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Roar of the Rails


CBS Network
1948 - 1949
15 Minutes

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 Railroading."

Roar of the Rails

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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