The story, as I recollect as told by my Grandpa Hudson Dexter Mead II, is that the train set shown below was made by his dad for him as a child. Grandpa was born in 1906 so this would have been made around 1910 or so. From the looks of trains in the 1910’s that I could find versus trains in the 1870’s (which would have been in my great grandfathers childhood) I am not sure if it was made by my great grandfather (b. 1868) or my great-great grandfather John Groot Mead (b. 1838).
But my grandfather gave me this train to make sure it was passed on down through the family and I now have a place to actually put it up so others can see (of course, they would have to come visit me to see it!). It included some train tracks which seemed to be missing a few sections so I made a couple more sections so the whole train can be set on the train tracks.
Below is a full length photo, then a front half and back half photo. Following these pictures will be individual pictures of the cars:
Everything on the cars is hand made, even the wheels. Some of the components are household items, like the crane car which uses an open face fishing reel for the bucket lift line and what looks like gears to turn the boom lift chain and to rotate the crane. The engine has some light bulb fixtures and the brakes actually actuate. Enjoy the pictures: