This blog discusses old toys from the early 1920's to the end of the 1950's. All kinds of topics are discussed.
The time span was the greatest period for "hands-on" toys, where a young child could actually go outside and play for hours at a time.
You can see the elegance but simple design of these toys. It was a time when huge machines, and people made and finished toys by hand.
The era has long passed, but many of the toys are still around, and that is what I would like to share.
Friday, August 29, 2014
The Old Centurions
Friday, August 29, 2014 Sunny but seasonally cooler
The Old Centurions (Live Steam Engines)
I decided to go back into my old posts, and search for old toys. Sure enough, I came across steam toys. So that's how I came to write today's post. As I selected some prime and choice toys from Bertoia Auctions, I kept coming across the phrase "Live Steam Engines". I didn't know what the term meant, so I decided to do a search and Wikipedia had the answer.
A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is usually reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for heritage, museum, entertainment, or recreational purposes, to distinguish them from similar devices powered by electricity or some other more convenient method but designed to look as if they are steam-powered. Revenue-earning steam-powered machines such as mainline and narrow gaugesteam locomotives, steamships, and power-generating steam turbines are not normally referred to as "live steam".*
What's interesting to note when reading the actual descriptions is how renowned and long-established auction house mentions all of the descriptive worn parts, as well as the replacement parts. Over the years, I'm sure they get to see at least several similar items, and this can readily identify replacement parts or re-soldered parts.
For today's post, I decided to enlarge the images to their full size. Normally, I present then smaller, and occasionally will add a note for you, my readers, to look at the photos in Google Blogger mode (the blog company that I use).
I don't have all of the dates to these toys, but they are all very old, and many are true antiques
(100 years old or older).
What's interesting about these toys is the fact that would be played with by children, with I'm sure supervision of their parents. Also, I would like to think that these centenarians (100 year olds) could still operate if you started them up. As I was typing the word for 100 years old, I wrote centurion (A term for a battle-strong and experienced Roman soldier and leader of a group). I knew that I erred, so I checked the correct spelling for centenarian. However, the word centurion was so apropos or appropriate, that I thought of retitling this post - The old centurions, and I did!