National Amusement Device Company ... 1948


Below you will find reprints from newsletters that cover the Century Flyer history.

All the articles were written by Roger Austin.


From the Museum newsletter of July - August 2008 ....


Become a shareholder in the North Country Express, Ltd., the newest train company in the region! Proceeds from the sale of stock will be used to purchase a Century Flyer locomotive manufactured by the National Amusement Device (NAD) Company in 1948 in Dayton, Ohio.

This rare vintage train will be used to carry Museum visitors on tours of exhibitions and for their simple pleasure. The North Country Express is a wholly owned, non-incorporated, and totally unnecessary subsidiary of the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum. Its sole mission is to preserve a vintage amusement park vehicle, to own and operate a 1948 NAD Century Flyer, and to entertain Museum visitors.

The Century Flyer was displayed by Dan Rutherford at the Exhibition in June 2008. The engine is 16.5 feet long and 5.0 feet high. Under its proud streamlined exterior, it is powered by an Oliver tractor. There is also a passenger car that will require some improvements before general use is permitted.

Shares will be sold at $20.00 each. Only 150 shares will be issued at this time. Each shareholder will receive a stock certificate confirming their purchase and which is suitable for ftaming. Shareholders' special privileges include bragging rights, taking pictures of them selves with the locomotive without being charged, blowing the horn, putting air in the tires, and filling the gas tank.

The Century Flyer will be purchased for only 80% of the current owner's cost with the first 100 shares. The remaining shares will go toward renovation and maintenance of the train. Get your name on the list now. Money will not be collected until at least 100 shares are reserved. You may reserve more than one share or reserve shares for a friend. Send an email now to rsaustin 123@earthlink.net or phone (315) 344-7470 to reserve your shares. Be sure to leave your name, phone number or e-mail address, and the number of shares you wish to reserve. The answering machine is standing by!!


From the Museum newsletter of September - October 2008 ....


With most of the 150 shares in the North Country Express, Ltd. sold, sufficient funds have been raised to purchase the 1948 National Amusement Device Company Century Flyer amusement park train displayed at the exhibitions in June and August of 2008.

Chief engineer, Bill Bartlett, has spent many hours studying the old tractor inside the locomotive that provides its power. He has focused efforts on installing a new starter. The tractor, believed to be an Oliver 70, apparently has some model 77 parts that have made mounting the starter problematical.

Work will continue in the spring when the outer body can be removed, allowing better access to the engine. There are a few other obvious improvements needed including new wiring, improved hitch, and repainting.

Closer examination of the passenger car revealed two plates indicating it was originally a tool trailer manufactured by the Delphi Body Works in Ohio for the A B Chance Company of Centralia, MS. A volunteer is still needed to investigate the complete history of the Century Flyer and its passenger car.

Only 15 shares remain unsold at this writing. Shares can be purchased at $20 each by sending a check and the name you wish to see on the certificate to SLPEM, PO Box 400, Madrid, NY 13660. Certificates will be issued in a few weeks. This has been delayed by the many other activities taking place at the Museum.

The North Country Express, Ltd. is a wholely owned subsidiary of the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum with its sole mission that of preserving the Century Flyer. However, shareholders will have the honor of holding a certificate confirming their purchase as well as special privileges including bragging rights, picture taking, horn blowing, filling the gas tank, and putting air in the tires.


From the Museum newsletter November - December 2008 ....


We are pleased to report that all 150 shares of the North Country Express, Ltd. are subscribed. We reported earlier that $2,000 had been spent to purchase the 1948 Century Flyer amusement park train, leaving $1,000 for needed repairs.

A picture of a similar 1951 model can be found at www.soaphs.com/ czindex.htm. We have also discovered that the archives of the manufacturer, the National Amusement Device Company, are now with the National Amusement Park Historical Association. A student from Clarkson University is researching the train and its origins.

It appears that the Century Flyer was designed to reflect the style of the new generation of diesel electric trains that were build right atter World War II. Google ALCO FA, and you will see the likely source of the designer's inspiration. Some still remain at work 60 years later.