|The picture below shows larger views of both sides of the (2) 1930s Cracker Jack Pop Corn Confection Miniature Pot Metal or Lead Toy Zephyr Diesel Train Engines in this lot. These early train engine prizes are not dated but they are from the 1930s. The prizes have two old Cracker Jack Company ID numbers including: A-0005 and Z-0647. It is from The Tootsietoy Company of Chicago, Illinois. The engines are painted in yellow and blue. They are marked “ZEPHYR” on the sides and “TOOTSIETOY” on the bottom.|
Many of the pot metal or lead prizes were manufactured by the Tootsietoy Company of Chicago, Illinois. There were other companies, including from Japan prior to World War II. Some of these type prizes were made specifically for Cracker Jack, while others were made as novelties, bought in volume, and used as prizes by The Cracker Jack Company. Pot metal or lead prizes were some of the earliest prizes that were used in Cracker Jack boxes from the 1910s to the 1940s. Many of these type prizes or novelties were also sold out of old Johnson Smith & Company catalog as well as some other early novelty catalogs, also used in fortune telling sets, and some were also sold and used as board game parts. Many of these can be found factory painted, inked, or with no finish at all.
Both of these for one price! These miniature toy train prizes measure about 2-3/16'' x 7/16'' x 7/16''. The yellow one appears to be in near mint condition, and the blue one appears to be in excellent condition with light paint wear as pictured.
Below here, for reference, is some additional information about the Zephyr train:
Enter the Zephyr
On paper, the Burlington Zephyr was very similar to the Union Pacific M-10000. Both were lightweight, three car trains powered by 600 horsepower internal combustion motors; both rode on articulated trucks (meaning adjacent cars shared wheel sets); both were smaller in profile than regular passenger cars. Yet the differences between the two trains were almost as substantial as the similarities. With its resemblance to the 1934 Chrysler Airflow, the M-10000 certainly had “modern” styling, yet it looks dated today. The Zephyr, however, looks as fresh and modern today as it did in 1934. Indeed, some recent passenger locomotives have similar, if less elegant, shovel noses. The gleaming stainless steel left the brown nosed M-10000 in the shadows. Technically, the Zephyr’s use of stainless steel and Diesel power put it a generation ahead of the M-10000.
The Zephyr was the joint brainchild of two Budds: Ralph Budd, the president of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; and Edward Budd, the founder of the Budd Company, which specialized in metalwork for the auto and rail industries. Stainless steel weakens when it is heated, so it can’t be welded using ordinary methods, but the Budd Company developed a technique it called “shot welding” that allowed it to join stainless steel panels together. The resulting body was so strong that it eliminated the need for a sill that had been used in all previous rail passenger cars.
Ralph Budd, meanwhile, had seen a working model of a General Motors Diesel at the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress fair (which lasted two summers), and ordered one to go into the railroad’s first streamlined train. He was also the person who came up with the name Zephyr, a name inspired by reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, where he learned that Zephyrus was the god of the west wind. Budd, no relation to Edward, had been the youngest railroad president in the country when he was made president of the Great Northern Railway at age 40, and despite a busy career was erudite enough to read Middle English books in his spare time.
Unlike the M-10000, which had a kitchen in the tail of the train, the Zephyr had a small kitchen in the front of the train. At the rear, the Zephyr offered passengers a round tailed observation car with a twelve seat lounge where sightseers could watch the scenery go by. This became the pattern for almost all future streamlined trains.
To add insult to the Union Pacific’s self inflicted injury, the Zephyr grabbed the headlines when it made a record breaking, non stop run from Denver to Chicago at an average speed of 77 mph and top speeds above 112 mph. It arrived in Chicago in time to be displayed at the same “Century of Progress” fair where Union Pacific distributed its M-10000 brochures. (The Union Pacific later countered by sending its second streamliner, the M-10001, on a record breaking coast-to-coast run in less than 58 hours.)