Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Exceptional 1920's Buddy 'L' Construction Toys

Monday, August 5, 2014
           Cloudy, hot and humid

The Exceptional 1920's Buddy 'L'
Construction Toys

  I recently wrote about the the WWII (1939-45) wooden Buddy 'L' toys. However, their earlier 1920 and later toys were also magnificent, especially if you liked toys with lots of movement. I'd written about 1 or 2 of these toys, but with the upcoming Bertoia AUctions September 19-20, 2014 auction, I had the opportunity to use 4 of the Buddy 'L' construction toys. When I was buying and selling toys, the closest that I came to construction toys were the Doepke sand movers - the truck version and the stand alone version. If I was 4-8 and had been given one of these, I'd have been in the sandbox for the day! But looking at the Buddy 'L' construction toys of the 1920's , my patents would have wondered where I disappeared to !

The toys would appear to have been modelled after 'real construction toys of the era. I'm assuming that the boiler was use to power this mobile concrete mixer.  There's a water tank with a brass (?) tap above a bucket that would pour the mixture into the tumbler. A crank would then turn the mixture and the cement would be able to be poured out. There's even a small door to the boiler to add fuel.

The main theme that is prevalent to all of these Buddy 'L" toys is movement. With this Buddy 'L" trench (below), there is enough movement to keep you hypnotized to all of the action. the bucker "diggers" or scoops, would dig up sand or small pebbles, lift them up to the top where there is a protected red hood. Thee kept the sand or pebbles from being thrown all over. The hood would guide the stone on to the coverer belt, which ten moved the material to an awaiting truck!

Please have a look at the treads of both the concrete mixer and the trencher. There is a small spring and guide that would move the tracks up and down as the toy moved along an irregular surface - just the the "real" machine! This is a great feature, that as you can see, the company took great lengths to create a very real "toy".

I'd never seen this Buddy 'L' toy until when I'd been screen-capturing the images for today's post. It's similar to the Doepke earth mover. Small trowels or buckets scoop up the materials which would be a mixture of different-sized sand and stone mixtures.  The buckets move by a hand-cranked chain to the top of the machine, and turn over into a deep v-shaped container. I "think" then that the smaller material falls down to the ground  through the holes in the mesh, while the good material is moved to the large bucket that is in the vertical position. It would be tilted down to receive the material.

I've written about the Buddy 'L' steam shovel, but once again again, like the  sand screen, I had never seen the "improved" double piston version. I'm "assuming" again that the brass-coloured metal is bras. Notice the similar features on the steam shovel as some of the previous toys.  The boiler with the small opening to throw in coal to fuel the boiler to power the steam shovel. Then there are the tread guides with the respective spring-action as the toy would move. But the "piece-de resistance" is, of course, the bucket (scoop). The scoop, like most similarly-made toys would scoop up a pile of material, be raised, then be able to have it's trap door at the bottom open either to dump the load somewhere else or to load it on to a truck. 

I can imagine having 4 children playing in a sandbox, with each of them having a different Buddy 'L' toy. Those times that these kids played must have been  exciting and unbelievable.

Now did I just read somewhere that scientists are close to perfecting time travel? I'm just wondering if I travel back in time, will I also become younger?  I don't think a 65 year old would fit well in a sandbox in 1925 with a group of children, and their toys!

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

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