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.
Monday, September 22, 2014
The Fabulous Pratt & Letchworth Fire Wagons
Monday, September 22, 2014 Overcast, very windy, unseasonably cold Fall Equinox
The Fabulous Pratt & Letchworth
I like to revisit topics or companies that I have written about to see how I can expand on them in the future. I had been to Liveauctioneers and saw some very nice late 19th century fire wagons. The manufacturer was the company Pratt & Letchworth. In the late 1800's and for the first 15 years of the both century, horse pulled "fire wagons". These were long metal and wooden wagons that had
wooden ladders and fire equipment (e.g. axes), as will as boilers for pumping water. It must have been terrifying for pedestrians to have to get out of the way of these wagons as teams of two or four horses bolted along streets to the fire.
Slight variations would be created when selling toys. The two fire wagons with nickel-plated boilers help to illustrate this point. In this case, the team of horses varied from either a pair of white horses, or a pair of horses, one black and one brown. The colour combinations for the horses collars and reins were also painted in different colour themes. The firemen in both wagons are also painted differently and have different hats.
Finally, the last wagon below is the massive wagon or "truck". The rear fireman would turn the large wheel in order to drive the wagon around corners. You wouldn't want to have the rear of the wagon start to tilt to much to the side and turn over.
The driver in the front is missing the reins that would have attached to the horses. THis type of toy is also called a "pull toy". A piece of rope or cord would be attached to the small red loop at the front of the toy with the red bar at the front, and then "pull along" by children on the street, or the "rare" sidewalk.
These toys were certainly beautiful at the time and they still are. When you go looking to buy such toys, you have to be careful to make sure that you are buying an authentic antique and not a reproduction. Many of these have been "reproduced" over the years.