Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Toy Fire Truck

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Toy Fire Truck

    I'm sure everyone at one time or another has been around fire or seen a fire.When I was very young, one of my favourite activities in summer was to gather around a bonfire. The older Roy girls from the country, where we rented a house would always tease me with their chant"let's go fishing, let's make a fire", because at 4-5 years old, that what I used to say all summer!

    When I was older, if my friends and I were near a fire station, we'd check out the fire engines. And I'm sure, almost anyone who has ever passed a large fire has taken the time to stop and watch! I never had a toy fire truck, nor did I ever ask for one. I just wasn't interested in a toy like that. I did have the Mecano set, the Mini-brix set, the chemistry and microscope set, the Lionel train set, the cap 6-shooter and derringer, and of course comic books - but I digress.

    It's great when I have permission to use fin-quality photos of toys that I would never have seen in my lifetime, but in a museum,and there certainly aren't all that many toy museums around.  I love museums, and when I went to Washington with my wife on vacation, we both had our "fill-up "of museums. I'd like to return again, because the Smithsonian, the big  national set of museums has been revamped and expanded since the 12 years ago that I was there. When I was there, we spent at least 3-4 days going in and out of the museums!

    So today's presentation are some of the very high-quality, rarer and more-costly exceptional examples of fire trucks from way back when! Again, it's nice to be able to have the permission form Bertoia Auctions today to see these fine toys from so long ago.

   The above toy is a Marklin (Germany) from 1912 - 101 years young! It's 18" long or 458 mm. It has a "live steam" that produces pressure that pumps to the hoses. The water can then be releases through values. It's hand painted, and of course hand-made. I'm just taking the "choice words" from Bertoia auctions description, so you might want to go to the source and read the description for yourself. What was also written was that there are 5 of these outstanding toys that are known to exist as of 2013. also underneath, you can see the gear mechanism for being able to have the truck move. 
This particular toy went to auction and garnered a final winning bid of $ 130,000.00 US - A true museum-quality antique!

   The above toy is a pedal car from the 1920's. It's brand is American National, a name that I don;t think I've ever come across. It measures 62" long ( 1.575 M). This is only the second time that I wrote the description using meters., since normally I'll use mm. You don't usually see too many very large-sized "hand-on" toys like this. For those who don't know, a pedal car is for a child to get into the toy and move the truck by pushing 2 pedals that move back and forth. The wooden ladders are exceptional for  that time, and this particular toy has retained its original paint from over 90+ years. I like the bell on the hood, and this toy also has spring shock springs on the rear axle!

     This is a 1920's biscuit tin from England. It was from the W.Crawford & Sons "Fire Brigade" biscuit tin. I've never seen a biscuit tin like this, but my mother-in-law had beautiful reproductions of 1020's cookie and biscuit tins. The design of her tinware were exceptionally, especially if you like the graphic design of that era.  Every once in a while, I'll buy a tin can of Danish butter cookies from a store or even Ikea. I still don't understand how the butter cookies with the tin can be so inexpensive Of course, the can eventually gets use for sewing items, knick-knacks and so on.

    I like the fact the for a biscuit can, there would be 4 wheels, as well as a steering wheel. I especially like the 3-dimensional drawing of the rear hose that almost makes the hose look real!

  A beautiful 1932 Buddy "L" brand of toy fire truck. The ladders are nickel ladders (nickel-plated?), and the ladders can also extend as an aerial ladder with the turn of the small brass-coloured winder. The mechanism can also swivel on a rotating base.  It's amazing how well preserved this toy is. The rubber tires are in very nice condition, and the ladders and even the bell (next to the driver) have few scratch marks.

     This is a Bing brand of Fire Pumper from Germany, circa 1920. It's missing the hose that would have fit on the front grill area, as well as a front lantern that would have been attached just in front of the driver. The toy measures 10 1/2" (268 mm). The rubber tires are in very good condition, and you can see the clock-work gears just to the rear left of the brass boiler.

   Here's a 1926 Kingsbury fire truck # 259 that came with a J.C. Penny  decal titled "Little Jim".  
I like the graphic design of this particular toy. It's nice to see the shape (2-d design) sthand out against the white background. The ladders are nickel-plated, and the tires are in quite good shape for their age. This toy measured 34" (863 mm). This toy also has the swivel ladder base, and cranks for the ladder extensions (I don;t know if the ladder actually extended). The ladders also fit into each other to get the added height.
   Please excuse my Photoshop skills or lack of them. The background  around the toy is "rough" from my poor removal of the background. I like to remove a coloured background and place the toys against white. I personally find that they show better.

     This toy is another "Buddy "L" toy, dating from about 1925. The boiler is nickel-plated, which like the other toys of those times, I find amazing that such quality metals would  be used. Our Canadian government had decided to remove our copper penny (which hasn't been copper for 30 years), and they just "floated" the idea of getting rid of our 5 cent "nickel", which hasn't been nickel for 3 at least 40 years. The times surely have changed!

     This toy was a "pull toy" that would be pulled along by the cord in the front. It measured 24" 
( 610 mm).

   One of my favourite movies is the 1966 movie directed by the French director Francois Truffault, and starring Oscar Werner and Julie Christie. The movie is about a futuristic fire department, whose purpose is to create fires to destroy books that would corrupt peoples minds. The temperature of 451 degrees Fahrenheit represents the combustion point at which paper will ignite.

So this was the all-red toy instalment.

Thanks for dropping by, and 
have a great morning, afternoon, or evening,
wherever you may be.



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