keep one for himself, and that I should pick out another.  I wasn't much interested in Prewar items, but I could tell by the way he was speaking to me that this was something I should purchase without hesitation.  I recall him saying that ”You'll never see three of them together again.”  I honestly don't even remember what he charged me, but it would have had to fit in the budget of a lawn-cutting teenager.

The posters hung on the wall behind my train layout for many years until I became a little more aware of just what I had on my hands.  I have always assumed that this was a dealer display comprised of the #508 sky background and #509 mountain.  I do remember that when I saw the three of them together that not all the images were the same

I had mine framed about 15 years ago to preserve it a bit better, and to make it easier for me to display. It has hung in my office for many years and invariably draws a number of positive comments.






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