Monday, January 28, 2013

The Hubley Grasshopper

Saturday, November 16, 2012

The Hubley Grasshopper

The Story

   I remember a long time ago (at least 55 years), when as children, we would play outdoors. Of course back then the city of Montreal, like all cities around the world wasn't as developed, nor populated as it it today. By mid-summer,  there were be hundreds of grasshoppers in the back alleyways, especially on the hot days. The'y be perched on long-stemmed weeds, or the bricked walls absorbing the heat from the sun. Most of the time we'd leave them alone, but from time-too-time we'd catch them and place them ia a capped jar with airholes poked out through the lid. In the country of Mississquoi Bay, we'd see lots of grasshoppers, and even the occasional garter snake.

   There were 2 kinds of grasshoppers. Thee smaller green ones,and the larger black-winged ones. I always caught the small ones, but those big ones scared me! Those I never caught or went near!

    Flash forward 55 years to 2012 and at 63, and I never see a grasshopper in the city! When my wife and I would travel up north to our in-laws country house, I'd never see a grasshopper or a snake either. Maybe they didn't travel north because of the cold, even though "the Laurentians mountains" were only50 miles (90 km) away.

    I first saw the Hubley grasshopper almost form my start on E-Bay, and of course it brought back memories of the past. I have always bid, but reached my ceiling limit of $ 300.00 and alas, had to say "another day next time".


  Hubley made 2 sizes of these cast iron grasshoppers. One was 11 1/2" (292 mm) long and the smaller one was 4 1/2 " (115 mm). The toy was made from 1920-1930, and was a pull toy. A string was tied at the front, and the hopper was pulled. 

  The larger hopper had 3 wheels. Two can be seen in the photos, and the third one was a larger one hidden in the belly of the insect.  The grasshopper also "chirped". You can see a heard serrated wheel. Unseen underneath  was a stingy metal band that would hit the rotating serrated gear and create a "click". The faster the hopper was pulled, the noiser and faster the chirps! 

Thanks for dropping by,

and have a great part of the day, 
wherever and whenever you may be.


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