Lionel 113 Station AF 4689 Lionel Trolley Ives 1764

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A Look At Boucher Paper

by Jerry Dzara

In 1905 Horace Boucher founded a company in New York state with the intent of manufacturing model sailboats and powerboats. By 1922 the company had prospered and Mr. Boucher purchased the tooling for toy trains from the Voltamp Co. in Baltimore. The gauge of the Voltamp line of toy trains was widened 1/8" and a center pick-up was added so as to be compatible with Lionel and IVES. There were no other major changes.

In 1922/23, I'm aware of two catalogues having been issued: A 9” x 6” 136-page catalogue, with 15 pages of trains, and a "mini" 6” x 3-1/2” 46-page catalogue with 8 pages of trains. Neither catalogue listed the 4-4-0 2100 loco, but they did list a #1 gauge live steamer. Graham Claytor had a Boucher live steamer and he thought it was made by Bassett-Lowke.

In 1925 Boucher issued a 15-page train only catalogue, and perhaps one other. I have a catalogue with no trains shown. However, on the last page is the note: “We also make our own high-grade electric train, special listing on request." This may have been the regular 1925 catalogue. This catalogue had no live steamer but did list the 2100. It also had a nice full color foldout showing sets.

I have two types of 1927 catalogues. One has 91 pages the other has 89, but they both contain 15 pages of trains.

The 1928 issue is very different. It has only 40 pages, with 10 of trains. The same engravings from the first issue are still used.

1929 is very distinctive, being 6 x 9 and with full color covers. Although it has only 32 pages, 9 are for trains. It has a full color two page spread showing the new design of passenger cars. These are more like the Blue Comet cars than the Voltamp coaches. It also lists the 2500 loco as having two motors.

The last catalogue I have is the 1934. It reverts to the old format, and has 32 pages but only two of trains.

I also have a postcard announcing the new 2500 loco. My guess is that this dates from about 1930.

This article is based upon my own observations and conclusions and I'm solely responsible for all errors. If you have more information, other catalogues, or different opinions please share them. I can be reached at Zarkom@aol.com. I would like to thank Max Knoecklein and Paul Wassermann for their help, and Jim Kelly for suggesting this article.

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