Lionel Electric Trains Identification Guide Sub-Title
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This Identification Guide for Lionel Electric Trains covers the "Post-war Era" only from 1945 until 1969.

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Lionel Trains Circuit Breaker No. 91 LIONEL TRAINS CIRCUIT BREAKER No. 91

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Lionel Trains Circuit Breaker No. 91 Top View
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Lionel Trains Circuit Breaker No. 91 Bottom View
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Lionel Trains Circuit Breaker No. 91The Circuit Breaker No. 91 was available beginning in 1957 and could be purchased until 1960. This circuit breaker should not be confused with the Pre-war version that went by the same number.
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This Post War version was adjustable from 1 to 6 amps and was worked by an electromagnet. Packaged in a LIGHT TAN case, the RED reset button would light up with a No. L53 Lamp when triggered. This accessory would insure transformer protection when hooked in line with the track current.

No. 91 Side View

Two instruction sheets were issued for the No. 91 under the number 91-37. The first was issued 10-57 used BLUE ink on WHITE paper and the second was issued 11-59 used BLACK ink on WHITE paper. The circuit breaker came in a late classic box which is required, along with the instruction sheet to achieve a like new grade.
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Dimensions: 4-3/4" long, 1-3/8" wide.

While a need for this accessory is unquestioned, there still remains the query as to why Lionel would introduce this breaker in 1957 and not produce it after 1960. I have a theory why this happened, so bear with me. Underwriters Laboratories sometime in 1956 required circuit breakers to be installed on all transformers of 30 watts or more. Lionel must have reached some kind of agreement with them (by including this circuit breaker in trains sets?) and this was an effective compromise until they could install a circuit breaker in their small transformers.
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Here’s a list of the small transformers that Lionel offered between 1953 and 1960 that did not have breakers:

No. 91 Late Classic Box End

No. 1015 1956-60 45 watts
No. 1016 1959-60 35 watts
No. 1043 1953-57 50 watts
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After 1960 the following transformers came equipped with circuit breakers:
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No. 1010 1961-66 35 watts
No. 1025 1961-69 45 watts
No. 1073 1960-66 60 watts
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The only flaw I can find with this "guess" is that the No. 1026 produced from 1961-64 that didn’t have a circuit breaker...but then it would only produce 25 watts.
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This theory is further substantiated by the production these larger transformers:
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No. 1053 1956-60 60 watts, whistle control, no breaker
No. 1063 1960-64 75 watts, whistle control, with circuit breaker
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There seems to be a change over time for these transformers that is centered around the year 1960.
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Reader information is solicited on this subject.

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