The Plasticville Bird Bath Bird Bath Close Up

The Bird Bath was one of many accessories that were issued in dealer boxes of 12 during 1950. It was available with three different colored birds: RED, YELLOW, and BLUE. There are two types of birds. One has the tail pointing up and the other has the tail down. This piece is often found with these birds missing. Reproduction birds have been made in the past so collectors should be cautious. Reproductions are not available today.
This bird bath is way too large for "O Scale" and would be more suited to "G Scale," which makes its placement on a layout of some concern.

A Concise History of this Early Bachmann Piece
So why was this bird bath so out of scale? For years collectors have speculated about how this happened, because when these early items were manufactured they were not known as "Plasticville," and there is no documentation from Bachmann available about how these items reached production. It is believed that these early items had no direct "toy train market" link and were simply designed as toys for children.

Note the filled candle hole in this top view
Bachmann Candleholders
Side ViewBachmann Candleholders Top View
Top View Showing Holes for Candles

   Since 1833 Bachmann Bros. had produced a wide variety of items. After World War II they began to experiment with the use of plastic injection molds. Some of these first items that were manufactured were combs, sun glasses, and birthday cake BIRD candle holders as are shown to the left.
   Collectors have come across these early "large" birds, with the bird bath. These birds have the hole for the candle filled in as is illustrated above right, and one has even been found in the PINK color. This indicates that the bird bath was originally offered with these birds. A premise that is supported by the illustration on the front of the HF-2 Fence & Gate Dealer box (illustrated to the right).

The HF-2 Dealer Box
View a close up of the Bird Bath

How to Make a Bird Bath
The history of these products that Bachmann produced before 1950 is obscured by time and a lack of documentation. What is presented here is a logical progression of how production may well have occurred during the period 1947-49 of this early piece. One of the first items that Bachmann produced was the evergreen tree. This tree is illustrated below to the left in the WHITE color.

CT-6 Evergreen Tree
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CT-6 Evergreen Tree Discarded
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CT-6 Tree Trunk Inverted & Base Added
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Add One Modified Candle Holder Bird
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Equals The Result Is the Early Bird Bath with Large Bird
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There is evidence that Bachmann designated these early bird baths by the letters CB (candle bird bath?). Smiley Shown to the right is a picture of the back of the cape cod house box that was made in Canada by the Geo. W. Endress Co. Ltd. that clearly shows that these letters were applied to the bird bath. However, the picture shows the revised version of the bird bath with the two smaller birds.

Endress Cape Code House Bottom
View a larger image of this bird bath

By 1950 Bachmann had modified the inverted tree trunk to allow for the attachment of two smaller birds. These birds were glued at the factory to the top of the bird bath. This is the most common version of the bird bath and it carries the designation CBR in the catalogs (candle bird bath revised?). Smiley We have illustrated the differences between these two bird baths below.

The bottom views of the two versions of the bird bath   The top views of the two versions of the bird bath

It is important to note that during this early period, that Bachmann was gluing together many of the component pieces that made up their products at the factory. The early CB version of the bird bath shows that there was a hole in the base where the stem of the cake candle holder bird protruded. Note the arrow in the picture on the left. The revised version of the bird bath, CBR, would have a solid base with no hole. The size differentiation of the birds is evident in the top views of the bird baths.
And yeah, I know, they’re still out of scale.

Marx Birds

Marx Blue BirdMarx Red BirdMarx Yellow Bird

Marx Toy Co. also made birds that are often confused with those that were made by Bachmann. They were approximately the same colors and we’ve illustrated these birds to the left. They are distinguished by their bases, or in this case, mounting system. These birds were designed to fit over the railings of a fence and this feature makes them unique.

Marx Birds on Fence

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