The photos below are believed to be of a prototype of the 506
caboose, which was introduced in 1955, when Gilbert resumed HO production
after the Korean War hiatus.. It was obtained from a former Gilbert
employee who was employed as a repair technician in the New Haven plant.
It bears numerous similarities to the 131, the caboose that was offered in
the immediate postwar period from 1946 to 1950.
1. Like the 131, the
word "READING" is in sans serif font rather than serif font used on
production 506 cabooses.
2. In addition, the marking "NM H BLT 6-31"
is larger than on the production 506 caboose and much like the lettering on
the 131, including the approximate half size letter "H".
numbering "506" also appears to be in serif font rather than in sans-serif
used on production 506 models. It is hard to tell, but looking at the
top horizontal line of the "5" there seems to be a small serif at the right
4. The frame and body assembly also is much like the 131,
which had truck mounted couplers, in that there is no coupler pocket on the
body as is found on the production 506, which has body mounted couplers.
Although this model has only one truck, it is sprung without a coupler
mounting arm. Also, the second bolster is not threaded for a
truck mounting screw.
Click here to see
production models at bottom of page