Saturday, September 21, 2013

A little treat - the download for the 2nd LGB catalog 1969/70

Here is a link to the 2nd ever published LGB catalog from the year 1969/70

The catalog was completely in German but with our previous blogs you should be fine in understanding the descriptions provided. Please note that printing in color was extremely expensive back then. Therefore you will find that part of the catalog was printed in black and white. LGB never listed prices in their catalogs.

From the start LGB drove a twin path; advertise for children and family play time and price for adults. The initial sales price for a starter set was DEM 198.00. That was pretty steep compared to the average weekly wages of roughly DEM 90.00 to 120.00 in 1969 for workers and clerks in Western Germany.

Take a look at page 2  and 4 of the old catalog and see the ad-focus on the child playing with the LGB train and on page 4 the focus on family as well as on the outdoors capability of the LGB trains. Note that is was in full color. This was very expensive to print! And check out the background use of a swimmingpool - the ordinary German had not even easy access to a public swimming-pool in 1969 and had to walk for at least 30 minutes to get to one! Let alone of having one in your own back yard ...that was something for millionaires and entrepreneurs...The LGB 'double standard' was established early on.

Also note the photo scene where the father pours a beverage. See the yellow 'stuff' in the glasses? That shall make the viewer think lemonade, but EVERYONE knew back then that lemonade came in clear bottles and beer was poured from green or brown 1/2 liter bottles (equivalent to 2 1/2 cups). It was a very common activity to have something mechanical serving your beer at parties and this is what this scene is trying to purvey. Remember : beer in Germany was by law considered a food in many states (like Bavaria, and Nuremberg is in Bavaria) and not an alcoholic beverage.

Page 3 -  in black and white, the serious color- we are talking rationing and technical information here - emphasizes the gauge, the indoor and outdoor capability ("operates all season long") and is "small enough to find a place in even the smallest apartment" . Remember: the year is 1969, Western Germany is still in recovery from being completely destroyed by the Allies in WW II. Apartments and living space was slowly rebuilt.To have housing for everyone many apartments were limited in space to roughly 700 sqft for a family of 4. Many regions and cities had housing laws that did not allow for living rooms to be bigger than 250sqft to not waste build-able space for others with lesser means. To advertise that you could already operate an LGB set on less than 1.3 square yards was essential - and LGB did.

Wording and photography also emphasized on the combination of technology (precision manufacturing on precision machinery with high quality material (like brass loco wheels and chrome coated parts) and tradition (LGB dates back to 1881 and was famous for their mechanical tin toys).

With that in mind enjoy the 16 pages and if you like to add an old set to your collection, please contact us- we are able to help.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

LGB 1968-1971 -- Tracks, Switches, Transformers, Accessories

The following is a translation of an article/internet posting by IIm-online Nachrichten(News).  H.-J├╝rgen Neumann, the publisher of these News, gave Yours Truly permission for translation of these series of postings. In case you like to check the original German version please go to This article concludes the account about the early LGB product offerings.

We have compiled all things LGB that were published in the very first years (1968-1971) regarding track, electrical equipment, and accessories. We did not follow a rigid timeline but have added things published/offered in 1971 or a bit later. Nonetheless we think it very interesting to provide a broad summary.
From the start LGB focused on a high 'game-value': the un-coupler-track LGB # 1050W for manual operation, manufactured 1968. Still in the very first grey packaging.

Right image: the 3rd and 5th track from left are made aluminum tracks (recognize the slight silver coloring?), curved track on right # LGB 1500, starting in 1970. Middle: track bumper LGB # 1030 and LGB # 1008W adjustable track. Below: contact breaker track LGB # 1000UW and LGB # 1000TW isolation track.

Left image: clockwise from below left the first manual switches LGB# 1210W and 1200W. Electric un-coupler track LGB# 1055 starting in 1975. Next to it the 'permanent un-coupler' LGB# 1052 starting 1971. Middle: electric signal LGB# 5029. then a 'slim electric switch. Electric switch R1 LGB# 1205W and crossing 30 Deg LGB# 1300W.

Left: Rail Road Bridge LGB# 5060. Middle: various figurines and on right the Station lamps with plug base

Clockwise from left: "Super transformer" LGB# 5008 and LGB # 5000 transformer, below that switch board and control panel. To the right connecting parts and catenary mast LGB# 6000. Analog throttle LGB# 5010 and analog 'super throttle' LGB# 5012 with distribution boxes below. Then catenary wires in different lenghts. 
(Dear Reader: please note that the LGB# are the German numbers, US numbering system might have added 0 or 1 to turn them into 5-digit numbers)