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THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVE - All Things Mister Rogers

A Custom Trolley

One of things I really enjoy about the Neighborhood Archive is hearing from readers who have been influenced in various ways by Fred Rogers timeless message. I was recently contacted by Joseph Smith, an Archive reader with an interest in movie props and memorabilia. With an appreciation for Mister Rogers and a creative talent, Joseph built his own replica of the Neighborhood Trolley. Here is how he describes his creation:

"Basically, the trolley is a remote control vehicle with a new wooden body. I chose [a] Radio Shack remote control toy because it was large and heavy and I though that the motor and gear system from it would be powerful enough to carry the weight of a 16 inch wooden object. I ended up sacrificing an antique brass Little Orphan Annie whistle I bought on eBay to make the Trolley's whistle. The color scheme I used was Coca-Cola Red on the body, Hunter Green and School Bus Yellow on the benches, and Safety Yellow on the sign and gloss black on the lettering and trim."

So as you may have deduced from his description, this is a fully operable Trolley replica running on track across a room in Joseph's house!

Check out these amazing pictures of Joseph's Trolley throughout its creation...


Photo of the original Trolley used as a blueprint.


Radio Shack toy used for parts.


Completed undercarriage.


A detailed look at the gear system for the Radio Shack truck.


Gluing the main deck together.


Gluing the main deck together.


Building the benches.


Adding the benches to the main deck.


Pieces that will eventually become the top.


Gluing the top pieces together.


Adding side supports.


Making brass hand rails.


With brass pieces and top added.


Ready to be painted.


1940 Little Orphan Annie whistle used to make the Trolley whistle.


Painting the last of the parts.


Assembling process #1.


Assembling process #2.


Assembling process #3.

And the amazing finished product...

At the end of one of his emails to me, Joseph wrote: "P.S. What's next? Maybe Daniel's Clock would look good sitting in my dining room..."

I think he may have been joking...but part of me hopes not.

Thanks for sharing your amazing talent, Joseph!

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