Grumman F6F Hellcat
An American carrier-based fighter aircraft of WWII. It was designed to replace the earlier F4F Wildcat, and to counter the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero. It was the U.S. Navy’s dominant fighter in the second half of the Pacific War.
In one mission in October of 1944, two of the F6F Hellcats shot down a record fifteen enemy aircraft. U.S. Navy Capt. David McCampbell and his wingman Ens. Roy Rushing were looking for trouble up ahead and they found it. A squadron of 60 Japanese aircraft, including bombers escorted by Zeroes, the feared fighter of the Japanese Imperial Navy. Despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered, the American pilots never hesitated. They ascended for the attack. From on high, they waded into the enemy repeatedly for about 20 coordinated attacks. None of the bombers completed their mission. With their formation so scattered, the enemy pilots had to abort their mission.
McCampbell received the Medal of Honor, Rushing received the Navy Cross.
Capt. David Campbell passed away in 1996, Ens Roy Rushing passed away in 1986.
The most famous British fighter aircraft in history. It became a symbol of freedom during the summer months of 1940 by helping to defeat the German air attacks during the Battle of Britain. It was the highest performing Allied aircraft in 1940.
The crowds at the 1936 RAF Display at Hendon had the first glimpse of the prototype Spitfire in the New Types Park but it was not until August 1938 that production Spitfires began to enter service.
Create Your Own Fairy Garden Plot
Fairy Garden Opening
What does Queen Elizabeth and Wheeling Decorating (also known as Wheeling Gold China) have in common? Queen Elizabeth came state side in the early 1950’s to downtown New York City. She told the secret service MI-5 she wanted to see the Statue of Liberty. She, being a woman, was more interested in shopping. What did she buy? Beer steins to be made by Wheeling Decorating. Still more interesting is how she goes out to the Statue. Thanks to the B&O Railroad, she traveled in one of their tugboats.
Come to the museum and see for yourself both the beer steins and a model made by Lionel of the tugboat.
- Hours of Operation
Summer Hours — Memorial Day through December 31st
Daily Open at 9, Last admission is at 4:00.
Winter Hours January 2nd- Memorial Day
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Open at 9, Last admission is at 4:00.
Adults — $15.00
Students (4-17) — $7.50
Seniors (65+) — $12.00
Call the museum for group rates
Williams Electric Trains
Jerry Williams founded Williams Electric Trains in 1971, under the premise of manufacturing select trains for collectors and operators. By 1981, their 10th Anniversary, the Columbia, Maryland company was producing engines and passenger equipment, as well as kit form passenger equipment.
The line expanded to include several lower -priced starter sets in O-gauge in 1983, and the company’s fortunes and offerings continued to expand during the rest of that decade. The fortunes of Williams at this time were closely linked to those of his top distributor at the time, Mike Wolf of Mike’s Train House, later to become MTH Electric Trains.
In late 1991, Williams, due to financial difficulties, offered deep discounts on his line of engines and cars. While a bonus for those who took advantage of the offer, it was a serious error on the part of Williams. Collectors who had purchased the Williams items at full price just months of even weeks before were angered, and subsequent preorders of Williams products were soft, as collectors waited to see what the “real” price will be after discounting. Williams lost much of its dealer base as well. It is now identified as Williams by Bachmann.
The Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc of Hillside, New Jersey, began making track and related model railroad products in 1949. The Atlas Tool Company was founded in the 1920’s by Stephan Schaffan, but they didn’t make any train related items until after World War Two. Their HO and n gauge track and products are standard around the world. They also produce a full line of HO and N gauge rolling stock, locomotives, buildings and more.
In 1972, Atlas flirted with the O gauge market, producing two diesel locomotives and a modest line of rolling stock. Their O gauge trains were DC powered and ran on two rail track. But the rolling stock came with Lionel compatible knuckle couplers and tinplate wheelsets. The line did not fare well and was dropped soon thereafter.
In 1997, Atlas reentered the O gauge market, offering prebuilt buildings. A track system followed, this time being three rail track such as is used by Lionel, MTH, and others. Freight cars came in 1998. Their dominant products are still in the HO and N gauge markets, but early remarks show that operators like the new O gauge products as well.
Girard Model Works
In 1906, C.G. Wood founded the Girard Model Works in Girard, PA. The originally made patterns, models, and specialized machinery. In 1918, Girard began making toys for a New York company which has not been identified. By 1920, they were making toys under their own name, first as “Wood’s Mechanical Toys,” and later as “Girard Model Works.”
By 1931, Girard employed a thousand people. Their most famous employee was Louis Marx, who worked with Girard in the capacity of salesman from at least 1928. Marx worked on commission, selling Girard’s “Joy Line” toy trains. In 1931, Girard experienced financial difficulties, so they terminated Marx’s position to avoid paying him the ten percent commission on sales. In 1934, Girard declared bankruptcy, and Marx, by then a stockholder, bought the company to increase the manufacturing capacity of his Louis Marx & Co. He renamed the newly acquired plant the “Girard Manufacturing Company.” Many of the Girard toys and later Marx toys are virtually identical. The last Girard toys were produced around 1975, and the company was liquidated, along with the rest of Marx toys, in 1980.
Stamped Metal Toys
Many of the classic toys produced from the 1920’s through the 1960’s, and even into current times, are stamped from metal. A stamped metal toy is formed using a die or dies, which shape and cut the metal into the appropriate form. The thicker the metal, the more powerful the press needed to do the stamping work. For example, most of the stamped steel trucks made by Louis Marx & Co in the thirties and forties were made using a 20-ton stamping press.
Stamped metal toys can be decorated in four ways: lithography, paint, decals, or stamped lettering. Lithographed toys are painted first, then stamped out on machines. Painted metal toys are formed first, then either dipped into paint or sprayed in spray booths. The painted toys can then either be further decorated by either applying decals or stickers to the toy to add lettering or logos, as is done with the current Tonka vehicles, or they can have their lettering rubber stamped on, as is done with some limited-edition toys currently made.
A few metal toys during the fifties were decorated in a unique way – they were chrome plated! This process was done in much the same fashion as car bumpers of the same era.
Some of the earliest mass-produced toys were made using lithographed paper labels glued to a wooden shape. Early blocks, puzzles, wooden trains, and the like were made much more colorful in this manner. The paper labels would be printed like a newspaper, either in black and white or in color, and then the paper labels would be glued onto flat surfaces on the body of the wooden toy. This allowed artwork to give an otherwise flat toy the appearance of great detail in three dimensions. Early Fisher-Price toys are an excellent example of this type of lithography.