This is a large, impressive, heavily detailed patent model for the "spring car coupler" that was to join railway cars together upon contact. This was recently discovered, wrapped in burlap in a barn in Mount Albert, ON, Canada. The level of detail, vibrant colours and craftsmanship all combine to make an historically significant piece of folk art that should appeal to anybody interested in railroad history.
This is a working model - once set up, the "spring car coupler" functions exactly as it would on a true-scale boxcar. The mystery remains - was this coupling system designed by Bright and Mullins ever manufactured or used on a train? There were several patents issued for car couplings around this time, but it doesn't appear as though there was a generally accepted method in North America until closer to 1873. It would seem that this early patent on car coupling was an honest attempt at developing a simple system. A beautiful example of the ingenuity that built North America during the patent wars of the 1860's. It truly amazes me that this has survived - especially in this condition!
Condition: Exceptional, 100% original condition. It appears to be complete including the two sections of wood rail necessary to demonstrate the patent. The painted cars show minor wear. The wrought-iron coupling system is functioning properly with the cars locking together when pushed into each other. A true glimpse into the past.
Cars measure 15.5" high x 10.25" wide
Track measures 92.5" long