American Flyer Transformer 1½
Attached is the American Flyer Train Transformer installation and wiring instructions for the American Flyer Transformer 1½.
Transformer design through the 1946 to 1966 time period moved through a variety of form factors. Changing electrical safety requirements over the period caused some redesign and changes in available and approved materials enabled redesigns for cost savings. In general the higher wattage the more costly the transformer and the addition of lights, meters, multiple train control, terminals and on/off switches added to the cost.
The early Gilbert American Flyer Transformers used sheet metal for the enclosures to help with general requirements to restrict catching fire or letting fire out of the enclosure if it overheated. Underwriters Laboratories became the safety approval agency over the time period as well and their fire safety regulations and material approvals influenced the designs.
The smallest enclosure used in the transformers was a metal oval about 4 inches wide, 2½ inches high and 2¾ inches tall. Single train controls and bare bones design for the least expensive starter sets. Examples of this design are the No. 1 of 1950 – 1952, and No. 1½ of 1953. The same enclosure was used for the 314AW locomotive whistle control. Examples of small sheet metal rectangular enclosures include the 22033 and 22034 All Aboard transformers of 1965 – 1966, and the uncataloged 16C of 1952. These were basic sheet metal box shaped.
The next size of rectangular sheet metal enclosure was used for several versions of transformer. About 5” wide, 4 inches high, and 3½ inches tall, they are also a basic box shape. No. 2, No. 2B, No. 3, and No. 4B. use this enclosure. There is a larger oval metal enclosure design used for the No. 5, No. 5A, No. 5B, No. 6, No. 6A, No. 7, No. 7B, and No. 8B transformers. These have an engraved plate on the top with the speed markings and are equipped with a variety of handles, lights, circuit breakers and buttons. The No. 9B and No. 12B designs used a large sheet metal case with rounded corners. They also included an engraved metal top plate with the speed and other nomenclature markings.