Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Hubley Elgin Street Sweeper

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
             (Post # 2 of the Day)

The Hubley Elgin Street Sweeper


     I've had my eyes on this toy since I first started to write my blog. It's a very detailed and intricate cast iron and nickel-plated toy. However, I had a personal reason for being more attached to it. Begin very observant, from my days as a photographer, I'd always notice details. One of the  "odd" things that I'd notice for years and years were thin and flat flexible metal pieces. They would be about 14" (L) x  1/8 (W) x 1/16" thick  or 355mm (L) x 4 mm (w) x 2 mm (thick). I could never figure out what they were. I though perhaps they were the flattened "ribs" from umbrellas. I even have a friend whom I asked because he's also very inquisitive and had a large company that makes metal racks for industry. He never could figure it out either. So I never was able to figure out what this piece of metal was.

    2 years ago, a street sweeper passed by me. I always thought that the brush bristles were made of plastic of some wood-based product. Suddenly, I got one of those "Eureka moments". I chased the street sweeper with my dog until the driver stopped at a parking sign, and lo and behold, my problem was finally solved. The metal flat rods were from the street sweeper brushes that would fall off due to breakage - imagine!

The Toy

     The Hubley Elgin Street Sweeper is a cast iron and nickel-plated toy that is realistically modelled after the typical sweeper of those times (1930's). It's nicely-painted, and today is highly-prized on the antique toy marketplace. It was a pull toy,  and children would pull it along the street. As it was pulled, the undercarriage rollers would rotate.

(Please click on the above link to be redirected to Bertoia Auctions website)

    And there's a photo of a street sweeper thanks to The City of Omaha Nebraska, USA. And those wire "brushes" were the metal pieces that I used to see all of those years on the street - mystery solved!

   I decided to selected 4 different sets of photographs from Bertoia Auctions to show you the beautiful nature of this particular toy. By the way, that cord with the metal end, represents a hose that would be attached to a fire hydrant to refill the sweeper with water. The water was used to keep the dust levels low.

Thanks for dropping by, 
and have a great part of the day, wherever you are.


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