DORFAN ELECTRIC TRAINS: 1927 Catalog LogoBuilder (RARE)

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  • Item Category: Toys, Dolls, Games & Puzzles
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jun 30, 2009
  • Channel: Auction House

Dorfan “Logo Builder” Electric Trains

Engines that you can take Apart and Rebuild Again

Original c. 1927 Catalog

The Dorfan Company, Jackson Street , Newark , New Jersey

This is a difficult to find original catalog from Dorfan which was founded in 1924 by two German immigrant brothers and ended production in 1934. History about the company is attached below. Train collectors know the high value a Dorfan brings today, as well as original advertising whenever it’s found. This softcover, staple bound catalog measures 8.5” x 11” and has nice color illustrations. Attached to the last page is a small postcard with Dorfan Logo-Builder Engine Parts and their prices.

Condition is complete. Pages are toned, t are clips and a small piece missing from cover's upper right corner, minor soiling. T is some wear on page edges. A ll 20 pages (includes cover) are , but cover is separated from the rest which remains stapled together. N o writing was found on the catalog. I have included many photos with this listing so please review them to be sure you are comfortable with the condition and quality before purchasing. Photos are considered part of the description. This is an “as is” auction of a used, 82 year old rare catalog.

A while ago another Dorfan catalog like this sold at an antique train auction for well over $200; condition unknown but I share this with you for reference.

Shipping: P acking done carefully. Shipping USA via first class mail. Worldwide via USPS priority international flat rate envelope. Insurance is required to USA due to the value of this catalog. Insurance is not available on international flat rate, so be aware. I am not responsible for the post office losing or damaging the item. Shipping will be to the confirmed PayPal address only. Your satisfaction is very important so please ask me questions prior to buying.

Dorfan Background:

Dorfan was an American toy company based in Newark , New Jersey , specializing in 'O' gauge and Wide gauge toy trains. 'Wide Gauge' is the name Dorfan used for 'Standard Gauge' since 'Standard Gauge' was a Lionel trademark. Dorfan was founded in 1924 by Milton and Julius Forchheimer, two immigrants from Nuremberg , Germany , whose family was involved in the production of Fandor trains . The name "Dorfan" was derived from the name Fandor. A Fandor engineer, John C. Koerber, helped to get Dorfan started. The name was made from the first names of their mother's sisters, Fanny and Dora. Dorfan opened for business at 137 Jackson St. in Newark , N.J. 1924 was a good year to start making and selling trains - business was booming and the stock market was on a roll.

Dorfan trains were promoted as being educational in that they were easy to disassemble. Dorfan actually encouraged its customers to take the trains apart and learn how they worked. Dorfan was the first U.S. train manufacturer to use zinc die casting methods on a large scale in its manufacturing process. Their trains were made primarily of a copper-zinc alloy termed Dorfan Alloy, which was strong and light weight, but impurities in the alloy oxidized over time causing the metal to expand and crack. Unfortunately, being a pioneer usually has a price. Dorfan replaced the damaged parts, but at great expense. Since most Dorfan castings are now deteriorated, many collectors replace defective castings with reproductions.

Along with its idea of being a more thought provoking toy train, it placed well detailed and painted passenger busts in the passenger cars. Dorfan used lithoed and painted sheet metal for its freight and passenger car bodies and frames. The trucks could either be diecast or stamped sheet metal. Less expensive lines were lithographed stamped steel, but also had flat lithographed figures. Dorfan had two high end products that are prized by collectors today. One was a crocodile style electric engine, and the second was an accessory gantry crane.

Dorfan, at its peak, had about 150 emplo...