American Flyer Oil Derrick
Along with the No. 769 Revolving Aircraft Beacon, the No. 772 Automatic Water Tower and the No. 774 Flood Light Tower, Gilbert American Flyer introduced the No. 773 Oil Derrick in 1950. Like the others the Oil Derrick was manufactured by the Colber Corporation and packaged in Gilbert American Flyer packaging. Like the water tower the Oil Derrick includes a bubble tube for action. In the Oil Derrick, the fluid in the bubble tube is colored amber for some approximation of oil vs the clear fluid in the water tower. The heat lamp in the base raises the temperature of the fluid above its boiling point and the bubbles rise to the top of the tube, condense and travel down to be heated again.
No. 773 Oil Derrick
The units sold under the Colber brand are molded in different colors than those sold under the American Flyer label. The Gilbert American Flyer No. 773 Oil Derrick is molded in red plastic while the Colber version uses silver plastic for the girder work.
The catalog image shown in 1951 indicates a “Gulf” logo mounted on the derrick but few of these seem to have survived. The description is the same as the 1950 Gilbert American Flyer No. 773 catalog description.
The last year for the cataloging of the No. 773 Automatic Oil Derrick. It must not have sold as well as the other towers that continued in the catalog until 1964. The Image is the same as the 1951 image but the description has been shortened.