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Betts and Betts

New York, USA

From a discussion via the Toy Train Mailing List :

James H. Betts was the president and director of Betts and Betts of 256 West 56th Street, New York, NY (1914) and 611 W. 42nd Street., New York, N. Y. (1921). B and B seemed to focus on transformers, rheostats, displays, games, Christmas lights, flashers and signage. They were a distributor of finished products that had their name applied.

There does not appear to be any connection with Hobart D. Betts (Princeton engineer), of Thomas and Betts fame, 105 Hudson St. New York, NY, even though they were contemporaries. T and B patented and manufactured electrical component parts: electrical fittings, boxes, tubing, conduit and conduit hangers and connectors.

The 1912 electrical supplies catalog of the Central Electric Company of Chicago contains over a thousand pages, with hundreds of manufacturers. The Central Electric Company sold Voltamp toy trains, which are pictured in the catalog. They also sold items from Thomas and Betts (T and B). No mention of Betts and Betts was found, leading to the conclusion that Betts and Betts focused on the New York market.

Regarding VIM: In the EMF Electrical Yearbook of 1921, published by the Electrical Trade Publishing Company, below is the notation on page 791 :

VIM,- Trade name for bell-ringing transformers manufactured by the Bertrand F. Miller co., High and Canal Its., Trenton, N.J. (Exclusive distributor, Betts and Betts Corp., 511 W. 42nd St. New York, N.Y.)

This notation seems to clarify two things: VIM was a B and B trade name and also that unlike Thomas and Betts which was (and remains) a major manufacturer, Betts and Betts, a distributor, had products private labeled for their sole distribution.


Betts and Betts Transformer, top marked BandB VIM TOY TRANSFORMER 3-36 Volts Betts and Betts

Betts and Betts Transformer, top marked BandB VIM TOY TRANSFORMER 3-36 Volts Betts and Betts

Betts and Betts Transformer, top marked BandB VIM TOY TRANSFORMER 3-36 Volts Betts and Betts

Betts and Betts Transformer, top marked BandB VIM TOY TRANSFORMER 3-36 Volts Betts and Betts

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