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Fandor Trains

Fandor logo

Fandor #2042 (31290) tinplate lithographed station Fandor was a German toy company that specialized in toy trains, particularly toys styled after American trains, to market in the US. It was founded in 1910 by Joseph Kraus and his cousins, Milton and Julius Forcheimer, all from Nüremberg, Germany. The company name was derived from the names of the founders' mothers, Dora and Fanny. The factory was located at 108 Austrasse. Production was mainly clockwork trains with lithography in both 'O' gauge and 1 gauge. Electic powered locomotives were also manufactured. The company manufactured primarily for export but also made trains for sale through German department stores.

Fandor 'O' gauge tinplate litho clockwork 0-4-0 loco and 4 wheel gondola Protective tariffs following World War I made it difficult for German firms to compete with American toy companies in the United States. The Forcheimer brothers immigrated to the USA, taking one of Fandor's chief engineers, John C. Koerber, with them. Koerber is credited with designing much of the Fandor Line, as well as many early Bing items. Using funding from Joseph Kraus, they founded the U.S. company Dorfan (also named after the founder's mothers) in 1924. Both Fandor and Dorfan worked closely together. Evidence of this collaboration is seen in the items that Fandor supplied to Dorfan. These include all large Dorfan stations (#415, #417, #418, #425, #426, and #427), a large bridge, and the six-wheel lithographed tender. Several Fandor passenger cars were used to bridge the gap until Dorfan could start production of their own line. Both four, and eight wheel Fandor passenger cars were used. There are noted similarities between other Fandor items and Dorfan items, like the 'O' gauge 4 wheel bobber style caboose, and the 'O' gauge crane car. Fandor obviously shipped cabs, booms and other component parts to Dorfan for assembly and use in the American brand line. Another way to identify Fandor cars sold as Dorfan, is by the black oxide finish used on Fandor couplers. Another key indicator is Dorfan product stamped as 'Made in Germany'.

Fandor 1 gauge 1st and 2nd class passenger car with passengers in windows circa 1928-37 Fandor 1 gauge Mitropa Dining car with passengers in windows circa 1928-1937Fandor trains were made of pressed steel with highly detailed lithography and die work. Printing was always sharp, and die-cuts were always in alignment. 8 wheel freight and passenger cars were 6½ inches long. 8 inch, 8 wheel passenger cars were also made. 4 wheel passenger cars were 5½ inches long. Clockwork locomotives featured colorful detailing, a brake mechanism with a control lever, and were adorned with brass plated sand domes. Electric locomotives of the steam outline type used the same engine bodies as the mechanical locos.

Fandor 'O' gauge tinplate litho 4 wheel Crane Fandor Electric trains made in the early 1930's are well known by collectors but are not highly valued. The main reason for this is that in 'O' gauge the volume of the trains looked well balanced and scaled, but in the larger gauge 1 everything looked rather out of proportion. Fandor trains are hard to find in the United States, as the years of import were only between 1910 and the beginning of the first World War. When they are located in the US, it is typically the Fandor products that were included with the early Dorfan sets. Joseph Kraus was Jewish, and in the years leading up to World War II his factory was declared 'non-aryan property' and was closed down. Joseph Kraus eventually fled Nazi Germany in the mid 1930's, and emigrated to the United States. The company was taken over in 1936 by Keim & Company and continued to produce trains until 1938. The Fandor factory was bombed during World War II and it was never rebuilt. There have been some Post WWII Fandor sets discovered that were exported to Canada from Germany. These later trains are identified by a circled "K" logo on the locomotives.

Fandor 'O' gauge clockwork freight set for american market with tin litho steam engine, tin litho #1279 tender, New York, New Haven & Hartford boxcar, tank car, Pennsylvania RR boxcar, Schlitz beer car
Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge clockwork Steam outline locomotive lithographed in black, with deflector, red pinstripes, gallery rods, chimney and dome circa 1933-35 Fandor Lumber wagon 1255_10_B-mikifex Fandor 'O' gauge tinplate litho Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer reefer Fandor 'O' gauge #1254/0 4 Wheeled Dapolin Petroleum Tanker circa 1928-30 Fandor 'O' gauge Budweiser reefer car Fandor 'O' gauge tinplate New York Central & Hudson River Bobber caboose
Fandor 'O' gauge New York, New Haven and Hartford 4-wheel caboose #549 Fandor 'O' gauge #1251/0 F (23057) 4 Wheel Covered Wagon Fandor 'O' #1252/0 (21410) gauge tinplate flat Wagon with side stakes Fandor 'O' gauge #1253/0 (32444) 4 Wheeled Open or plane Wagon With Canopy Rails Fandor 'O' gauge #1256/0 (34449) tinplate Side Tipping Wagon Fandor 'O' gauge 0-4-0 three rail electric steam outline lithographed engine and 4 wheel tender
Fandor 'O' gauge #855 0-4-0 Electric outline loco circa 1935 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge 8 wheel #1306/0 (22437) bulk material car circa 1928-34 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge 8 wheel flat with lumber #1311 L (30723) circa 1936-33 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge 8 wheel Dapolin Petroleum car Fandor 'O' gauge 8 wheel Reichsbaden Baggage car circa 1930 Fandor NYNH&H Box car circa 1914-15 in 'O' gauge
Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge 8 wheel NYC&HR box car circa 1914-15 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge 8 wheel Union Line box car circa 1914-15 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge 8 wheel Tinplate Litho Pennsylvania RR box car Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge 8 wheel tinplate stock car circa 1914-15 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge for American market 0-4-0 electric steam outline loco circa 1914-15 with 6 wheel lithographed tender
Fandor 0-4-0 #46 Tinplate Lithographed clockwork locomotive, 4 wheel tender and PRR Coach in 'O' gauge Fandor #903 tinplate lithographed 4 wheel P.R.R. baggage car in 'O' gauge circa 1925-33 Fandor 'O' gauge passenger coach circa 1930's Fandor Lithographed 'O' gauge 4 wheel mail baggage-car circa 1920 Fandor 'O' gauge #1121_0-1 4-wheel Lithographed Reichsbahn Baggage car circa 1934-36
Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge blue 4 wheel 1st and 2nd class coach circa 1930 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge red 4 wheel 1st and 2nd class coach circa 1935 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge red 4 wheel litho passenger coach circa 1930 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge green 4 wheel litho passenger coach circa 1930 Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge 0-4-0 Electric Powered Steam Loco & 4 Wheeled Tender circa 1930
Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge lithographed tinplate 0-4-0 electric Steam Outline locomotive with tender, NYC Lines Baggage car and two International Express 1st and 2nd class Pullmans
Kraus-Fandor 'O' gauge handpainted and lithographed tinplate #1030/5/18 electric 2-4-2 locomotive with 2 #820 Pullmans and #1825 Combine
Kraus-Fandor #2047 Tinplate Passenger station Fandor #2049/1 Tinplate Central Mainline Railway Station Fandor prewar 'O' gauge #2047/1 lighted train station

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