Wooden Model of a Railroad Track Three-way Switch
American: c. 1900
Reliance: International Yacht Races 1903 Tin Tray
Wooden Model of a Railroad Track Three-way Switch
American: c. 1900
Wood, brass and white enameled knob
24.5 inches long, 8 inches wide overall, 2 inches thick, overall
4.5 gauge track
Provenance: Railroad Collection of Francis H. Schwartz
$600

Scale model of railroad track three-way switch, used to guide a train from one track to another.  The knob on this model represents what is known as a points lever mechanism, which moves a metal throw bar (brass in this model) to shift the track side to side within a wooden frame.  The combination of a points lever and three-way switch would most likely be found in a station or depot where the trains are moving slowly.

This model is from a collection of railroad memorabilia and model trains.  It is most likely a demonstration model, but conceivably could be a salesman’s sample or patent model.  It might also have been used as part of a model train set, but has no contact points to make it function with other pieces.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light wear, shrinkage to wood, oxidation to brass.  Mechanisms in working condition. 

Reference:

"Railroad switch."  Wikipedia.  6 April 2012.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroad_switch (1 May 2012).