Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Earth-Moving Toys

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Earth-Moving Toys

(Please press on the address above to be redirected to their site)

    The other day, I was very fortunate to come across a past auction on icollector that has a fine collection of earth-moving toys. Naturally that brought back long-forgotten memories of road-building in Vermont, or for that matter whenever I had driven south in the USA.  Vermont's Interstate 87 was built in the late 1950's, when we used to go to St.Albans, Vermont for the summer.
The big "treat" for us kids was to go to Burlington - their "big" city. 

    Before I-87, the road from St. Albans to Burlington was a 2-laner. Development of the marvelous Interstate highway system expanded meteorically after WWII. The world was at peace, and now world economies could be developed to return the world to normalcy and sanity. There was a huge growth of the population in the US at the time,and a move to the suburbs. With the expansion of the population to the "burbs", and development of the economy, the road system had to be developed - fast!

   We would travel to Burlington periodically, and the "best" time was the last week of summer. At that time, the "twins", Brenda and Michael, 3 years younger, and Jay, just a baby the at 1 year old (1958), would travel to Burlington to get our fall school clothes. On the way, we would see caravans of those large haulers and graders, and of course the huge trucks and pavers all working to build the road.  As a 13-14 year old, I was still fascinated by huge machines, especially those construction  machines.

By the early 1960's times had changed. We no longer went to the "country" for our vacations, and we all grew up.  The roads were now complete,having been transformed into super highways. 

     Most of the toys at the start are Doepke, while the latter ones are "newer" from the 60's such as the Tonkas. The orange steel-wheeled paver is a Hubley. These toys were built to last, and work hard in the backyard or sandbox at the local park.

     The  Doepke company started in 1946 in Oakley, Ohio.It was started by Charles W.Doepke and his brother Fredrick. As the company grew, it moved to Rossmoyne, Ohio. The Doepkes wanted realistic toys, and were able to get a license to produce real-looking toys based on "real" toys like the Euclid Earth Mover owned at the time by GM.

     My personal toys that I have bought and sold were the Doepke sand movers. I wrote about them a long time ago ( 18 months). The 2 toys below have chains and/or a belt that move with turns of a handle. They are  fantastic toys to play with although at the time that I bought them, I felt I was too old to go play in the sandbox!

     If you do a search for Barber-Greene, you can find the "real" sand-moving machines on the Net. The toys look realistically like their real-life cousins!

Wow, it's November 1 already!

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great morning, afternoon, or evening
wherever you are, and take care from that storm in the US!


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