Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Early Toy Ambulance

Saturday, August 16, 2014
               Cloud and rain again!

The Early Toy Ambulancse

   I don't read the television section of the newspaper, so I probably miss out on some great movies or series that would be coming to television. The other night (Sunday at 11:00 P.M. in Montreal, I was changing channels when my eye caught an old-looking  movie or series. As it turned out, it was a new mini-series on HBO (Home Box Office) , a fine-quality network or company that produces renowned viewing for the intelligent audience. I'm not a fan of sitcoms with canned laughing (tape-recorded laughter that is added to the video-tape after production.

   The mini-series, a 10-episode offering, is titled "The Knick" and the lead star is Clive Owen, an actor who usually plays tough rolls. The series takes place in New York City at a factitious hospital called  the Knickerbocker Hospital at the turn of the 19th century (circa 1900).It's a brilliant series, but that's all I'll say. I won't tell you more than that, suffice to say, that if you like movies set in old times or mini-series, this is for you.  I "love" detail in old movies, and if you like old toys, this is grrrreat! Old clothes, old buildings, gas-lit lamps, surgeons without masks and gloves, horse-drawn carriages, and so forth.

Most of the actors of  "The Knick"

Below is the link to to "The Knick".

  What gave me the idea for today's post was a scene in the  episode where a horse-drawn ambulance is speeding through the roads with 2 people - a driver and his assistant. The assistant is turning the handle for a wailing siren as the horses madly race down the roads to pick up a patient.
I can't express what a great series this is. I am always "glued" to most British TV series (e.g. Hercule Poirot, All Things Great and Small) because of the acting and of core the period detail. However, this American series is exceptional. However, I must warn everyone that there are truly "gory" (lots of blood) scenes.

Since the 2 ambulances below are described as regimental ambulances, I would have to assume that they were Red Cross units that participated in WWI. Nevertheless, the units in the movie are similar, but for the names. 

I noticed that on both teams of horses, there are small openings on the rear sides of the horses. I don;t quite know what the openings are for, so if someone finds a photos of a cast iron toy with accessories (e.g. reins) that perhaps attached to these holes, would you please send me a photo (with the credit source) so that I could elaborate.

I added the listing below because of the box.  I also like old type and artwork.
Sometimes the artwork can help in zeroing in on the approximate date that the toy was made.

It's interesting that the horses are being guided with the soldier on the horses, rather than on the seat of the ambulance. If you look closely, the other soldier (attendantA) is in the back of the ambulance, lithographed on the door.

 For those who don;t know, the "penny toy" was very popular at the beginning of the 20th century and later.  The cost of the toys were in face a "penny" or in some cases a bit more. The low price afford the opportunity for most children to be able to have a toy.

In closing, I highly recommend this new TV series. If you're old enough to remember the early years of TV (1950's and early 1960's) when TV shone brilliantly, they you will find this new TV series well into quality TV of those "golden Years of Television".

Thanks for dropping by, 
and as always, 
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,

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