Inspired by Charles Lindbergh's solo flight from New York to Paris in May 1927, Metalcraft introduced a line of airplane construction sets amp; kits. The first set had metal parts and was designed to build a model of the Spirit of St. Louis, but this was quickly expanded into a series of sets that could build a variety of airplanes with one or two sets of wings and one, two or three engines in many different configurations. The metal parts were finished with a thin greyish material, probably a crude zincplate, which wears off quickly leaving just the bare metal.
Metalcraft also produced kits to build an airplane hangar, an airport beacon, an airport and a series of airships (Zeppelins).
At least four of these 'Zeppelin' airship sets were produced. The largest was the #880, which first appeared in 1928. It was based on the famous Graf Zeppelin, designed by Dr. Hugo Eckener, Friedrichshafen, Germany, in 1928. The model was made from tinned sheet steel, and measured an impressive 27 x 5½ x 7 inches (68.6 x 14.0 x 17.8 cm). In later years, the #880 reappeared as the #962. Two smaller sets were also produced, the #960 and #961.
What's your 'Spirit St Louis' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA):
|1930s Schuco Tin Friction Spirit Of St||05/2019||$303.00|
|1930s Schuco Tin Friction Spirit Of St||06/2019||$247.50|
|1930's Metalcraft Spirit Of St Louis And||04/2019||$160.38|
|Metalcraft Spirit Of St Louis||06/2019||$135.00|
|Ferdinand Strauss Spirit Of St Louis||05/2019||$125.00|
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