Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Irish Mail Toys

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
            another rainy day!

Irish Mail Toys

     This past weekend, I had the idea of presenting toys that were associated with mail . Examples would be rail cars, rail trucks, and even mail motorcycles. Naturally, I went to Liveauctioneers to see what is for sale or what had been sold by all of the auctioneers. What caught my eye was something called an "Irish Mail Toy". I searched for the definition of what that was, but had trouble finding about it. However, I did find 1 site explaining about the toy itself.   The real "toys" were used for movement, quite like a bicycle. However, they had 3 wheels and a young child use his hands to create the movement of this vehicle. A handle moves back and forth to transfer energy to a wheel. The The handle is attached to a long shaft that is off-centered to a round gear. This causes an elliptical type of rotary movement to transfer energy.  The child is seated on the toy and needn't know how to balance on the toy, as it has 3 wheels to stay on the ground.

    What's "funny" about the toy's name is that no matter where the toy might have been made, it's always called an "Irish Mail" toy! So there are German-made Irish Mail toys, American-made Irish Mail toys and so on. There are also "quadracycles" with 4 wheels - 2 in front and 2 in back, just like a car that you can in fact buy today. 

 The above toy is missing  nuts and bolts that attach the handle the to horizontal drive shaft.
The shaft then attached to the wheel (under the seat).

The toy above was professionally restored.  
What surprised me about the final winning bids, was the fact that all were actually quite low.
Relatively speaking,  in terms of  today, you could buy one of this old toys, bring them to to "new" as the one above, and them give it to a child to play with.

These last 2 toys  are for play and not fir riding. 
Both are wind-ups and operate mechanically like the "real toy". 
And, of course,even though they were made in Germany, they're still called "Irish Mail" toys!

When I cycle, I see  paraplegic (paralyzed from the waist down) cyclists using their hands in a rotary motion, just like the central cam of a bicycle. I wonder if the mechanical design of the Irish Mail" would be more efficient and less tiring than the "regular design?

Thanks for dropping by,

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

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