Skip to main content

For Christmas, An Armored Battle Car

June 2024
1min read

Some of the newest toys for young boys were miniatures of the grim modern machinery that was just beginning to cut down their fathers and older brothers across the water. The new Lionel set (“For a million thrills, get a Lionel Train!”) came with not only elegant New York Central Pullman cars but also, for five dollars more, the Lionel “Armored Battle Car,” with a revolving gun turret. December magazines also carried ads for Gilbert toys featuring, along with the traditional Erector set, the new Gilbert machine gun. “Bang-bang-bang!” snapped Gilbert’s copywriters. “Quick as lightning it works … 10 shots per second.” The Gilbert gun—like the Gilbert replica submarine G-150 —was painstakingly real and came with instructions for forming your own neighborhood machine-gun company.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.

Donate