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Tracing the Provenance of a Unique Carlisle & & Finch No. 45 Locomotive and Tender

by Jim Kelly-Evans

I was fortunate to be the winning bidder for lot 1330, a Carlisle & Finch No. 45 locomotive and tender, at the November 9, 2013 Bertoia "Christmas Wishes" auction held in Vineland, NJ. The sale had generated lots of interest since a number of early American 2" gauge trains from the collection of long time collector and toy train historian Frank Loveland were included.

When I examined the pieces closely I began to notice certain details of this particular locomotive and tender that seemed to make it special.


The serial number "293 C & F" is stamped on the underside of the pilot

It has link and pin couplers attached to the pilot and to the rear of the tender. This would make it very early production, since Carlisle & Finch switched to bumper band couplers at about the same time the No. 45 was introduced in 1903.

Tender rear link and pin coupler

I also noticed that, while there was extensive paint loss from both the tender and the loco cab sides, paint remnants indicate that both the loco and tender were painted orange with black lining, rather than the reverse as we are used to seeing.

Cab side with orange paint and black lettering remnants

Most 45s were numbered"82" centered under the cab window

This number appears different ...perhaps"2880" like the prototype pictured in C & F catalogs of the period?

Tender paint scheme: orange with black details

Since this particular loco and tender has these distinctive characteristics, I decided to try to find where it had been prior to being a part of the Loveland collection.

I watched the DVR of Graham Claytor's Layout video produced and copyrighted by the TCA in 2008. The original VHS (?) video was made by Claytor in 1984 and shows his multi-gauge floor layout and a variety of trains running. The primary focus of the video is C & F. Claytor narrates the history of C & F trolley and train production from 1896 until 1915 showing examples actually running. I was looking to find the No. 45 loco and tender that I now own. Sure enough, it is shown running on the video at about the 34 minute mark. I know it's the same piece because I can see that the paint remnants match, it has very early link and pin coupler attached to the pilot, and it has the working electric headlamp, not a usual C & F feature or present on any of the other 45s in the video.

Screen shot thumbnail from the TCA DVR showing the 45 running on Graham Claytor's layout in 1984.

The very same locomotive is shown eight years later on pages 70-71 of the April 1992 issue of Classic Toy Trains magazine in the article on Claytor's collection, the top one on the top shelf.

I can trace the provenance of this particular distinctive locomotive and tender for the last almost 30 years, from the collections of Graham Claytor and Frank Loveland, to me. Perhaps I will be able to trace it back even further with additional research.

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