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The Largest of Rail Eagles

Article about: The 90cm railroad eagle is quite a rare bird so to speak, for a few reasons. One is, they are seldom encountered or even shown by 3rd Reich war buffs in the collecting community. Or for that

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    Default The Largest of Rail Eagles

    The 90cm railroad eagle is quite a rare bird so to speak, for a few reasons. One is, they are seldom encountered or even shown by 3rd Reich war buffs in the collecting community. Or for that matter, few are ever offered at the largest militaria venues worldwide. The sheer lack of these large eagles being shown or offered, likely points to the fact that they probably didn't produce all that many of them to begin with. While over the course of 38 years of collecting I've certainly owned and inspected over 100 period railroad eagles. They were of all your typical sizes variety sizes,24", 27", & 28". But when it comes to the 90cm eagle during that same time frame, I've have only owned 3 of these 35" examples, and knew of 3-4 others. As a side note, I've encountered far more post war 35 inch eagles than period produced examples! Most of those repops manufactured and coming out of the U.K. in recent years.

    In addition to the much larger dimensions that the 90cm measures over the other railroad eagle produced during the 3rd Reich, is the actual composition of the metals used in casting these big birds. Many collectors are familiar with the symbols GAl.Mg.Si (Sy) found on the reverse of most eagles produced during that infamous era. These symbols from the Periodic Table break down the elements presumably used in compounds to manufacture these eagles. And they are: Aluminum, Magnesium, and Silicon. The 90cm rail eagle has those same symbols, but in the addition of one other, Pd. That is the chemical element symbol for Palladium. Palladium is an ore deposit with similar properties which form part of the Platinum group metals. Though quite expensive and rare today, Palladium was not viewed as such 75 years ago. For one thing the Germans used it in processing camera film. One of the properties of both Platinum and Palladium is the more silvery brighter appearance it has. And the reason that it is used today in manufacturing expensive jewelry.

    When encountered, these 90cm eagles if found in the natural aged state, will not have all that much patina on them compared to many of the smaller examples that we often see. Though this example has not been cleaned or polished in 3/4 of a century, it doesn't have that much patina over it's surface. This is most likely due to the added element Palladium into the mix of compounds comprised in manufacturing it.

    Finally, on the reverse of this eagle is the veteran initials who somehow brought this monster home, TK. And something that you wouldn't see today; it also has his Social Securing number scratched in the back as well.

    JR
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    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture The Largest of Rail Eagles   The Largest of Rail Eagles  


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  5. #4
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    Thumbs up

    I've had one of those large eagles for years. Mine is most likely a repro, 28" long and is totaly unmarked.
    It does look good on the wall in my gun room.
    Sarge

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