H&H Sales and Manufacturing Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania founded in 1883 was primarily a manufacturer of flashlights, but way back in 1943 Harry Hipwell, son of the firm’s founder had a chance encounter with a railroad engineer. It seems that one day, while taking his kids for a walk, they came upon an engineer doing some small maintenance on his locomotive. The engineer offered to take the kids for a ride in the cab of the locomotive and that made a lasting impression on both the kids and dad. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Hipwell designed a street lamp to go with his son’s Lionel trains as he felt the Lionel lamp cost too much (sound familiar?). Eventually a girder bridge, a set of railroad signs, and five tin-litho cottages with lights would be added to the line.
The cottages went by the name 'Twinkletown Houses' and came as kits with the walls and roof flattened out and requiring bending and assembly.
(Information for this post courtesy of the Train Collector’s Association (TCA), Train Collectors Quarterly article, Summer 1981, by Frank Jankowski. Additional information provided by Steve Eastman)
If you've been a long time reader of Toys & Stuff today's post might give you a little feeling of deja vu' and that’s because I’ve posted similar buildings before. Back on Nov 23, 2010 Toys & Stuff posted the white cottage with green trim on the walls and a red roof. Not knowing any better at the time, I now know that it was a hybrid probably put together by a collector. Last year on Oct 1, I posted a cottage with white walls and red roof and trim. Both were missing their chimneys.
Last year I had the good fortune to get all five cottages, complete with their light sockets. The H&H line-up and color combinations are as follows:
No. 10 Vacation Cottage: White walls, red roof and trim
No. 20 Oak Lodge: White walls, green roof and trim
No. 30 Maple Bungalow: Yellow walls, red roof and trim
No. 40 Hilltop House: Yellow walls, green roof and trim
No. 50 Wayside Cabin: White walls, blue roof and trim
So Enjoy it The Berg's :)
Photos below courtesy of Steve Eastman (many thanx Steve)