|Roar of the Rails
|1948 - 1949
The 15-minute live program (that aired in the eight weeks leading to
Christmas 1948 and Christmas 1949) featured a fictional Grandpa
James relating tales of railroad lore to his attentive grandson.
The stories were illustrated with American Flyer trains and
accessories. A compilation of seven b&w episodes (105 minutes) from
the series is available in video.
Prior to the TV series, the A. C. Gilbert Company of New haven,
Connecticut had published a book entitled "Roar of the Rails." The
cover page of this 48- page book (with illustrations and ads)
described the texts as "A Book of Stories and Facts about American
The book included photographs of all kinds of trains, as well as,
exciting tales like "Trapped on a Railroad Bridge: a daring rescue
by a brave Boy Scout," and "Old 67 Roars to the Rescue: Bill Kelley
was too young to enlist - but so brave they made him a General."
There were also instructional articles like "At the Controls in a
Locomotive Cab: What engine crews see as they whiz over the shining
rails." and "Famous Trains of America: Crack flyers that speed over
the country's vast network of rails."
Besides trains, the A. C. Gilbert Company also manufactured Erector,
Chemistry, and Microscope sets, among and other scientific toys.
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