One of the most unique connections to the tinplate era and U.S. industry can be found in the form of a tinplate toy monorail system that was manufactured in the late 1920s by Leland Detroit a company headed up by men who helped found Cadillac and Lincoln Motor Company.
That a car manufacturer had a hand in the development of this unique tinplate set is interesting enough. That the manufacturer introduced the world to both Cadillac and Lincoln, two of the most well known luxury automobile nameplates in the U.S. is even more fascinating.
The original 3-car monorail set operated on 6 to 12 volts AC from any common toy train transformer and featured a single motor that was mounted above the powered car. The other cars were unpowered, but all shared the same body stamping tools and all utilized bayonet interior bulbs, the first toy trains to do so. Reversing direction was facilitated by a hand reverse lever. The track itself was composed of parallel rail sections attached to wire hangers. Each hanger was inserted into a cast iron red base.
The Lionel Corporation Tinplate Leland Detroit Monorail captures the essence of the original 3-car monorail set and can be purchased in a Traditional version with the hand reverse lever or a Contemporary version fully equipped with Proto-Sound 3.0. Whichever you choose, the bright shiny colors and durable tinplate construction will bring a long missing touch to any tinplate layout.