American Flyer Floodlight Towers
Completing the tower product line produced by Colber for Gilbert American Flyer is the No. 774 Floodlight Tower. The tower deck of the Gilbert American Flyer No. 774 Floodlight Tower that was produced by the Colber Corporation included four separately aimable lights. Each light plugged into a base position on the top of the tower. Colber also sold these lights separately as yard lights with a small circular stand. In 1953 Gilbert introduced its own version of a flood light tower. Colber also sold this tower under their own brand with the parts molded in a different color from the Gilbert version.
No. 774 Floodlight Tower
While the other Colber produced towers were introduced in 1950, the Gilbert American Flyer No. 774 Floodlight Tower was not introduced until 1951. It used the same lattice structure and base design as the other towers, but in keeping with the others had a different platform deck. The Gilbert American Flyer No. 774 came in a blue/yellow/white box with scenes of railroad activity on the sides which included the towers.
The 1952 Gilbert American Flyer catalog included an image and description similar to the 1951 catalog.
The Gilbert American Flyer Catalog for 1953 shows the newly introduced Gilbert design for the No. 774 Floodlight Tower. This updated design substituted steel girders for the plastic of the Colber design and changed the floodlights to a double bar assembly that could be rotated to illuminate the chosen target. The standard Gilbert hut was added to the side of the base as well.
In 1954 the image and description are continued from 1953 for the Gilbert American Flyer No. 774 Floodlight Tower.
For the No. 774 Floodlight Tower the 1955 Gilbert American Flyer catalog continues the use of the same image and description.
The image and description for the No. 774 Floodlight Tower continue in the 1956 Gilbert American Flyer catalog. The box design changes to the new Gilbert red/black/white scheme.
No. 23774 Floodlight Tower
The five digit accounting system numbering due to the IBM computer installation changes the catalog number to No. 23774 for the Floodlight Tower. The image in the catalog continues from previous years but the description is significantly shorter.
The Gilbert American Flyer catalog for 1958 includes the same image and description as the 1957 catalog for the No. 23774 Floodlight Tower.
The image is slightly different in the 1959 Gilbert American Flyer Catalog. Somewhere in this time period the No. 23774 is modified to use a plastic hut although the catalog illustration does not reflect the change.
The Gilbert American Flyer No. 23774 listing in the 1960 catalog continues to use the same image and description.
The No. 23774 image and description in the Gilbert American Flyer 1961 catalog continues to use the same image and description from earlier catalogs.
The 1962 catalog image and description are continued from previous years. The HO product line includes a floodlight tower made by the Ideal company and cataloged and packaged as a Gilbert product. The HO floodlight tower also came as a kit.
The 1963 Gilbert American Flyer catalog only provides entries in the accessory lists for the S gauge and HO scale floodlight towers.
The last year of catalog listing for a Gilbert American Flyer No. 23774 Floodlight Tower returns to the image and description of earlier years.