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SP Smoke Pellets
Production: 1945 - 1969
The Lionel Smoke Pellet -- the most recognized non-train item produced by Lionel. Production started in 1947 and continued throughtout every remaining postwar year. With such a long production period, many original pellets can still be located in todays secondary market -- but at a steep price. Additionally, it is common for these pellets to have crumbled or disintergrated into a powder substance. In either case, it can still be used in any postwar smoking steam locomotive.
Standard features of the smoke pellet include: one glass jar containing 50 smoke pellets.
The collectable feature of the smoke pellets are the jars containing the pellets. The following lists some of the differences surrounding the smoke pellet jars:
- Glass Type - Early production -- possibly only for a portion of 1947 -- had brown glass jars. For the remainder of the postwar era clear glass was the norm. The brown jars are rare.
- Tops - The tops are always a screw-on type. Earlier versions have metal tops while later production tops have plastic tops. The exact year of conversion to plastic tops is unknown but assumed to be in the late 1940s or early 1950s.
- Jar Height - There are two heights for the jar, a short and tall version. The shorter bottles were the first to be produced but the exact year of conversion to taller bottles is unknown.
- Jar Shape - There are square and round jars. Again, the exact year of conversion is unknown.
- Labels - Several versions of labels are documented -- mostly surrounding the color of the lettering. Red, orange and blue lettering have been documented as well as black lettering stamped directly onto a clear glass bottle (with no label in this example).
- Other Variables - Researching SP jars is still a relatively new area of interest. As more information is learned, more variables might be uncovered. One example is smoke pellets surfacing in post 1969 labels -- definately a case of Lionel selling old inventory.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
Only Known Variation - Shown in the photo above - All SP Smoke Pellets were packaged 50 to a container.
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