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An Odd Ives 3252 Engine. The engine is a 3252. Dark Olive Green with two brass plates on the side. But underneath the dark olive paint- like a Lionel 33- it's rubber stamped 3250 on the ends and sides under the ventilators. It looks like it could have been a brighter green paint- similar to a Lionel 152. It's also rubberstamped under the brass plates "The Ives Railway Lines" and "3250 NYC&HR." You can see the rubberstamped lettering under the paint and where it sticks out from under the sides of the plates. There is no paint on the handrails or anywhere it shouldn't be. The plates are worn around the edges- it's not paint but tarnish. The windows look like they had red paint on them, but it has crystalized and fallen off.
Is this a factory repaint to use up the 3250 shells? Is this a hand cut 3250 made as a sample for the 3252 with brass plates? Did this engine even leave the Ives factory like this only to be changed later by an owner seeking to upgrade his engine to the appearance of the new models? Perhaps we will never know. Have you ever seen anything like this? Let me know your opinion by sending me an email.

Here's some pictures of the engine:

Here's the engine showing the brass plates.

Here's the end showing the 3250 under the paint.

Here's the side with a plate removed to show the 3250 and NYC&HR stamping under the plate area. Note that there is no impressed rectangular area like the salmon 3250 shown below. This fact and the NYC&HR lettering date the engine to before 1925.

Dave McEntarfer sent me some information about this engine. Here are his comments:

"Ives constantly used up old equipment that was lying around to make up "new" pieces, they did it prior to 1910 and continued to do it up until 1930, when it was actually Lionel doing it. The dark green 3252 is Circa 1926-27. The 3250 was last made in 1925. In 1925 Ives started replacing the rubber stamping with brass plates. In 1925 the 3250 used the same shell as the 3252 and the number 3250 was stamped inside the impressions for the brass plate."
"It would not surprise me that if Ives still had some 3250s leftover from 1925 that they would use them for 3252s they made that year, the only thing that is suspicious from your description is that you said the lettering was "3250 NYC&HR". All of the late 3250s I've seen with indentations for the brass plate have lettering "MOTOR 3250" just like the brass plates. Another thing if the rubber stamping is still visible I would think that somewhere you should still be able to see the Salmon (light red) paint on the engine."

Dave is the President of the Ives Train Society, and runs a website devoted to Ives Trains. The Society's website has lots of pictures of Ives Trains (Kind of like what I'm doing my encyclopedia, but I only have two pictures of Ives trains, and they have hundreds- Here's a link to the Ives Train Society's Website.
Dave sent me two pictures to illustrate his comments.

The first picture is of a Salmon 3250 from 1925. Notice that it has square recessed indentations around the lettering.

Salmon 3250 from 1925.
Picture courtesy of The Ives Train Society

The second picture is of a normal 3252 from 1926-27. This is the same as my engine tries to be but has white or cream windows instead of the red or maroon mine had. The weird engine's window paint has crystalized and fallen off.

Normal 3252 from 1926-27.
Picture courtesy of The Ives Train Society

Based on a second email from Dave and emails from a few other people (thanks for your advice) the weird engine seems to be a 3250 shell made before 1925 repainted and assembled as a 3252 in 1926 or 1927. I took a plate off the side of the engine to confirm the lettering and the appearance of the slots. The slots appear to be factory cut, with no jagged edges or marks in the paint to suggest the plates were added after the engine left the factory. When I took the plate off to take the picture of the lettering underneath I examined the slots with a magnifier and they do not appear to be hand cut. I was unable to measure the slots to see if they were the same size because my micrometer will not fit within the slot.
I want to thank everyone who sent me an email about this weird engine. In a matter of days I have gotten a really good education about these little Ives engines from some really knowledgeable train collectors. I always enjoy the sharing of information about toy trains, and that is the primary reason I created Train99.

Thanks again,
Terry Gibbs
If you have any comments about this engine, please drop me an email by Clicking Here.

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